Afghanistan veteran with medals and child
11 February 2014

SSAFA comments on the Veterans' Transition Review

SSAFA CEO David Murray welcomes Lord Ashcroft's Veterans’ Transition Review, published today, looking at the transition of Armed Forces personnel to civilian life at the end of their service.

SSAFA comments on the Veterans' Transition Review

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has today published the Veterans’ Transition Review, his report examining the transition of Armed Forces personnel from their military careers to civilian life at the end of their service.

In his role as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Veterans’ Transition, Lord Ashcroft has considered the policies and provision for Service Leavers in areas including education, training, employment, health, housing, welfare, finance and information. He has also looked at the operation of Service charities and the role of advocacy, including the delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant.

The independent Review has consulted widely with the Armed Forces, the MOD and other government bodies, industry and the Third Sector, and has heard directly from hundreds of Service Leavers about their experience of transition.

David Murray, CEO of SSAFA, welcomed today’s report but highlighted two areas of concern:

“As the UK’s longest-serving charity supporting serving personnel and veterans of all services and their families, SSAFA welcomes many of the findings laid out in Lord Ashcroft’s ‘Veterans’ Transition Review’.

“We agree with the overall premise that Service personnel making the transition into civilian lives are not victims and that the vast majority find their military career has a positive influence on their lives.

“However, we believe that the report does not adequately acknowledge the fact that, in many cases, it is the whole family which is making the move into civilian life and that the impact is often as great, if not greater, when it comes to key issues such as housing, education and employment. The report does not seem to make any concrete recommendations on how the current lack of support for the families of Service Leavers is to be improved.

“Neither does the report seem to address the fact that the growing cohort of Reservists has very different welfare needs from regular Service personnel. With the plans to significantly grow the number of Reservists by 2020, there is an urgent need to identify the specific ways in which this group, and their families, are to be supported once the individual returns to civilian life, particularly because not only do they face different challenges to those encountered by regulars but, at this point, they tend to be isolated from the military community.

Find out more about advice and support from SSAFA for Service Leavers - regular or reservist - or a family member of someone who is transitioning from Service life into civilian life.