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Keith Brown, Veterans Minister and MSP meets military veterans making positive changes

Keith Brown, Veterans Minister met with participants from our Positive Futures programme at our National Participant Centre in Stirling, to hear their stories, and talk about how the scheme has changed things for them.

The event provided a chance for the veterans to discuss their experiences on the programme, and the impact it has had on their lives. It was also an opportunity for them to speak to Mr Brown about what is being done to support the small but significant number of veterans struggling with the transition to civilian life.

Positive Futures, funded by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), does just that: supports veterans struggling with the transition to civilian life. The programme includes an intensive 5-day wilderness journey in the Highlands where outdoor activity and experiential learning techniques are used as a mechanism for unlocking and redeploying skills, building confidence and raising aspiration. Following this journey, the participants, of all ages and length of service, are given support to achieve their goals. For many this will result in utilising the skills learnt in service, and applying these skills to prepare them for employment, education, training or volunteering.

These veterans are on their way to reaching positive destinations, working towards managing what can be very challenging life circumstances as a result of leaving the military behind. Their struggle to adapt to civilian life can often lead to homelessness, isolation, addiction, abuse, breakdown of family relations, and long term unemployment.

Amelia commented: “We were delighted that Mr Brown visited us at our National Participant Centre, which sent a really positive message of support to our participants – for those past, and those about to head out on the next Positive Futures journey. For all of those leaving the military, it marks a complete change. Most of those thrive, going on to have successful careers and balanced lives. But for a small minority the transition to civilian life can be overwhelming and confusing which can lead to a multitude of negative circumstances. The Positive Futures programme offers veterans the support and space to begin to see themselves differently – that they can have a different life. Many will go on to further education, training, volunteering or employment, and this is a key catalyst for positive life changes.”

Mr Brown, Veterans Minister said: “I am delighted to see a truly innovative project like the Venture Trust Positive Futures Programme underway in Scotland, delivering valuable support for veterans.

Our veterans are an asset to Scotland and deserve the best possible support and care we can provide. The Positive Futures Programme is a great route for veterans who have struggled with transition, and it was a pleasure to meet some of the participants who have found it very beneficial.”

For further details of the Positive Futures programme, click here.

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