Hannah Blythyn, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government.
Our veterans, those still serving in the Armed Forces, and their families, make a significant contribution to our communities and our country. They rightly deserve our support and our gratitude for that contribution and for the sacrifices they have made, and continue to make, on our behalf.
On 14 November 2018, a written statement was laid before the Senedd outlining the Welsh Government’s commitment to the development of the first UK Strategy for our Veterans. This strategy sets out the principles and aims needed to continue to meet the needs of older veterans as well as the wider veteran community over the next ten years. It also sets out the conditions for society to support and empower our veterans for the next 100 years.
In 2018/2019, in collaboration with the UK and Scottish Government, the Welsh Government carried out a scoping exercise. The Wales Veterans Scoping Exercise is the Welsh Government’s contribution to the Veterans Strategy. The findings of the work provide the Welsh and UK Government’s with direct feedback from the veterans’ community in Wales on how services are currently delivered, gaps in service provision, and how improvements can be made. Today I am publishing these findings.
This important document, undertaken in collaboration with the Armed Forces Expert Group, which I Chair, and other key partner organisations, identifies gaps in support for veterans and their families. It will inform how we target future support and ultimately seeks to improve the approach this Government and partner organisations will take to supporting our veterans and Armed Forces communities across Wales over the coming years.