Global Local In Brief: Support for veterans


Support for veterans

This week, we consider the needs profile of veterans and their families and explore what local government can do to facilitate their reintegration into the community, both in the short and long term.

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The sacrifices an armed forces veteran must make set them apart from the rest of us. Whether they’re stationed overseas, at a base across the country separated from loved ones or facing the very real dangers of combat every day, they may experience far more stress and trauma than the average person. Therefore, they require more support from their neighbours, communities and, critically, their local councillors. 

Research shows that veterans are more at risk of homelessness, alcoholism, domestic violence, criminal behaviour, relationship breakdowns and untreated mental health difficulties. Additionally, countries define “veteran” differently, which affects support services specifically tailored to them.

This week, we’re looking at what veterans around the world may require and how local government can meet these needs. Direct aid, recovery assessments and fair treatment work in tandem to rebuild these lives in your community. As remembrance and veterans days were marked across the globe, it’s worth thinking about the practical improvements you can make for people who have given so much to their country. 

In Brief: featured content

In conversation with Ian Millen of Veterans Outreach Support

By Freya Millard, LGIU

Since 2008, UK-based charity Veterans Outreach Support has provided welfare, wellbeing and mental health support to veterans and their families. Ian Millen, the charity’s CEO, spoke to LGIU’s Freya Millard about the key challenges of re-entering society, helping the relatives of ex-personnel and how local leaders can improve reintegration and veterans’ quality of life.

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LGIU Global Local Highlights

Needs profiles of veterans across the globe

Most ex-service personnel transition back to civilian life successfully. However, studies reveal that veterans are more likely to encounter problems with relationships, mental health and substance abuse. Our main Global Local briefing examines a wide range of socioeconomic issues that veterans face on their return to society, with needs profiles in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. We also highlight the UK Armed Forces Covenant’s success and local government’s role in veteran affairs. 
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Local authority regulation to improve supported and “exempt” housing 

According to the 2016 Supported Accommodation review, there were over 651,000 units of supported and specialist housing in the UK that year, many of which housed veterans. We look at the debate around increased regulation of specialist accommodation and whether it could improve councils’ service delivery to those who need it most. Subscribe to Global Local to receive this briefing.

Innovation & Inspiration

Curated case studies and news from around the globe

U.S.: Veterans Watchmaker Initiative 

Six years ago, the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative opened in New Castle, Delaware. It remains America’s only school dedicated to teaching the watchmaking trade to veterans — particularly those with disabilities — for free. The country government agreed to lease a vacant building in Odessa for 10 years at $1 per annum with an option for renewal. Veterans who learn the trade hope to find immediate employment in a highly-skilled, in-demand profession. There are around 4,000 watchmakers in the U.S. alone with salaries reportedly starting at $85,000. 


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Policy & Resources

Toolkit: Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-24
This resource reveals five focal points for improving the lives of veterans in the UK: delivering a significant change in support; maximising their employability post-service; addressing historic hurts or disadvantages; dealing with trauma from armed forces operations; and ensuring a high standard of support across the country. 

Research: Homelessness among Australian veterans 
In 2019, the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs commissioned the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) to investigate the extent and nature of homelessness amongst veterans throughout the continent. A consortium of researchers and community representatives, led by the Social Policy Research Centre, spearheaded the study. 

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This week’s Global Local bulletin, next week’s In Brief

Our paid subscriber edition this week focuses on the COP27 conference and how local government can address the “knowing-doing gap” when helping to tackle climate change

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