Support services for veterans and members of the Armed Forces community in Ayrshire received praise in the Scottish Parliament from a local MSP.
During a debate about the support offered across Scotland, Brian Whittle used the work being done at Hollybush House and Poppyscotland’s Ayrshire Welfare Centre as examples of best practice.
Brian, who has visited Hollybush, and the Ayrshire Welfare Centre in Kilmarnock, emphasised the benefits of having several organisations working together to deliver their services in tandem. This reduces duplication of work, but more importantly, makes life easier for anyone seeking help.
Hollybush House is one of only three residential treatment centres in the UK run by Combat Stress, and the only one in Scotland. It receives funding from the Scottish Government and works closely with the NHS to provide residential accommodation and support to veterans dealing with mental health issues, offering them a safe and private place to take time to recuperate.
Poppyscotland’s Ayrshire Welfare Centre in Kilmarnock is one of only two centres in Scotland which allows visitors to access support from a number of organisations under one roof.
Brian said: “I was pleased to have the chance to promote the work being done in Ayrshire to support the armed forces community. The kind of close partnership working being done here is a model that I’d like to see employed across Scotland.
“Whether it’s help with physical or mental health, housing, finding work or simply looking to sit down and have a chat with someone, we need to ensure that life is as easy as possible for those seeking help. Veterans and their families sacrifice an enormous amount to help keep us safe.
“Scotland has much to be proud of when it comes to how it treats veterans, but there’s still more we can do and I’m delighted that Ayrshire is leading the way.”