By Lucy Ashton
West Dunbartonshire Council has reaffirmed its pledge of support for Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families with a range of additional measures now being considered.
The Council achieved a Gold Award in the Armed Forces Employer Recognition Scheme in 2019, and signed up to an armed forces covenant in 2016 to highlight its commitment to providing practical support including employment advice, flexible working and housing assistance.
Work is ongoing to consider additional steps that can now be taken to ensure residents with links to the Armed Forces continue to receive respect and fair treatment.
Among the steps being proposed are reinstating Armed Forces peer support groups, awareness raising of the support mechanisms in place, and use of local museum space to preserve and share the stories of armed forces personnel, including the story of the Clydebank Blitz drawing on those with lived experience.
In schools, there are plans to deliver a training session to head teachers so they can signpost families to relevant services, as well as establishing an Armed Forces pupil ambassador to ensure children and young people with serving family members are properly supported too.
Information about the work being undertaken was shared with members of West Dunbartonshire Council this week following a motion by Councillor John Millar, pictured right, in June.
Councillor Millar said: “I am very pleased to see such a comprehensive package of support continuing to be made available to members of the armed forces in our area.
“As a community, West Dunbartonshire is extremely supportive of our serving personnel, reservists and veterans and turn out in great numbers for our annual Armed Forces parade.
“It is pleasing to see that as well as our Armed Forces Covenant and the Gold Award, our Council is still looking at ways to enhance and strengthen the support on offer and I hope this provides some comfort to serving personnel, veterans and their families.”