Veterans Minister Graeme Dey today visited Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SBMC) to see first-hand how its setting injured veterans up for the future through its newly-established Learning and Development Department.
SBMC provides flexible working opportunities, with on-the-job skills training, to ex-servicemen and women from its Bishopton base – particularly for those who face daily challenges due to physical or mental disabilities due to their service.
However, the social enterprise will now also provide tailored welfare assistance to each of its veteran employees aiding with service-related disabilities such as PTSD and life-changing physical injuries.
Photo: Graeme Dey speaks to veterans
The new department, headed by a trained veterans welfare development manager, was set up following backing from the National Lottery Community Fund (Scotland) and Poppy Scotland to the tune of £192,000
Veterans Minister Dey said: “I’m very pleased to once again have the opportunity to come and visit Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, to see first-hand the support they’re providing to our veterans community, and to hear directly from veterans themselves on how employment at SBMC has benefited their lives.
“The coupling of the employment training available at SBMC, with the new welfare programme available offers a truly holistic approach to veterans in need of support – it will have a really positive impact on the lives of the ex-servicemen and women working there.”
The learning and development department is headed by former Royal Engineer Robert Lappin, dedicated more than 8 years of his post-service career to the wellbeing of Scottish veterans before joining Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company.
Robert said: “The vast majority of veterans leave the Armed Forces and transition relatively easily into civilian life. However, for those who face difficulties, their challenges can be incredibly varied.”
“To support them, you need a versatile welfare programme and, thanks to the funders, this is what we now have available to the veterans working at Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company – a system of care and development which will provide the country’s veterans with a second life after service.”
Of those to benefit from the programme is Gary Jamieson, who lost both of his legs below the knee and his left arm above the elbow in Afghanistan in 2010. The former Scots Guard has been retrained at SBMC as a water jet cutter.