Tributes paid to armed services advice project

Ahead of Armed Forces Day on Saturday, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie has paid tribute to a service that gives care and support to military personnel.

Ms McKelvie highlighted the work of the Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP), delivered by Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB), in a member’s debate in the Scottish Parliament today.

This followed the publication of a CAB report that highlighted how war veterans struggle to reintegrate to their communities when they are discharged from the military and need help to cope with debt, unemployment and low income.

Ms McKelvie said:

“Although I may not support governments in their decisions to go to war, I wholeheartedly support the care and support our armed forces deserve when they do have to undertake the risk of that frontline.

“That is why I wanted to pay tribute to ASAP – an inspired and inspiring service that provides advice and support for all members of the Armed Forces community.

“It’s a holistic service that supports not just veterans who have served their time but also ones who have for whatever reason had to leave the forces early.”

Ms McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, said that in the first year of the project, ASAP advisers helped 1,769 clients with over 6,000 issues.

She added:

“Around 84 per cent of the clients were either veterans or their dependants, while the majority of the remaining 16% were serving clients or dependants.

“Some of these veterans have issues like homelessness, debt, alcohol/drug dependency, post-traumatic stress disorder and just an inability to adjust to civilian life. They deserve our full support.

“This is a very worthwhile project and I’m privileged to raise awareness of the service in Parliament.”