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Transition to civilian life

If you in are settling in Scotland after life in the armed forces, these links will provide you with access to the organisations and information that can assist you to find a home, gain employment and settle into civil society, as well as links to sources of help and support that might be needed.

Transition to civilian lifeThe information in this section is grouped into the five major areas that you will need to consider in order to make a successful transition:

  • Employment – Finding the right job and making best use of your skills. 
  • Education – For you and your children 
  • Health – Establishing yourself with a GP, Dentist and other Health issues 
  • Housing – Finding your new home, 
  • Welfare – The additional support you may need.

Scotland - the background

As a place to live and work, Scotland has a huge range of attractions, from the peace and tranquillity of mountain wilderness to the vibrant urban life of cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. Opportunities for employment are plentiful and range from traditional crafts, through logistics, construction and retail to cutting edge technology and world class engineering. For families, the Scottish education system is world renowned and the National Health Service first class.

For background information on the economic situation, housing and employment the sites below may help with your decision making:

For a general brief on life in Scotland

For a brief on the housing market

For a detailed and up to date view of the economy, employment figures and more

For a direct link to a site specifically for ex service personnel in Scotland


There may come a time when you need some extra support. The good news is that there are over 400 Service related support organisations ready and willing to help in Scotland, in addition to Regimental Associations, UK wide charitable organisations and the Government sponsored support from agencies such as SPVA and their Veterans Welfare Service (VWS).

Additionally, all 32 Local Authorities in Scotland have signed a “Community Covenant” confirming their support to the Armed Forces and Veterans and the promise that no-one will be disadvantaged as a result of their service. Every Local Authority has appointed an “Armed Forces and Veterans Champion” to ensure that your needs are kept in mind.

In Scotland the Veterans Welfare Service (VWS) operates from a regional centre in Glasgow manned by extremely knowledgeable staff able to provide advice and support on a wide range of issues, with locally based case-workers able to cover the entire country. The start point is a call to 0141 224 2709, an email to vws-glasgow@spva.mod.uk or a visit to the Veterans UK website.

Former service personnel in Scotland are also particularly well supported by the numerous welfare organisations, many of which have grouped together under the banner of “Veterans Scotland”. The website Veterans Assist, with its simple drop-down menus, allows you to obtain information or local contacts and organisations able to help with your specific problem nationally or in your specific area.

Some specific projects of note would include the “Glasgows Helping Heroes” initiative run by SSAFA and Glasgow City Council, the Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP) run by local Citizens Advice Bureaux with funding from Poppy Scotland, the Veterans First Point project in the Lothians, with funding from the Scottish Government and NHS, also the Tayside Veterans Project in Dundee. Contact details for these and many more can be found on the Veterans Assist site linked below.

Army Welfare Service (AWS) contact details

The Army Welfare Service (AWS) provides confidential support for serving married and single personnel and families with any personal or family difficulties. They can be contacted here:

Telephone: 01980 615975

Email: AWS-Welfareinformationservice@mod.uk