There are estimated to be around 2.6 million veterans living in the UK. Having served in the Armed Forces and dedicated their lives to the safety of the nation, they are men and women who have trained explicitly for the demands of military life in our nation’s unfailing defence.
The Open University (OU) believes that when these individuals leave military life and return to our communities they are of great value to society. This is a view shared by the civilian employers of veterans who enter the workforce with ambition and valuable skills such as communication, teamwork and project management. Veterans have returned from the most unique of environments and have extensive practical experience in areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). At a time when the UK is suffering from a shortage of skilled individuals it is vital that the talents of all veterans are recognised and developed further.
The Disabled Veterans’ Scholarships Fund (DVSF) has been tailored to fully support all disabled veterans, injured in or due to service, as they transition to civilian life. It aims to provide a free OU education and a wraparound disability and careers support service. The large majority of veterans make a successful move out of the military, however, for those who do struggle the DVSF offers a lifeline.
Unlike colleagues who make plans for retirement, veterans who are discharged due to disabilities have to deal with an unexpected end to service life. Consequently, they are less likely to be prepared for a new life outside of the military. And, according to the Career Transition Partnership annual statistics, veterans are significantly less likely to have a degree than non-veteran counterparts, which could leave them at a disadvantage in the jobs market. The OU works closely with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to support their education. The MOD, along with many military charities and organisations, have provided the university with help and guidance to design the DVSF such that it meets the needs of disabled veterans and reaches this important audience effectively.
More information on DVSF may be found by clicking the following link: https://giving.open.ac.uk/DVSF
The scheme offers a life-changing opportunity to disabled veterans; and to find out how you can get involved, please contact Sam Toolan via firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0) 7929 614 760.