Rhoda Grant MSP, Labour, has welcomed the decision to include a question on service in the Armed Forces in the 2021 Census.
This follows a successful campaign led by Poppyscotland and the Royal British Legion which was supported by Rhoda Grant.
Rhoda Grant MSP said:
“ Having a better understanding of the profile and needs of veterans is a key part of making sure our public services are tailored for our armed forces community I welcome this historic change to the 2021 Census to include a question on the Armed Forces.
“This is a huge step forward and will help us better understand and support our veterans and wider armed forces community across the Highlands and Islands going forward.”
Including the question will provide data on for serving personnel and veterans .This will help many organisations who provide support for them and their families
The number of veterans in Orkney is estimated at 1,000 but the actual figure is not known as many do not identify themselves as such.
It has been estimated that there are 2.4 million veterans currently living in Great Britain, who make up part of a wider ex-Service community which includes their spouses, partners, dependent children and widow(er)s.
Including an Armed Forces question in the next census would provide public bodies, local authorities, and charities with valuable information to ensure they are able to deliver the best services they can for our Armed Forces community.
Mark Collins, Interim Chief Executive of Poppyscotland, said:
“We would like to thank the scores of politicians from across the spectrum at Holyrood and Westminster, several local authorities and our volunteers and supporters who came together to support our Count Them In campaign.
“I am also extremely grateful to National Records of Scotland for their engaging approach, working closely with us throughout the process from devising potential questions through to testing and considering the outputs.
“This is an extremely proud moment for Poppyscotland. After leading a successful campaign, the fact that a military question will be in the 2021 Census will significantly improve our understanding of the Armed Forces community which up until now has been very limited.
“It will ensure that we, along with other charities and service providers, can deliver the best service possible to them when and where it is needed most.”
‘Count Them In’ is part of Poppyscotland’s ongoing campaign work to help champion the interests, welfare, and contributions of the Armed Forces Community.
Scotland has a Scottish Veterans Commissioner. He is Charlie Wallace, who had 35 years’ service in the Army, latterly as Deputy Commander of 51st Infantry Brigade and HQ Scotland.
To find out more about support and information for Veterans in Scotland click on this link: Support for Veterans