Scotland's Veterans Minister paid a visit to Irvine to hear first hand the support on offer for ex-servicemen.

Graeme Dey MSP was welcomed by the team at Irvine’s Veterans First Point as well as Provost Ian Clarkson and Thelma Bowers, Head of Adult Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Addictions.

Mr Dey MSP heard from the veterans about the various challenges they face after leaving the armed forces and how they have benefited from the invaluable Veterans First Point service. Veteran Andrew Temple shared some poems he had written for the Minister’s visit to convey just how difficult it can be after leaving the military.

Graeme Dey MSP said: “It has been truly inspiring meeting the team and the veterans. It is clear to see how much a service like this can support and help those who have served in our armed forces.

“I was greatly impressed by the motivated and resourceful people I met here today and fully support the service to do everything it can to improve veteran’s mental health and wellbeing.”

Clinical Lead Lindsay Kirkwood said: “Veterans First Point was first launched in Ayrshire in March 2017 to support service veterans and their families with the move from military to civilian life.

“Since then, we have managed to support almost 500 veterans to get help with things like housing, support with gaining employment, and accessing psychological treatment for mental health difficulties.

“It has been a great opportunity meeting Mr Dey to show him the work we are doing and to encourage continued support for the service and the people we help here.”

If you feel you could benefit from support from the Veterans First Point service, don’t hesitate to contact them on 01294 310400 or email AA-UHB.veteransfirstpoint@