Thursday 27th April 2023
MOD Services held its second face-to-face Lived Experience event in March at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London to gain valuable insight from Service leavers and venterans.
Lived Experience events provide an opportunity for groups to share their experiences of engaging with the MOD and the services they provide. Senior leaders and MOD representatives listen and learn from the attendees’ experiences and are open to suggestions for improvements. Listening to the people that use the services is critical and essential to continuous improvements and drive positive changes, using direct feedback to make services more transparent and accessible.
At the March Lived Experience event, the area of focus was the Veterans Welfare Service (VWS), Defence Transition Services (DTS) and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, to help gain insight from serving personnel transitioning out and veterans who had recently left the military.
VWS and DTS are the statutory services that deliver welfare and transition support on behalf of Defence. They offer support to the most vulnerable Service leavers and their families as they transition to civilian life and any service person, veteran or family member requiring help with access to injury, bereavement, and compensation schemes, or who has a welfare need that endures beyond Service.
Sir General Nick Pope, Chair of the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO), who facilitated the event, spoke positively:
“The Lived Experience events provide a great opportunity for alignment. From the Veterans’ perspective, it offers a rare opportunity to share experiences at the coalface. And an opportunity to feel that, at the micro level, one’s contribution is valued and respected.
“From a Departmental perspective, it enables Policy makers to receive constructive feedback from the end user, which again is a rare commodity. It’s a day of insight, a day of alignment, where all leave feeling part of a common endeavour. More of the same please!”
Brigadier Caroline Hull, Head of MOD’s DBS Armed Forces Veterans Services reinforced the importance of these events, saying:
“The views and active engagement of those who we support is critical in helping us improve the services we provide. We greatly appreciate the time given by those who attended, and we look forward to future events exploring further areas. ”
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