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Veterans Aid CEO becomes Honorary Professor

Veterans Aid

3 min read Partner content

Dr Hugh Milroy, CEO of the charity Veterans Aid, has been appointed Honorary Professor in Social Work at the University of East Anglia.

The appointment,  within the School of Social Work, acknowledges his significant role in raising the profile of veterans' issues and wellbeing in the academic community.

Dr  Milroy said, “I am delighted to have been  honoured in this way within a School that I regard very much as my academic ‘home’. UEA has a long history of being at the very pinnacle of social work training and research and the platform provided by this appointment will hopefully allow me to bring its influence to a much wider audience. These are challenging times, and it has never been more important  to equip  our future social work leaders with 'facts rather than fictions' about  the UK's diverse ex-service community."

Dr Hugh Milroy, CEO of Veterans Aid

Professor Christine Cocker, Head of the School of Social Work at UEA said, ‘UEA is very pleased to offer Dr Milroy this Honorary Professorship. Throughout his career Dr Milroy has embraced the motto of the university, to ‘do different’. We look forward to working closely with Dr Milroy and Veterans Aid to undertake further research within the ex-service community and to teach our students about the needs of this population.”

A Visiting Research Fellow at King's College, London from 2010-13, Dr Milroy still gives an annual lecture to MSc students on the War & Psychiatry course in the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College. His paper on  Stolen Trauma was co-authored with Edgar Jones, Professor of the History of Medicine and Psychiatry at Kings. In 2016 Dr Milroy became an Honorary Visiting Fellow and Doctor of Civil Law (honoris causa) at UEA.

His influence on the global stage was further extended in  2022 when he became a vice-president of the World Veterans Federation (WVF) and Chair of its Standing Committee on European Affairs.

Dr Milroy has been involved with homeless Veterans since 1996. His MA looked at the effect of military service on armed forces personnel and families in general, while research for his PhD (Pathways to the Streets for Ex-Service Personnel 2001) was conducted among street homeless veterans. This ground-breaking PhD is now held in the Library of Parliament of Canada.

He took over as head of Veterans Aid after a 17-year career as an RAF officer during which time he was the final station commander of RAF Swanton Morley, near Dereham, Norfolk. Towards the end of his military career Dr Milroy became the RAF’s senior welfare and community specialist and did much innovative work in introducing community wellbeing as part of the Force approach to personnel effectiveness. This was formalised in 2009 when Dr Milroy introduced the Veterans Aid Welfare to Wellbeing© (W2WB) model in his contribution to the book Pathways to Human Development. His chapter of the same name chronicled the unique change process employed by the charity in its work with veterans in crisis.

Under his guidance Veterans Aid has undergone a rebrand, received an Institute for Turnaround Award, became a member of the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) and achieved international acclaim. In May 2012 Dr Milroy became an OBE in recognition of his outstanding work on behalf of homeless ex-Servicemen and women.

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