15 January 2024

Meet Mo

Mo Torau has been a beneficiary of Veterans Housing Scotland since 2021. 

He and his young family lived in Penicuik following his medical discharge from the Royal Highland Fusiliers after 10 years’ service.  At that time they moved from the barracks in Penicuik to private housing where they lived for a further ten years.  However, as his family grew and their needs changed he learned about Veterans Housing Scotland and he has never looked back.  ‘The day I met VHS, my life changed for the better.  When I was discharged I felt lost, there didn’t seem to be any help for veterans in my situation.  Discovering Veterans Housing Scotland and the support that is available has helped make my future better and brighter,’ he said.

Following his discharge Mo had been working in civil engineering with a major company and in 2020 began to work with SSAFA as a case worker.  In 2021 he became Commonwealth Armed Forces Champion which helped drive him to establish his own charity – Commonwealth Veterans and Family Support Organisation. The first charity of its kind in the UK.   His day job is now working to build the profile of the charity highlighting the support available while his wife Mele provides the admin backup he could not continue without.

Mo arrived in the UK in 2002 from Fiji to join the Army where he served tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Falklands and Afghanistan.  He is very proud of his service and had it not been for his loss of hearing then it is likely he would still be associated with the military.

It was as part of his work with SSAFA that he learned about VHS.  Following the interview process they were offered a perfect home where they are now settled and happy.   They love being part of the local community.  Having had such a straightforward experience from introduction to moving in, Mo has become an unofficial ‘ambassador’ for the charity and ensures that all his fellow veterans are aware of the service available to disabled veterans from VHS. 

His own experience of leaving military service did not include help with re-housing or introductions to people and organisations who might have been able to provide support.  Therefore, he is committed to helping others by working to ensuring that no-one else will find themselves in the same position.

He said: ‘I was lucky in that I had full-time work and relocated near to where I had been based when I was discharged.  However more and more, especially through my work with other veterans, I am discovering that relevant information, including guidance on housing, is not readily available.  My advice to those who are leaving is to spend now time doing the research and making the contacts which will enable a smoother transition when you do ultimately leave.’

Mo clearly has a strong sense of ‘wanting to give back’ and support the veterans community.  Between his volunteering work and establishing his own charity he has a fulltime job.  His contribution to the veterans’ community was recognised earlier this year when he was awarded the Role Model of the Year Award at the Scottish Veterans Awards.   He was nominated by Lothian Veterans Centre and is thrilled and honoured to have received it.  The criteria for this accolade is

A Military Veteran in business or in the community who has not only transitioned successfully to the civilian world but has been a pillar of the local community and also a strong and effective role model to other service leavers.

He has always tried to what he can to help others in need.  He said: ‘I was in a bad way and didn’t want anyone else to go through the same experience.’  A true Role Model.


I feel part of a broader family with the communication and support from Veterans Housing Scotland. I appreciate them keeping in touch and offering advice and updates as necessary.  A letter from the Chief Executive during the Covid-19 crisis was a nice touch and reassured us that help was available should any of us need it.

Daniel Stott – Veteran, RLC, Attached to 3 Rifles