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23 June 2021 (Edition - Issue 24)

Armed Forces Day logo

ARMED FORCES DAY - This Saturday 26 June 2021

 

What?

Armed Forces Day is a chance to show your support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets. There are many ways for people, communities and organisations across the country to show their support and get involved.

When?

Armed Forces Day takes place on the last Saturday each June.  In 2021, it will take place on Saturday 26 June.

Armed Forces Day celebrations began on Monday 21 June when the Armed Forces Day flags were raised on buildings and famous landmarks around the country.

Find out more about events and how to take part on the Armed Forces Day website here

Employment, Training & Transition Support

A world of opportunity exists for ex-Servicemen and women when they leave the Armed Forces. SaluteMyJob is a business with a social purpose that works to connect members of the Armed Forces community with the opportunities available to them.
 
Helping jobseekers at any stage of their military transition or career journey to plan and prepare for their next job, SaluteMyJob provides free employment-related resources, advice and training to veterans, reservists and their families. SaluteMyJob’s free online training platform, which is exclusive to the Armed Forces community, enables them to adapt or develop the skills they need to improve their competitiveness and to secure successful employment.
 
Alongside its career support, SaluteMyJob works with supportive employers around the UK to provide the Armed Forces community with access to relevant jobs, work placements, apprenticeships and more. These organisations and their opportunities feature in SaluteMyJob’s unique directory of Forces-friendly employers.
 
Register with SaluteMyJob to find out more.

How To Translate Your Military Skills & Experience into Civvy Language

 

You will have acquired a diverse and well-developed set of hard and soft skills from your service in the Armed Forces. From discipline and leadership to adaptability, excellent communication skills and the ability to get things done, you’ll possess many qualities that will be highly transferable to Civvy Street.

However, although you might have lots to offer, it can be difficult for employers to grasp the value of your military experiences and skills, and understand how they will apply to their business. So, it’s crucial that you take the time to ‘translate’ your skills, qualifications, military job titles and any military-specific terms into “civvy speak” so that employers can understand a bit more about you,what you have achieved and how you will add value. 

—> DOWNLOAD OUR FREE SKILLS TRANSLATION WORKBOOK

Education Opertunities


Veterans Scotland were very pleased to join colleagues from Napier University and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) and participate in a recent Podcast looking at education opportunities for Ex-Forces and those Serving Personnel resident in Scotland.
 
Did you know that skills learned whilst serving in the Armed Forces could get you on to year two or even three of a degree course?
 
Did you know there is a project underway Mapping Military roles/experiences with Civilian equivalents to give credit for time served?
 
Did you know there is funding available for Veterans AND their spouses?
 
Education is a right not a privilege – if you are considering it then watch this. If you are not considering it then CONSIDER IT.
 
Find out more via the video link below:

Crux Cast takeover #2 - Matt Pybus - Education opportunities and support for veterans in Scotland - YouTube
Funding & Financial Support

Armed Forces Third Sector Resilience Fund

The Armed Forces Third Sector Resilience Fund has been established to support the sustainability of third sector Armed Forces Community organisations whose operations and income have been negatively affected by COVID-19. The fund will offer grants towards core operating and running costs until the end of March 2022.

The fund is open to third sector organisations whose primary charitable purpose is to support the Armed Forces Community, as well as organisations for whom the Armed Forces Community comprise a significant portion of their beneficiaries.

The maximum grant amount that an organisation can apply for will be determined by the number of Armed Forces Community beneficiaries that are supported. Further details about this are included in the eligibility criteria below.

The fund will open for applications on Friday 4th June. The closing date for applications will be 12 noon on Friday 16th July. All applications are to be completed online using the link to the application form which will appear at the bottom of this page on 4th June.

Before starting an application it is extremely important that you read the eligibility criteria and exclusions.

Further information can be found on the website link below:
 
Armed Forces Third Sector Resilience Fund

Grants from The Veterans' Foundation


The Veterans’ Foundation continues to provide grants to cover pandemic-induced need and other ‘normal’ grants.  The former may be considered out-of-committee and decided upon within a week. The maximum grant in both circumstances is £30K, however, we have also introduced a few salary grants, which can provide up to £40K spread over two years for salaries, only salaries, to help small and medium-wealth organisations.  The application process for all grants is online here: https://www.veteransfoundation.org.uk/grant-application/. If you have any queries, please contact grants@veteransfoundation.org.uk.

Deadlines for submission through 2021 are as follows: 
  • 27 August

  • 12 November

Welcome to the Money Map

Citizens Advice Scotland's Money Map will help you find sources of online support to: 

  • Increase your income 
  • Reduce your bills 
  • Ease the costs of daily living

Housing


As part of an ongoing project, our volunteers at Housing Options Scotland are researching information about each of the different local authority areas in Scotland. This information is to support you as you move property, perhaps into a new area for the first time. Links to the different guides are found below and to the left. We hope they prove useful to you during your move.

 

Information and Resources

Veterans Assist Scotland

The Veterans Assist Scotland Website has a wide range of information and advice available including the details for the various Armed Forces and Veterans Champions.

Veterans Assist Scotland (veterans-assist.org)

Veterans Assist Scotland - looks to signpost and connect the Veterans' Community including their families, with the organisations and services best placed to help with information, advice and support that they may need from across Scotland.



 

Resources

Veterans Scotland Information Booklet


The latest copy of the information booklet is available via the link below:

News and Other Updates

Announcing our 2021 Finalists

Despite the challenges of the past year, we have been overwhelmed by the number of superb nominations for this year’s awards!

The tough task of selecting the 2021 Finalists fell to our dedicated judging panel, who worked tirelessly to whittle down the selection to 38 finalists across 12 award categories. Two sets of independent judges were involved in the process, beginning with 20 first round category judges who did a fantastic job of reviewing and scoring a record-breaking number of nominations. This was followed by a second set of judges who completed their independent evaluation and scoring.

It was an incredibly hard task for everyone concerned. The high standard of nominations, and the extraordinary people and accomplishments that were presented are truly remarkable. We believe that every single nominee deserves praise for what they have achieved.

We are supremely grateful for the time and support all our judges have so generously given.

Speaking on behalf of the awards judges, Soldiering On Awards Co-chair of Judges, Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL, said:

“What a privilege to have judged the Finalists from such a rich list of nominations – all of whom are undoubtedly winners in their own way!”

So, we are delighted to announce the 2021 Soldiering On Award Finalists.

Scroll through the pages to see the Finalists in each category!

Soldiering On Awards 2021 Finalists

 

Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, The Prime Minister, said:

“The Soldiering On Awards is an important, regular event in the life of the Armed Forces community and I am honoured to give the awards not only my support but the firmest of congratulations.

“Whatever your connection to the Armed Forces, we as a nation salute your extraordinary achievements and express our profound gratitude for everything you do for the people who keep us safe and secure. 

“And it is for all that, and more, that I am proud to salute the Soldiering on Awards and thank Ren Kapur and her team for creating a process which showcases the talent and abilities of all of you who make up the Armed Forces community. As we know, the United Kingdom is the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world.”

 

Leo Docherty MP, the Minister for Defence People and Veterans, said:

“The Soldiering On Awards is such a great opportunity to recognise some of the heroic work that goes on in the sector. I’m really proud to be associated with it and I fully encourage you all to show your support for these incredible individuals and organisations.”

 

And a final word from the CEO of Soldiering On Awards, Lt. Col. Ren Kapur MBE:

“There is so much incredible talent within the Armed Forces community. The amazing things going on around the community deserve special recognition – great ideas and innovation, combatting adversity, bringing joy and solutions to society. The Awards really lift the lid on these extraordinary achievements. I could not be prouder of everybody involved in bringing these awards together.”

 

What happens next?

The winners of each category will be announced during a series of exciting online events to be held throughout October. All being well, and in line with government guidance, all finalists and winners will be celebrated at a Black-Tie gala reception and dinner at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, London, in December.

In the meantime, let’s celebrate each of these incredible Finalists and recognise their individual achievements and successes for coming this far in the Awards process.

New Members of Veterans Scotland


On behalf of Veterans Scotland, would like to welcome the seven new organisations that have recently joined Veterans Scotland.  It is a pleasure to see the network growing and the drive and willingness of organisations to collaborate, Cooperate, communicate and coordinate efforts across the wide veteran community in Scotland.  We also look forward to the added contributions and ideas these new members can bring to our groups and the wider veteran community for the benefit of the ex-service veteran community in Scotland.

The new organisations joining Veterans Scotland are:
  • Association of ex-Service Drop-In Centres - to assist Armed Forces veterans, current and former members of the Merchant Navy and emergency services within the United Kingdom by the provision and better management of Drop-In Centres (DIs).  To increase the knowledge and accessibility of DIs to veterans and families and enable DI resources to be deployed to best effect.  To help DIs to match their capabilities to local veterans’ needs and reduce travelling distances.
 
  • Icarus - provides Psychological and Psychotherapeutic Mental Health services to veterans of all three-armed forces in the event of their mental health issues or medical crisis and to work towards their general rehabilitation and providing support to them for their return to normal life. We provide treatment with Post Traumatic Stress, Insomnia, Flashbacks, Nightmares, Anxiety & Panic Attacks, Addictions, Depression, Isolation & Loneliness, Suicidal Thoughts and Attempts, Anger, Fears and Family Relationships to Veterans.
 
  • Networks of Wellbeing Ltd (NoW) is a long-standing person-centred, community-based service with 29 years of experience in providing positive mental health and wellbeing activities delivered by experienced staff and volunteers, to support people living with a variety of levels of mental health and wellbeing needs.  NoW is committed to supporting Veterans from across the NHS Grampian area and we have a section on our website dedicated to signposting Veterans to a range of organisations that provide information and support on a wide variety of issues
 
  • PTSD Resolution - is a charity that helps Veterans, Reservists and Families who are struggling to reintegrate into a normal work & family life because of trauma suffered during service in the armed forces.  The programme is community-based, with treatment and support provided locally through a nationwide network of 200 therapists, accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. PTSD Resolution helps Veterans and Reservists to resolve the mental health problems associated with military trauma that obstruct a normal range of family and work relationships.
 
  • Rock2Recovery CIC - provide specialist change management coaching and aim to direct veterans and their families to a better and more purposeful life.  We work throughout Scotland and provide support to the veteran or any direct relative.
 
  • Who Dares Cares - supports Veterans who suffer from PTSD. Our purpose is to assist in overcoming isolation, provide emotional support through peer interaction, face 2 face Mental Health intervention and accessing intermediate and long-term Psychological support We offer regular training sessions in PTSD and Alcohol Awareness, host online support groups, provide welfare checks and continuing contact for the most vulnerable sufferers and signpost links to grounding and coping strategies, meditation, wellbeing and breathing control. We promote physical well- being through the provision of participation opportunities in small group activities.
 
  • Work Place Chaplaincy Scotland - provides chaplaincy services to the workplaces of Scotland. Providing pastoral, emotional, mental health support to people of all faiths and none. In the workplace we meet both veterans and their families, and those serving as reserves.  To meet the unique needs of Service veterans WPCS operates Veterans Chaplaincy Scotland, an initiative that provides a chaplaincy service to veterans, their widows and families through a team of chaplains that have served, understand the language and culture of those who have been in service.
 
 
Further information on each of these organisations is available on their respective websites links to which are shown below:
  If your organisation works within the veteran sector and is looking to join Veterans Scotland please submit your application to the General Secretary on gensec@veteransscotland.org.uk

Further details and information is available on the Veterans Scotland website here or by contacting the General Secretary on gensec@veteransscotland.org.uk

 

Armed Forces charity finds that less than 25% of Brits admire the Forces for their work during the fight against COVID-19

  • SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has found that just 23% of Brits surveyed admire the Armed Forces for their work during the fight against Covid-19.
  • Surprisingly, 40% were unaware that the Armed Forces have supported in the fight against Covid-19, with 53% surveyed not knowing the Armed Forces helped with the UK’s vaccinations.
  • Unfortunately, over half (54%) of those surveyed were also unaware of Armed Forces Day – a national day in the UK to celebrate the work of our servicemen and women.
  • SSAFA is calling on the British public to celebrate the work of the Armed Forces in the fight against Covid-19 this Armed Forces Day on Saturday 26 June.

A recent survey by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has found that just 23% of the public surveyed said they admire the work of the Armed Forces in the fight against Covid-19*. This comes as a surprise after the Ministry of Defence confirmed the Armed Forces’ response to Covid-19 has become the biggest ever homeland military operation in peacetime, with more than 5,000 personnel involved.

The Armed Forces have been crucial in supporting the NHS in the response to Covid-19, including running Covid-19 testing centres, creating a robust PPE distribution network and supporting with the vaccination programme.

Not everyone key to the fight against Covid-19 was forgotten: 70% of those surveyed admitted that they admire the work of NHS workers and a further 40% admire retail staff for their work during the pandemic. Not surprisingly, the British public showed appreciation to the incredible work of other key workers throughout the pandemic, with 64% admitting they had shown appreciation to NHS workers and a further 38% for retail workers. But a staggering 75% of those surveyed admitted they have not shown any appreciation, such as saying thank you or donating to charity, to members of the Armed Forces for their work over the last 18 months in the fight against Covid-19.

Personnel from the British Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy played a pivotal role in the UK’s Covid-19 response both at home and overseas. In December 2020, personnel were deployed on COVID testing duties in Kent as more than 20 new testing centres were set up for hauliers crossing the Channel to France.

Remarkably, 40% of those surveyed admitted that they didn’t know the Armed Forces had been any part of supporting in the nationwide effort against Covid-19. With 53% not knowing that the Armed Forces had been helping with Covid-19 vaccinations and 90% not knowing they had supported with laboratory work during the pandemic.

The shocking finding comes as SSAFA prepares to celebrate the work of our service personnel, including reserves, this Armed Forces Day on Saturday 26 June. The charity found that over half of those surveyed (54%) were unaware of the UK’s Armed Forces Day; a nationwide event to celebrate the work of our servicemen and women. SSAFA is calling on the public to thank the men and women who make up the Armed Forces for their support during the Covid-19 pandemic this Armed Forces Day and learn more about the incredible work they have done to support the nation and overseas.

Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity said:

The Armed Forces have worked tirelessly to support the country in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, including supporting the NHS and the Government with the nationwide vaccination roll-out, testing and much more. Hence the findings from our survey, highlighting the lack of understanding of the contribution of the Armed Forces, are a surprise to us at SSAFA.

“Therefore it is appropriate that, for Armed Forces Day 2021, SSAFA and other organisations highlight the outstanding work of those in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force, alongside other key workers, who have all put themselves on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19. That is the essence of service, something that makes our Armed Forces so special.”

Sally Orange, an award-winning veteran and SSAFA fundraiser, was part of London’s NHS Nightingale Hospital and helped to support the NHS in the fight against Covid-19.

Sally Orange said:

The last 18 months have been incredibly difficult for everyone, but particularly for our key workers. This includes our serving personnel who, in a time of crisis, stepped up and supported on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19. It is important that we take the time to pause and give thanks to them this Armed Forces Day. 

“As a former Army physiotherapist, I volunteered to be a part of the effort working at the NHS Nightingale Hospital at ExCel London. The military ethos was what led me to volunteer to help and I worked alongside many others from our Armed Forces – each of whom dedicated their time to bettering the lives of others when most in need. 

Lockdown has had a great impact on many aspects of our lives, but it has also brought the very best out in people. It’s been a real pleasure and honour to play even just a small role in what has been a collective, national effort.

In 2020, SSAFA supported over 79,000 people in need, including veterans and their families. The charity saw a significant change in the requests for support, with a greater focus on debt, housing and relationship breakdown. Many of these issues were linked to mental wellbeing, loneliness and isolation. The charity also witnessed a significant rise in cases through a number of their services, including Mentoring.

About the survey

  1. Survey carried out online in May 2021 by Censuswide
  2. Censuswide surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,004 members of the British public aged 16+ as part of this survey.

*the question asked: Who of the following do you admire the most due to the work they have been doing during the pandemic

Major report calls for a more female-friendly military

Research is first to examine women’s overall experiences in the UK Armed Forces

A significant proportion of women in the military still struggle to fit in with the masculine military culture and experience significant negative gender stereotyping and sexism, according to a major new report drawn from contributions from more than 30 organisations including charities, the NHS and the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The report, We Also Served: The Health and Wellbeing of Female Veterans in the UK, was undertaken by the Veterans and Families Institute for Military Social Research (VFI) at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), commissioned by Cobseo and supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement. It is the first research project to consider the full range of female veteran issues, capturing the lived experiences of women who have served in the UK Armed Forces.

The report suggests that women feel as though they must adopt masculine traits and accept masculine ‘banter’ to fit into the military environment, which may negatively impact on their psychological well-being during and after military service.

It also found that a large proportion of women in UK research and MoD reports indicate that they have experienced significant negative gender stereotyping and sexual harassment during military service.

The report makes a series of recommendations on how to improve life for women during and after military service, such as addressing gender-related harassment, discrimination and bullying during service, more research into career progression for female personnel, and ensuring veteran support services are suitable for ex-servicewomen.

Authors also call for the MoD to implement the findings of the Wigston review into inappropriate behaviours, published in 2019, as a priority, in particular around culture, behaviour and values training for all recruits.

There was concern over barriers to ex-servicewomen accessing support for veterans, as although many of the issues facing men and women upon leaving the Armed Forces are often the same, women are less likely to identify with the term ‘veteran’.

Women were first legally permitted to serve in the Armed Forces in 1917, and now make up 11% of the UK Armed Forces and veteran population, compared to 6.7% in 1990 and 4.3% in 1975. The RAF currently has the highest proportion of women at 14.9%, followed by the Royal Navy/Marines (10%) and the Army (9.8%).

The authors identified 50 papers, published between 2000 and 2020, for inclusion in the study. Researchers analysed these papers and also carried out interviews and workshops with female veterans and experts who work with UK ex-servicewomen.

Dr Lauren Godier-McBard, Women and Equalities Research Lead at the VFI at ARU, said:

“Although it is clear that attitudes are slowly improving, there remains a lot to do to make women feel like they truly belong in the Armed Forces in 2021.

“Unfortunately the UK lags behind other countries such as the United States when it comes to research on women’s lived experiences in the military, and this report is the first to examine the full range of issues facing them.

“We hope the recommendations in this report will be acknowledged and acted upon as priority issues.”

General Sir John McColl KCB CBE DSO, Chairman of Cobseo, said:

“This is a groundbreaking report that highlights the full range of women’s lived experiences within the Armed Forces for the very first time. Whilst women have served for over 100 years and many have had positive experiences, this report provides an essential starting point for a holistic examination of the impact of past policies and actions, and delivers the evidence base needed for the Service Charity Sector and statutory bodies to provide tailored support and services to meet former servicewomen’s specific needs.

“The action plan provides a clear way forward for proper lasting change, and whilst it is not an easy read, this report is essential for all those interested in building the necessary cultural change to improve the long-term health and wellbeing of those women who have served and are serving.”

Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty MP, said:

“We thank Anglia Ruskin University and Cobseo for their report into this important issue.

“Great strides have been made in this area; the majority of women have long and fulfilling careers in the military. Our Strategy for Veterans is aimed at improving veterans’ services through better understanding of their needs, including female veterans, but much more needs to be done.

“We are committed to improving the experience for women in the Armed Forces in every area of their lives. We will study this report’s findings and recommendations closely.”

The report will be launched at a virtual event this morning (22 June) which will feature a presentation by Dr Godier-McBard, and reflections from representatives of Cobseo, NHS England and NHS Improvement, The Office for Veterans’ Affairs, and the MoD on the significance of the research.

Download a copy of the report here.

Are you a family member of a Non-UK national who is serving, or has served, in the British Armed Forces?  

Anglia Ruskin University are now recruiting for family members of non-UK personnel and veterans as part of their research. If you know of anyone who has a partner or family member who is serving, or has previously served in the Army, RAF, or RN/RM to undertake research using online group chats, via Zoom, please get in touch with the research team Nick Caddick – nick.caddick@aru.ac.uk  and Nicola Gillin – nicola.gillin@aru.ac.uk.

The team are interested in meeting with Non-UK family members via Zoom (whether the partner/family member is British or also Non-UK) to hear about the experiences of the following:

  • The military community
  • The UK immigration system
  • Your life in the UK

If you would like to participate in the research study, please register your interest via this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/families-of-non-uk-members-of-the-british-armed-forces-focus-groups-tickets-159499351855

Please contact nicola.gillin@aru.ac.uk if you have any questions or would like further information about this research.

Military history group releases book to fundraise for blind veterans

A military history group has penned a book of war stories, with the royalty proceeds going to military charity Blind Veterans UK.

Entitled ‘Glimpses of War’, the book is made up of the war experiences of members and associates of the British Modern Military History Society (BMMHS).

It includes accounts from the Boer War, First World War, Second World War and more recent conflicts in the Falklands and Afghanistan.

Blind veteran Terry Bullingham is one of those to recount his experiences in the book. He vividly describes his time in the Falklands, as well as the day he lost his sight and how Blind Veterans UK got him back on his feet.

Pension Services


Did you know that our Pension Service offers advice & support to our Armed Forces community? If you believe you are entitled to a War Disablement Pension or an Armed Forces Compensation Scheme claim, we can help.

Visit: http://legionscotland.org.uk/are-you-getting-the-right-pensions/

Mental Health First Aid ( Course
for the Armed Forces Community in Forfar



For course bookings and enquiries please contact the course instructor Glen MacDonald via: Tel: 07871 250654 or e mail: glenmacdonaldmhfa.afc@outlook.com
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