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18 December 2020 (Edition - Issue 55)

From all at Veterans Scotland, we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
General Support
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.

It also include details of Armed Forces and Veterans Champions from across Scotland.

V1P Lothian Resilience guide - COVID-19

V1P Lothian has developed this Resilience guide to help you navigate through this very difficult time. Our world is ever-changing at the moment. It would be hard not to worry about COVID-19 and how it could affect your life, and those you love. Worry, anxiety and difficulties with our mood are common problems at the best of times, and now this might feel overwhelming.

A PDF Copy of the guide is available here

THE ARMED FORCES COVENANT -A Guide for Local Authorities: How to deliver the Covenant in your area


Resources

Veterans Scotland Information Booklet


Having been made aware of several updates and changes, an updated copy of the information booklet (17 December 2020) is available via the link below:

Scotland Guide



The guide was developed as a collaborative effort between Veterans Scotland, Skills Development Scotland and Army HQ Scotland.  Its aim is to provide information to those currently serving in the Armed Forces, Service Leavers and their families who are thinking of settling in Scotland. The Scottish Government aims to make Scotland the destination of choice for service leavers and their families and a great quality of life is certainly here for the taking.

 
Education, Employment & Training Support

  Scottish Executive Jobs Board


Scotland’s Officers’ Association are delighted to announce the launch of their new Scottish Executive Jobs Board. This in-house jobs board is a tailored list of roles suited to officers and their spouses.
Many of these are direct roles provided by military-friendly employers who have approached Scotland's OA to advertise vacancies they know are particularly well suited to an officer. We update these jobs daily and send registered officers a weekly email with the latest jobs available.

To access these roles, our bespoke, personalised support and our training and workshop events please register with us on our website www.oascotland.org.uk and we shall get your transition moving.

What We Do

A series of skills and economic strategies interlink to shape SDS's work, making sure that services and partnership activity are meeting the needs of customers and effectively contributing to economic growth ambitions for Scotland.

Across Scotland, we support individuals to build their career management, work-based and employability skills, throughout their career journey, from school, into further learning opportunities and employment.

We are able to use skills intelligence to help inform the decisions of people across Scotland, at all stages of their careers, so that they are well-placed to take up the opportunities arising within the economy.

We target delivery of this support to those who need it most, ensuring all individuals are enabled to achieve their full potential. We work with employers and employer groups on a national, sectoral, regional, local and individual basis; supporting them to recognise and articulate their current and future skills needs, and to engage with the skills system to help ensure it better meets those needs in the short, medium and longer term.

Find out more about the services available from SDS on their website HERE

NHS Scotland Careers

Explore the exciting, challenging and rewarding career opportunities available in the NHS in Scotland.

NHS Scotland | Jobs | Search here for your perfect career


 

The Construction Industry

Thursday 21st January 2021 10:00-11:50

 
This is likely to be of particular interest to those in the Armed Forces community who may be interested in Construction based employment opportunities in Highland/North of Scotland.
All other interested individuals/supporters welcome too.
 
For more information and to join us, please sign up through the following
Microsoft Forms Link:  https://lnkd.in/ddHg9FV
 
Funding & Financial Support

Maritime Charities’ training fund for seafares doubles in time for Christmas

The Maritime Charities Group (MCG) has doubled its new bursary fund for seafarer training following a successful bid to the Nautilus Slater Fund and an additional donation from Trinity House. The fund, launched at the beginning of November with equal contributions from MCG members Merchant Navy Welfare Board and Trinity House, now stands at £40k. It is aimed at UK-based merchant seafarers who have lost their job as a direct result of Covid-19 and need help towards training for a new role in the industry. Applicants can claim up to £500 towards training or qualifications of their choice.

Trinity House was able to offer this additional funding thanks to a generous donation from a member of the public.

Welcoming the news, Chair of the MCG Commander Graham Hockley LVO RN said:

“We’re incredibly grateful to both the Slater Fund and Trinity House for enabling us to double the fund in this way. We’ve had over 20 applications in the first month which is a huge success. Clearly there’s a significant need out there so anything we can do to enable more seafarers to benefit is enormously welcome. And it’s an early Christmas present for those merchant seafarers who’ve lost their jobs due to Covid-19.”

To find out more about the MCG redundancy and retraining bursary fund and how to apply go to https://www.marine-society.org/redundancy-fund


 

The Veterans Foundation Grants


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 next deadline for normal grant applications this year is the end of Dec 20.  
 
The maximum grant in both circumstances is £30K, however, we have also introduced a NEW salary grant 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 us at grants@veteransfoundation.org.uk
 

What impact has Veterans' Foundation had on the Veterans' community?

We’ve just released our Impact Report for our latest financial year, ended June 2020 (see below).

Like the rest of the charity sector, we have experienced huge and unprecedented challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic but I am pleased to report that, in spite of this, the Veterans’ Foundation is in good health and has done its utmost, as a grant-giving charity, to provide financial assistance to charities and other organisations directly helping and supporting veterans in need. We awarded £1.9 million of grants in the financial year and have awarded a further £800,000 since then.

We are most grateful for your interest in the Veterans’ Foundation and encourage you to share our Impact Report with others who might be interested. Do let us know if you have any questions or would like to receive any of our Impact Reports in hard copy.

CEO, David Shaw - November 2020

View our Impact Report for year ended June 2020


 

A link to the 2020 Impact Report of the Veterans’ Foundation's is available above.  It records activity from July 2019 to June 2020, however, even since the report was drafted we have given out a further £800K in grants, so from inception in mid-2016 the Veterans’ Foundation has provided £4.6M in grants to over 275 organisations.  We expect to give out at least £3M in grants in the next 12 months.

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

Take our quick overview to explore the pages and create a personalised list to return to later

Money map | Citizens Advice Scotland

Boosted funding launched for social enterprise start-ups in Scotland

Grants of between £500 and £15,000 are available

New funding has become available in Scotland to identify and support social entrepreneurs – people who create innovative solutions with the potential to change society for the better.

Awards from £500 to £15,000 are on offer, alongside a package of one to one and peer support, from UnLtd Scotland, whose mission is to find, fund and support social entrepreneurs.

UnLtd Scotland particularly encourages applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a minority ethnic background, and those with disabilities. They are also keen to support those with direct experience of the social issues they are looking to solve. UnLtd Scotland supports people to start or grow their business, whether to develop and test an idea or grow a social venture that’s already up and running.

The awards on offer include:

  • Try it awards to support social entrepreneurs to test their ideas
  • Do it awards  to help you get started and create a clear social impact
  • Grow it awards to help social entrepreneurs already thriving to grow their impact and build a sustainable financial model
Scotland’s social enterprises have been at the heart of community survival and recovery during the coronavirus crisis, from making PPE for health workers, to providing food and opportunities for connection in their communities. UnLtd Scotland has boosted their core funding programme to meet the needs of social entrepreneurs as the organisation believes social entrepreneurs are critical to solving social issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

Housing

A Scottish Housing Guide for people leaving the Armed Forces & Ex-service personnel


An updated copy of the Scottish Governments "A Scottish housing guide for people leaving the Armed Forces & ex-Service personnel" has now been published.  
 

Housing in Scotland Guide


Poppyscotland have recently produced an information guide for their Housing in Scotland booklet.
 

News and Other Updates

Organisations – supporting the most vulnerable to get online

The Connecting Scotland Programme aims to get 50,000 digitally excluded households online by the end of 2021. 

If you are an organisation that already works with the target groups for this initiative, you can apply for devices to distribute.

There are currently three open programmes:

Organisations that have been successful in earlier application rounds can find further information and support in the welcome pack.

The Contact Group launches new website with the support of the Veterans’ Foundation

The Contact Group, the UK collaboration for military mental health treatment, policy and research and Cobseo’s mental health cluster, has launched a brand new website this week, thanks to a grant from the Veterans’ Foundation. The grant has enabled the design and build of the new site and will support its maintenance and development over the next two years. The new site is a complete overhaul of Contact’s previous website, originally put together when Contact was first established in 2016.

The new site features up to date information about the coordination and collaborative work of the group and its members, associates, research associates and partners across the UK military mental health sector. The site also offers enhanced functionality and will greatly improve Contact’s ability to connect and communicate with existing and new audiences in future. Feedback on all aspects of the new website is very welcome – its continued development will be an ongoing process. Do take a look and get in touch with any thoughts, comments or suggestions!

The Contact Group | Collaborating for Military Mental Health (contactarmedforces.co.uk)
 


The Veterans & Families Research Hub (Anglia Ruskin University) have published a Snapshot that summarises financial issues affecting military personnel and veterans who are serving or have served as well as their immediate families. 
 
https://www.vfrhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Finance-Snapshot-v1-20201029_final3.pdf
 

DMWS Impact Report


We are delighted to share with you our 2020 Impact Report. We continue to play a proactive role during the current pandemic and your continued support helps us provide our vital service to those at their most critical time of need.

Thank you,Paul Gaffney, CEO, Defence Medical Welfare Service
 
Click here to read DMWS Impact Report
 

Armed Forces Covenant annual report 2020

This year’s Armed Forces Covenant annual report has been published. The Report sets out major achievements of the Armed Forces Covenant and highlights remaining challenges and new commitments.

Download the Armed Forces Covenant annual report 2020 here.

Download the Armed Forces Covenant annual report summary here.

Positive Futures: Getting Transition Right in Scotland – Employment, Skills & Learning

Positive Futures: Getting Transition Right in Scotland – Employment, Skills & Learning is the latest in the Positive Futures series of papers, which will examine different aspects of transition.

The new report follows on from the 2019 paper Positive Futures – Getting
Transition Right in Scotland
, which set the scene with a strategic overview of transition from the Armed Forces today.

The report sets out a series of 10 new recommendations for government which aim to help Service leavers secure a positive future with meaningful employment that utilises their skills. An overview of the report’s findings, including the recommendations in full, can be found here.

Scottish Child Payment is now open for applications


Scottish Child Payment is a new payment for families on tax credits or certain benefits to help towards the costs of looking after a child. It’s £40 paid every four weeks for each child under six.

The payment starts on Monday 15 February 2021, with first payments made from the end of February onwards, but Social Security Scotland is taking applications now to help manage demand.

You can apply if your child will be under six on 15 February 2021.

The qualifying benefits are:
  •  Child Tax Credit
  •  Income Support
  •  Pension Credit
  •  Working Tax Credit
  •  Universal Credit
  •  Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  •  Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Social Security Scotland will ask for evidence that the person applying is responsible for a child under six, usually through the child being named on a benefit claim form.

If more than one person applies for the same child, there’s a process for deciding who gets the payment - prioritising the person who the child lives with most of the time.

Scottish Child Payment will not be taken into account for UK benefit and tax credit assessments and there is no cap on the amount of children this payment can support.

First payments will be made from late February onwards. When someone gets paid will depend on how many applications we get and the process each individual application goes through.

If someone applied before Monday 15 February 2021, this will be the date that their
payment will be calculated from. If they apply after this date, it will be calculated from the date that they applied.

Payments will be made every four weeks following the first payment.

Find out more information and apply at mygov.scot/scottish-child-payment or call Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222.

How to find out what benefits you can claim

If you're not sure what help you can get, find out what benefits you can claim or where you can get further support.


 

Benefits and grants

Includes information on benefits, funds and grants, including Child Benefit and tax credits. Benefits and grants - mygov.scot

 

Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub


SCVO provide information for charitable organisations who are looking for information and support on a wide range of subject that are being impacted by Coronavirus.  Follow the link below to find out more:

Charities view negative impacts of Covid-19 across communities

A new study from OSCR has provided a snapshot of how the voluntary sector is continuing to respond to coronavirus

New research by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has revealed how organisations are coping with Covid-19.

Over 2,500 charities responded to the survey to help provide a snapshot of the impact of the pandemic on a large and representative cross section of Scottish charities. Carried out in November 2020, it builds on the comprehensive data gathered from OSCR’s first Covid-19 charity survey in May.

The majority of organisations (70%) said they have seen a negative impact on those they support as a result of Covid-19

The mental health and wellbeing effects of the pandemic and its associated restrictions were evident in the responses, with 51% of charities reporting increased loneliness and isolation and 43% reporting anxiety about the future as areas of concern for beneficiaries.

The new findings also provide detailed information on the significant financial impact of the pandemic on Scottish charity income:A third (30%) reported financial security as a threat for beneficiaries, with a quarter (24%) observing increased financial hardship and vulnerability. One third of charities (33%) reported that services to beneficiaries are currently disrupted due to Covid-19 and the restrictions

  • 79% of charities who receive income from donations and fundraising reported a decrease
  • Lower trading income was reported by 83% of charities with this income source
  • Grants and government funding was the least affected of the income streams tested, with a third (33%) seeing an increase and 29% a decrease for those with this income source.

One in ten charities (9%) reported a critical threat to their financial viability in the next 12 months, a decrease from 20% in May.

The data also shows that charities remain active in countering the effects of Covid-19. Eighty-four per cent of charities had taken action in the period from June to November 2020, with 43% adapting current services to respond to the restrictions. A quarter (25%) had applied for additional funding, while 37% used financial reserves.

Some charities did benefit from positive changes since the pandemic began, with 47% reporting improved use of digital technology among staff and volunteers.

OSCR has said it will continue to analyse the data to inform its work and to help others support the sector. Its research has been used to inform detailed work on volunteering, social enterprises and local support for the third sector.   

Maureen Mallon, OSCR’s chief executive, said: "This information is crucial if we are to understand the impact of the pandemic on the resilience and sustainability of the charity sector.

"Charities play an essential role in Scottish society. They connect communities, provide help where it is needed most and make very significant contributions to Scotland’s economy. It is clear that some are suffering financially while trying their best to achieve their purpose.

"Recognising the role charities have played during the pandemic and securing widespread flexible support for the sector has never been more important than it is now."

Anna Fowlie, chief executive of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations SCVO, said: “This research highlights the very real strain that Scottish charities and community organisations are under due to the impact of coronavirus.

"More than ever before people and families across Scotland are depending on the services and support the voluntary sector provides, and organisations are clearly struggling – the findings show that 37% of Scottish charities are using emergency savings and reserves to support those in need.

"We’re asking people to help support voluntary organisations in any way they can – through awareness-raising, donations, volunteering – to help ensure vital, never more needed community services can continue.”

Froglife Project

 

Froglife have been awarded funding from National Lottery Awards for All to commence the Veterans March Forth for Wildlife project.  This project will engage with veterans in Stirling – particularly within the neighbourhoods of Cornton, Raploch and Stirling City Centre.

We are looking forward to working with veterans in these nature deprived areas as we will offer nature conservation activities to help re-wild these neighbourhoods.

Veterans March Forth for Wildlife will offer veterans training in habitat management to build / restore ponds, create wetlands, plant wildflowers, build rockeries, install wildlife homes and many more practical activities that will benefit amphibians, reptiles and local communities.

Froglife will assist veterans to plan and host Pond Doctor Events within the local community – where wildlife gardening advice will be shared and fantastic tools, like Froglife’s new Wildlife Pond Visualiser augmented reality app can be widely distributed throughout the local neighbourhood.

The Veterans March Forth for Wildlife project will be community focussed, bringing people together and helping to build strong relationships in and across communities.  The project will strengthen relationships between veterans and the wider community, helping communities to take action improving natural areas in neighbourhoods.    

 
The link below contains a bit more information on the veterans project that Froglife are running.
 
https://www.froglife.org/what-we-do/education/come-forth-for-wildlife/veterans-march-forth-for-wildlife/

 

Winter 2020 edition of Homeport now available

The Winter ’20 edition of Homeport has arrived! In this issue, you will find:

  • Light relief – Winter Glow
  • Take Strength – More support for families
  • Keep watch – Tell us what your time means
  • Thriving Lives – Toolkit helps schools with Service pupils
  • Honest accounts of Naval Service life from our star columnists
  • Tempting reader offers
  • And MUCH more!

Click here to read more.

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Our Mailing address is:
Veterans Scotland
New Haig House
Logie Green Road
Edinburgh, EH7 4HR

 
Veterans Scotland is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland.
Registered as a charity in Scotland, SC 033880.


Veterans Scotland are also members of the Cobseo Executive committee.

   

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