November 2019 Edition  - Issue 14


Job Vacancy - Veterans’ Foundation Grants’ Manager

The Veterans’ Foundation (VF) is looking for a Grants Manager (GM) to work from its Edinburgh office.  The purpose of the post of GM is principally to provide a focus within VF for external organisations who seek or who have received grants. 

Location Notes

  • Advertised from 26th November 2019
  • Permanent. 35 hours per week.
  • Salary: £32,000
  • Edinburgh
  • Closing 10th December 2019
Veterans Housing Scotland is the operational name of the Scottish Veterans’ Garden City Association (Inc) (SVGCA). It is a private charitable letting agent, which together with its sister organisation, the Scottish Garden City Housing Society Ltd (SGCHS), provides housing to military veterans in Scotland who are disabled. Founded in 1915, we are one of Scotland’s oldest military housing charities and are extensively supported by a network of enthusiastic and committed volunteers, who are central to our success.Our stock of over 650 houses of varying size and type is located throughout Scotland with an ambitious development programme over the past five years to increase the number and type of homes we can offer.

The Royal Marines Charity – Transition Support Officer (Scotland)

A new position has been created working with Royal Marines in transition from service, and veterans who need of support following leaving the Royal Marines.  The successful candidate will have a good knowledge of the military and particularly the recovery process for the Naval Service.  Ideally, they will have previously been employed in a health or social care background or will have proven experience of working within Armed Forces medical, welfare or support areas.

Take the next step in your career

Leaving the Armed Forces is a big life change - for you or your family. As you consider your future, it's important to look at all your options to find the career that's right for you.

Our Community - Our Covenant
Improving the delivery of local Covenant pledges

The Forces in Mind Trust and the Local Government Association commissioned Shared Intelligence to carry out research into ways of improving the local delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant. The research, which was supported by the Ministry of Defence, was commissioned in the context of concerns nationally that implementation of the Covenant locally was inconsistent.


criminal justice programmes 


To our valued referral partners.
If you, your team or organisation support young people, adults and/or veterans involved in the criminal justice system we have tailored  programmes - running early in 2020 - to help them. 

Do those individuals have multiple issues such as:
  • long term unemployment
  • addiction
  • a history of trauma/harm
  • isolation
  • homelessness
Then we are looking to work with you. 

Where? We take referrals and work in your Local Authority Area.
What? Our criminal justice programmes are free, and are tailored to individuals with a specific range of issues.

Or if you want to know more about how we can work with you and your organisation please get in touch. 

Contact us:
or - if you have a secure email

Telephone: 0131 228 7700

- Venture Trust East Hub -
News Updates
Check out the various updates from the wider Veterans Scotland membership and other partners that we work with:

  RNRMC News updates

ABF The Soldiers' Charity News


Poppyscotland News feeds

Blesma News

Veterans Housing Scotland

Veterans Housing Scotland is the operational name of The Scottish Veterans’ Garden City Association (Inc) (SVGCA) , which together with its sister organisation, The Scottish Garden City Housing Society Ltd (SGCHS), provides housing to veterans who are injured or disabled across Scotland.  Founded in 1915, SVGCA is one of Scotland’s oldest military housing charities. More information can be found on our website

Veterans Housing Scotland is committed to providing good quality, low-cost housing with rent typical set at 80% of the equivalent Local Authority level.  But we do so much more than housing. Through our outstanding staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to support those in need, we will increase our support to the Veterans Housing Scotland Community.
We will provide the very best support to our People, in our Homes and work with Partners to provide a better experience for those who have served in our Armed Forces.

A copy of our latest information leaflet is available here

The Forces Help to Buy scheme

The Forces Help to Buy scheme has been extended for a further three years until the end of 2022. Military personnel can borrow a deposit of up to half of their annual salary, interest free, to contribute towards buying a home, building an extension or moving property. The scheme was set up to provide flexible support to personnel by offering an advance of salary to facilitate a home purchase. Regular personnel can borrow up to 50% of their salary (to £25,000), interest free, to buy their first home, extend their current one or move to another property on assignment/as needs change. The loan can be used towards a deposit & other costs such as solicitor & estate agents’ fees & repaid over 10 years.
Whether you are a veteran or looking to assist and support someone that is part of the wider veteran community, you may like to know more about how the various stakeholders in the Armed Forces Community work together across Scotland.  

Find out more here

Veterans Scotland Information Booklet

An update copy of the Veterans Scotland Information Booklet is available on our website.  If you are aware of any updates, changes or information that you feel may be missing from the booklet please let the Veterans Scotland team know and we can look to make any updates and changes for the next issue.

The latest copy is available via the link here
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.

Find out more here 

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.  A PDF copy of the guide is available here.

Housing in Scotland Guide

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


Transitional mentoring for service leavers

Our mentoring helps motivate, support, build resilience and empower service leavers - to fulfil their potential in their new lives outside the military.

My mentor Lesley has been helpful in so many ways. When we first started meeting I just didn’t have a positive mental attitude. I was feeling a bit lost and isolated.

- Tracy, Army Veteran

Our mentors provide long-term, one-to-one, face-to-face support during transition and for up to two years post discharge. We work alongside the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the British Army, the Royal Air Force and other key partners to provide this service.


Armed forces and veterans pensions


Veterans UK, part of the Ministry of Defence, assess, award, pay, and oversee all armed forces pensions. As a member of the armed forces you’ll have been enrolled in a pension scheme automatically.

They also administer the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme for serving and former serving personnel who are injured as a result of their service in the Armed Forces.

Veterans UK Welfare Service in Scotland

Phone: 0141 224 2709

Find out about call charges

Volunteer Opportunities

Our mission is simple

Our mission is to inspire more people to volunteer so they can enhance their lives, the lives of others and build resilient communities.  Find out more about Volunteer Edinburgh on their website.


The Conservation Volunteers

Community Volunteering Charity
The Conservation Volunteers
The Conservation Volunteers is a community volunteering charity that works to create healthier and happier communities for everyone through environmental conservation and practical tasks undertaken by volunteers. Whether improving wellbeing, conserving a well-loved outdoor space or bringing people together to promote social cohesion, combat loneliness or enhance employment prospects, TCV works together with communities to deliver practical solutions to the real life challenges they face

Find out more via their website here

General Support

Our Break Away service provides much needed breaks to veterans 65+ in Scotland – submit an application and we could help you to find the perfect holiday to a UK destination of your choice. For more information, please call 0131 550 1589 or email

Edinburgh soldier takes on Athens Marathon raising £1,000 for bereaved Armed Forces children

Lance Corporal Ruaidhri Bird, 28 from Edinburgh, has raised over £1,000 for the bereaved Armed Forces children of Scotty’s Little Soldiers this month, completing the Athens Marathon in 5 hours 39 mins.

Pushing his body to its limit, Ruaidhri decided to TAB (run / fast walk) the Athens marathon on 10  November, carrying a 20kg Bergan (rucksack) in order to up the ante. Ruaidhri, who has served for eight years in the Royal Engineers, was determined to raise money for a cause which both he and his regiment hold dear.

2020 RAF Benevolent Fund Awards

Do you know a team or an individual who has gone the extra mile in the RAF Benevolent Fund’s centenary year to help the Fund support the RAF Family?

Or maybe you know a tireless fundraiser or an inspiring Airplay Youth Worker on your RAF station or an exemplary ATC Squadron?

Then please let us know about their support by nominating them for an award. Nominations are now open for the six categories below until 5 January 2020.

View the categories and find out more about the awards here.

Blesma launch: Making Generation R Talks 


New report looking at Forces Children’s Trust

A new report focusing on the Forces Children’s Trust has been released as part of a PhD study observation. The Trust was established to provide support for young people and families who have experienced the bereavement of a parent in the forces have experienced the death of a parent who was a member of the British Armed Forces or civilian forces such as the Police Force.

Apply for a veterans badge

You can get an armed forces veterans badge if you’ve served in any of the UK armed forces - there’s no fee.


You can apply if you were in the:

  • Army
  • Royal Navy
  • Royal Marines
  • Royal Air Force (RAF)
  • Volunteer or Regular Reserves
Other News

Government urged to scrap visa costs for Commonwealth Veterans to remain in the country

Leading Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland is backing a campaign to call on the government to take urgent action to address the issue of former UK Armed Forces personnel from Commonwealth countries having to pay large sums of money to stay in the country.

During Service, Commonwealth personnel are exempt from UK immigration controls, but this exemption is removed immediately on discharge. Personnel who leave the Armed Forces after four years of service to the country are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. But they are compelled to pay visa application fees that have risen by 127 per cent in the last five years from £1,051 to £2,389.

This means that a Service leaver and their partner face a bill of £4,778 to continue to live in the UK, before taking children and further dependents into account. Since the introduction of fees in 2003, fees have increased overall by 1,441 per cent. If veterans cannot pay these fees, or if their application fails, they can face deportation.

Mark Bibbey, the Chief Executive at Poppyscotland, said:

“Commonwealth veterans who  have left their homeland and given years of loyal service, deserve our gratitude and to have the opportunity to remain in the country they have served, without incurring significant financial costs.

“This is a poor way of saying ‘thank you’ to people we encouraged to leave their countries to come to and serve in the British Armed Forces. Accordingly, we are joining The Royal British Legion in urging the Home Secretary to take action to help Commonwealth military veterans who have served this country loyally and abolish all visa application fees.”

Whilst waiting for a decision on their settlement status, former Service personnel are unable to seek employment, unable to claim benefits or register with a GP. Those in need of support then have to rely on charities, including Poppyscotland.

Mr Bibbey continued:

“As well as selflessly serving our nation during their time in the military, Commonwealth veterans make an incredible positive contribution to society when they leave and settle in the UK.  This is something we should therefore encourage.”

One such veteran is Jone Tolutinkaono, who came to these shores in 1998 from Fiji and subsequently spent seven years in the Royal Scots; a stint that included tours to Northern Ireland and Iraq. Then, in 2006, he was medically discharged following a serious knee injury.  Having dedicated eight years of Service to the country, Jone wanted to remain in Scotland with wife Karaleani and the couple’s four children.

Jone estimates that the visa application fees cost him around £700. This was by no means an insignificant sum, but one that he and his wife were just about able to cover, especially as his four children were not liable for the fee as they were under 18 years of age. However, he cannot believe at what level the costs have now risen. Jone, 48, who lives in Edinburgh, said:

“Where would I have got that kind of money to allow me and my family to remain? I was lucky, but the situation is completely different now. I do not know what I would have done if that had been the level of the fees back when I applied. All veterans should have the right to remain. They have served and protected the country, and many, like me, have come to regard the United Kingdom as home. But now, people are struggling with the costs. I think it’s too expensive.”

When building his life in Scotland, Jone wanted to find a job that would allow him to support his family and enable him to continue making a positive contribution to his adopted homeland. With some help from Poppyscotland, Jone was able to realise these ambitions and explains:

“I wanted to go on a two-week course to become a 360-excavator driver, but I wasn’t sure how to pay for it. A fellow veteran told me that I might be able to get help from Poppyscotland, and, after speaking to them, I was given the funding I needed.  It has made a great difference. Life is good now. I am happy.”

Jone has good memories of his time in the Army, as he explains: “I enjoyed it. I served with a lot of other Fijians and I really liked that. I enjoyed going to new places – it was a really good experience. What I enjoyed most was getting away from it all and seeing new and different places – especially Canada, which is a beautiful country.”

And now, Jone and his family love life in Scotland:

“The life here is better. It is peaceful and quiet, and the people are friendly and kind. I have even got used to the weather. Scotland has become our second home.”

Positive Futures: Getting Transition Right in Scotland

The ‘Positive Futures’ paper develops the thinking and takes account of ‘big picture’ developments since the 2015 ‘Transition in Scotland‘ report was prepared by my predecessor, Eric Fraser.  As well as economic and demographic change, and changes afoot in our Armed Forces, it takes account of the vision and 2028 outcomes set out in the first ever UK-wide, long-term Strategy for our Veterans and initial findings from the public consultation on the Strategy. 

Prince Charles chats to Hawick Veterans

One Veterans’ charity in Hawick received a welcome visit earlier this month when Prince Charles popped in for a visit. On 1 November His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, took a tour of the town. This included Sharpe’s, the café hub of FirstLight Trust open to veterans and the public alike.

“I spoke to Prince Charles, who I’d met on several occasions. He was a perfect gentleman, mingling with the veterans and others there,” says one veteran. “He spoke at length with me, even cracking a joke about one of our previous meetings, and seemed genuinely interested in the hub and the users.”

The Duke has a strong connection with the Armed Forces. While at Cambridge University he received flying instruction from the Royal Air Force. He then trained at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, followed by service on the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk and two frigates. Qualifying as a helicopter pilot, the Duke joined 845 Naval Air Squadron, which operated from the Commando carrier HMS Hermes. In 1976, the Duke of Rothesay took command of the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington for his last nine months in the Navy.

“It was such an honour for us to be visited by His Royal Highness,” adds Dorinda Wolfe Murray, the founder of FirstLight Trust. “He spoke to all the veterans who were in the cafe and to our colleagues who work so hard to create such a great atmosphere. There was lots of banter and laughter, which echoes what we encourage within the hub.  He also enjoyed some of our tea loaf. Sadly he didn’t have time for a coffee but he’s always welcome next time he comes to The Borders!”

– ENDS –

Hawick’s FirstLight Trust cafe hub is open Monday to Saturday 9am – 5pm at 1-3 High Street Hawick TD9 9BZ and is open to veterans and the public alike. Well-behaved dogs on leads are also welcome.

More details about the work of FirstLight Trust can be found online at

For more information, please email Dorinda Wolfe Murray at or call 07464 828 049

Education and Training Opertunities


LifeWorks offer a FREE 5-day residential employment course! So if you’re Ex-Forces and looking for work, why not contact us? Call 0131 550 1557 or email

The next course due to take place in Scotland is between 9-13 March 2020.

Education and training funding for veterans

You can get help paying for qualifications whether you:
  • are planning on leaving the armed forces
  • have already left and want to know more about your options
SAAS grants

The Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) gives financial support to eligible students doing a course of higher education in the UK. If you've been in the armed forces or are the family member of someone in the armed forces who has been living abroad you may be elligible for a SAAS grant. This depends on where you or your family member was a resident when they joined up.

Contact SAAS on 0300 555 0505 to find out if you're eligible.

Below is a link to the updated SAAS Armed Forces Guidance.


Enhanced Learning Credit (ELC) scheme

The armed forces ELC scheme allows you to apply for money to pay for qualifications. You can apply whether you're still serving in the armed forces or you've already left.

How it works

If you've joined the ELC scheme you won't need to pay for some qualifications such as certain:

  • Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs)
  • diplomas
  • highers

Find out more about which qualifications you can get and how to apply.

Families & Other Support Organisations updates

Winter Army&You magazine is now live

The winter edition of Army&You magazine is now live and copies will be reaching families soon.


Here’s a flavour of what’s inside:

  • This winter’s Army&You is a housing special. With changes on the way for how accommodation is delivered, we hear from families living in their own homes and those wishing to remain mobile. We explore housing options – buying, renting or remaining on the patch.
  • We hear from the ‘Mrs Hinches’ of the military world on how they make their homes sparkle, plus there’s home makeover tips to jazz up those magnolia walls.
  • Across the pond, there’s an insight into just how diverse a posting to the US is, whilst back on Salisbury Plain, we check in on the recently rebased families. We’ve also explored family life in the South West and there’s much to celebrate across the region.
  • And from modifying ammo bags to making wedding dresses, sewing soldier Neil Stace tells us how he gets handy with a needle and thread.
  • Our regulars include some great giveaways, our ever-popular Book Club and families’ views on our BlogSpot pages.

Have a look at the highlight film on Facebook here:

Autumn Homeport 

The latest edition of Homeport is out now! Read about a kind-hearted Naval trainee’s surprise for his oppo, the facts about the Service Pupil Premium, the new jobs website for Forces families that launches in September and much more.
Please note that copies reach existing subscribers first. If you've recently subscribed, a copy will be winging its way to you shortly but in the meantime you can read it online here.

Trellis calls out for votes to bag a share of Tesco’s community fund

Trellis are bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help Centenary Grant initiative.

To celebrate Tesco’s Centenary, the supermarket has teamed up with Groundwork to deliver a special voting round of its community funding scheme, which will see grants of £25,000, £15,000 and £10,000 awarded to local community projects. greenspace Scotland is working with Groundwork to provide support to communities in Scotland.

Three groups in each Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award in the South of Scotland region and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant. Even if you don’t live in the areas that will benefit, please let friends and family who do, know that Trellis is one of the groups on the shortlist

Surveys & Research

Understanding ‘Negative Transitioning’ in British Ex-Service Personnel 

This is a unique project, providing a three-year, UK-wide study designed to provide a qualitative and in-depth analysis of the lived experiences of ex-British Service personnel who have undergone what we call ‘negative transitioning’ back to civilian life. This project seeks to build on current knowledge and to extend it in substantial ways by focusing on three measures of negative transitioning, namely those ex-service personnel who have been in prison, homeless or suffered mental health issues. This project aims to provide evidence-based recommendations relevant to key stakeholders across the armed forces and in the voluntary sector.
Purpose of the Project
The research will examine the negative transitioning experiences of those ex-service personnel who have been in prison, homeless or received mental health support.  This project is focused on providing both information on the issues affecting these ex-service personnel, and to garner the lessons that can ensure better support in the future. We aim to identify specific post-conflict reintegration programmes for ex-service personnel that improves their transition to civilian life as well as highlighting the needs of support providers.
Project Format, Location and Scope
Those who agree to participate will be invited to take part in an anonymous interview or informal conversation where participants will be asked a series of questions so real evidence based findings can be provided.  Participants will be drawn from all four regions of the UK:
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland
The project will also be tri-service and we intend to carry out research with veterans across all the armed services community.  This will include male and female members as well as former regular and reserve personnel.  We also hope to interview family members of ex-Service personnel (where possible) and stakeholders where possible.

Veterans Scotland would encourage Veterans , Families of veterans and stakeholders to support this research by completing the relevant survey monkey questionnaires via the links below:



Further Information and Request for Participants

If you or your organisation would like further information on the project or would be interested in participating please contact Dr Stephen Herron on:  Co-Investigator: Dr Stephen Herron T: 02890 975343 Email:
Veterans Scotland Website
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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