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11 December 2020 (Edition - Issue 54)

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


The updated copy of the information booklet (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


 
Funding & Financial Support

 

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.
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.
 

New report highlights barriers to accessing housing for ex-Service personnel

New research carried out by the University of Stirling and funded by Forces in Mind Trust explores the challenges of meeting the housing needs of ex-Service personnel.

New research published on the 8th December highlights the challenges Service leavers face in relation to accessing and sustaining housing after leaving the Armed Forces, despite improvements made in recent years.

The research, carried out by the University of Stirling and funded by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), found that steps taken over the last decade to improve housing outcomes for ex-Service personnel have had a positive impact, but some people still face challenges and action is needed to ensure that progress continues.

Although ex-Service personnel are no more likely to be homeless than the wider population, some still face significant housing difficulties and can struggle to access the right support through the systems in place. Aside from supply and demand problems affecting the UK housing sector more widely, barriers facing ex-Service personnel include the complexity of the housing and benefits systems, which Service leavers with little experience of civilian life can struggle with, and debt causing issues with financial assessments for rental housing for those who have not saved for post-service life.

Some groups were identified as being likely to face additional persistent barriers, such as early Service leavers. Particular challenges were also highlighted for non-UK service leavers, who must wait for immigration status to be settled before housing applications can be submitted.

The Armed Forces Covenant was found to have had a positive impact, with organisations working more effectively at a local level due to the implementation of Armed Forces Champions, Covenant Groups and dedicated posts. This was commended as particularly impressive given local authority budget cuts during the same period.

Recommendations in the report focus on continuing improvements to support transition to civilian life which have been seen in recent years, tackling the persistent barriers identified for groups such as early Service leavers and non-UK Service leavers, and maintaining progress in collaboration between local, national and charitable organisations which support ex-Service personnel. These recommendations complement those set out in FiMT’s Policy Statement on Housing, based on evidence from previous research FiMT has published and funded in this area.

The researchers also noted that the benefits from increased collaborative working could be lost as public attention moves away from the Armed Forces Covenant, and continual attention is required at a local and national level to ensure the innovations of the past decade continue.

The report, Working together to meet the housing needs of ex-Service personnel: Examining the challenges of transition and collaboration, was based on case studies and interviews with organisations and ex-Service personnel in England, Scotland and Wales.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of FiMT, said:

“Housing is one of the most important factors for a Service leaver and their family, yet over half leave without their housing needs being ‘sorted’. This report is encouraging, demonstrating that the Armed Forces Covenant is having an impact and improvements are being seen. However, persistent issues still exist, particularly for the more vulnerable groups identified by the researchers, and these must now be addressed. Collaboration between organisations supporting Service leavers must continue to improve, along with better education of Service leavers about civilian life. And now we know who those most likely to face challenges are, we can identify them early, and take preventative action.”

Dr Steve Rolfe, of the University of Stirling’s Faculty of Social Sciences, led the study.

He said: “Our research illustrates that significant improvements have been made over the last decade – with organisations working better together, despite the impact of austerity, and delivering positive housing outcomes for ex-Service personnel.

“This is a reflection of the commitment and efforts of the public and third sector bodies to meet the needs of veterans. We must ensure that this good work continues and delivering on the recommendations from our report will reduce the number of vulnerable Service leavers who struggle to navigate the civilian housing system.”

You can read the full report here.

 

News and Other Updates


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
 

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.

The Resilience Sessions

The Resilience Sessions is a podcast that brings together injured veterans from Blesma, the Limbless Veterans Charity, and a well-known public figures to share their stories of facing challenges of all kinds. Through these conversations our guests chat to one another about their experiences, sharing how they have navigated their ups and downs, finding often surprising common ground, demonstrating that what is most personal is often most universal.

We’re delighted to be back for a second series, featuring a stellar line up of guests; Emily Dean & Darren Swift, Kriss Akabusi & Mat Armitage, Steve Swanson & Jack Cummings, Judith Owen & Stephan Van Niekirk, Billy Billingham & Al Krol, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton & Josh Boggi, as well as a bonus episode with our presenters Alice Driver & Stewart Harris.

Listen here

The Resilience Sessions grew out of the Making Generation R campaign, which has trained injured veterans to tell their inspirational stories to over 100,000 front line workers, first responders and young people, and aims to create a generation of resilient people.

We hope you are as moved and enthralled by these stories as we are.

If you’d like one of our podcast guests to share their incredible story of overcoming adversity in your classroom through our Making Generation R programme click here to book your free live digital talk.

 Sector Insight Armed Forces Charities 2020

Charity services for veterans save the state nearly £1 billion each year

Lead author of the report, Stuart Cole said: ‘Armed forces charities provide everything from complex physical and mental rehabilitation, to housing and social activities. The money these charities raise and the services they provide aren’t an ‘add-on’ or ‘nice to have’ – they’re central to the quality of life for millions of Serving and ex-Serving personnel and their families.’
 

Read More Here

Download the report here – Sector Insight – Armed Forces Charities

FiMT launches new film about the Armed Forces charities sector

We are pleased to share a new film, giving an overview and analysis of the Armed Forces charities sector. The film is based on the findings of the Sector Insight: Armed Forces Charities report, from the Directory of Social Change (DSC) and funded by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and challenges some of the common perceptions of Armed Forces charities.

The film is now available to watch and share on YouTube. https://youtu.be/yF_Zkp5EB0A
 

The research was part of our Enabler Programme, which you can read about here.

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