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29 January 2021 (Edition - Issue 4)

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


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

The Armed Forces Covenant

New legislation to help ensure fair treatment for armed forces


New legislation to help ensure armed forces personnel, veterans and their families are not disadvantaged by their service when accessing key public services.
  • the Armed Forces Bill will enshrine the Armed Forces Covenant in law and help prevent service personnel and veterans being disadvantaged when accessing services like healthcare, education and housing
  • the Bill will improve the Service Justice System for our personnel wherever they are operating.

New legislation to help ensure armed forces personnel, veterans and their families are not disadvantaged by their service when accessing key public services will be introduced in the House of Commons on the today (26 January 2021).

The Armed Forces Bill will embed the Armed Forces Covenant into law by introducing a legal duty for relevant UK public bodies to have due regard to the principles of the Covenant, a pledge to ensure the UK Armed Forces community is treated fairly.

Focusing on healthcare, housing and education, it will increase awareness among public bodies of the unique nature of military service, improving the level of service for members of the armed forces community, no matter where in the UK they live.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

For the first time ever we are putting into law the Armed Forces Covenant. This will break new ground, ensuring we live up to the principles of the Covenant and treating all UK Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families with fairness.

It builds on progress we have already made, helping veterans into work through our guaranteed interview scheme, supporting service families with childcare, and providing personnel with more choice of accommodation.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said:

More than 6,000 businesses, charities and public organisations have already pledged to support veterans, service personnel and their families by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. This a fantastic feat and has changed lives up and down the country.

Today, we are going further still to help ensure all personnel across the UK have equal access to vital services like healthcare, education and housing. This is no less than those who have risked their lives defending this country deserve.

Since the launch of the Armed Forces Covenant in 2011, many businesses have committed to offering part-time or flexible working patterns to reservists, military spouses and partners. Many have also pledged to offer free training and to actively recruit veterans.

Enshrining the Covenant in law also builds on a number of initiatives implemented over the last year to support service leavers and veterans. These include the Defence Transition Services organisation which was established to assist those facing the greatest difficulties successfully transition to civilian life after leaving service. 800 GP practices in England are also now accredited as veteran friendly. This helps doctors provide extra support to ex-military personnel who may face additional challenges when returning to civilian life.

Maintaining the effectiveness of the Service Justice System

The Bill will also help deliver a series of improvements to the Service Justice System, ensuring personnel have a clear, fair and effective route to justice wherever they are operating. These include:

  • providing clearer guidance for prosecutors on how serious crimes committed by service personnel in the UK should be handled, placing a Duty on the Director of Service Prosecutions and the Director of Public Prosecutions to agree a protocol where there is concurrent jurisdiction to provide clearer guidance to assist those independent decisions
  • creating an independent body to oversee complaints, overseen by a Service Police Complaints Commissioner who will ensure there is an independent line of redress if someone is dissatisfied with the outcome of a complaint
  • making the complaints system more efficient by bringing the time given to personnel to lodge an appeal in line with timings offered in the private sector.

Other measures in the Bill

  • the Bill will also renew the Armed Forces Act 2006, following the Armed Forces Acts of 2011 and 2016
  • as well as strengthening the Service Justice System and Armed Forces Covenant, the Armed Forces Bill will provide flexible working for Reserves and extend posthumous pardons for those convicted of abolished service offences.

Armed Forces Covenant for Armed Forces Personnel

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served, and their families, are treated fairly. It is an expectation that the nation will look after those who look after us. This commitment is made in recognition of the sacrifices you make on behalf of the country.

This module will help you understand the Armed Forces Covenant as it is applied today, how it works and what to do if it isn't working.

The Armed Forces Covenant for Armed Forces Personnel

The Armed Forces Covenant for Armed Forces Families

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served, and their families, are treated fairly. This commitment is made in recognition of the sacrifices you make on behalf of the country. The Covenant covers all those who form the ‘Armed Forces Community’, which includes spouses, civil partners and children.

This module will help you understand the Armed Forces Covenant as it is applied today, how it works and what to do if it isn't working.

The Armed Forces Covenant for Armed Forces Families


 

THE ARMED FORCES COVENANT -A Guide for Local Authorities:


How to deliver the Covenant in your area

Covid Support Advice 

Advice from Scottish Government on Support Groups

Support groups and one-to-one support should be delivered remotely where possible, but support may be delivered in-person if remote delivery is not possible and they are essential for people’s wellbeing. Examples of support services include peer support groups, vulnerable persons’ or families’ support groups, talking therapy groups, day centres, respite care, one to one talking therapy and counselling. Support services do not include close contact retail services, such as massage, which are covered by separate guidance on this page.

An essential support service is one where the participant’s health (including their mental health) and wellbeing would be significantly impacted by non-attendance. If services must take place in-person, relevant guidance must be followed.

Education, Employment & Training Support
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OPPORTUNITIES │ FREE TRAINING │THE SALUTING POST

THE BEST OF SALUTEMYJOB, STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX
Welcome to our new monthly newsletter “The Saluting Post”. We’ve been busy scribbling away behind-the-scenes to bring you lots of fantastic new content including guides, articles and interviews to help you on your journey to finding and securing the right civilian role.
 
Every month we will address a subject that will help you to prepare for your civilian career. This month, we’ve focused on how to successfully navigate the career transition from the military to Civvy Street. We hope you find it helpful. 
 
 
If you wish to sign up for the Saluting Post newsletters follow the link below:

If I Had My Time Again: Transition Tips From SaluteMyJob’S MD

Looking back on what he’s learned since transitioning from Brigadier in the Royal Regiment of Scotland to a career in the commercial world, our Managing Director, Andrew Jackson, highlights the approach he would take to securing a civilian role – if he had his time again.

1. MAKE SURE YOU’RE THE RIGHT FIT.

Take great care to learn about the culture of any company or organisation you are thinking of joining. Before applying for a role, I’d make sure that you’re the right fit culturally and that your values and standards align with those of the company.

 

2. TARGET YOUR JOB SEARCH

Target your job search as accurately and with the same mission focus as any military operation. I had no idea what I wanted or could do when I left. I would now work on the assumption that I won’t get a job I haven’t got the skills and experience for, so start with your skills and target companies and jobs who need them. One thing’s for sure; when employers define their requirements very precisely in a job description, your CV has to align to it just as precisely. Spray and pray simply doesn’t work.

 

3. CREATE A PROFESSIONAL CV

Getting the right job starts with the right CV. When leaving the Forces it is advisable to completely re-do your CV pulling out skills and experience that will appeal to civilian employers. I’d re-do my CV completely. Less is definitely more. I would follow this structure:

  • Find something to help me stand out as a person in the profile section

  • Work really hard to set out my skills (not somebody else’s list or a generic set of skills that are the same as everyone else) and supporting evidence

  • Focus on responsibilities and achievements, again with evidence, rather than on the jobs and what they involved

  • Keep it short and easy to scan; 2 pages and around 750 words max

  • See our tips on how to write a stand out CV.

 

5. PERFECT YOUR INTERVIEW SKILLS

Practice, practice and practice again! I’d video myself practising face-to-face interview skills and psychometric tests so you can see how you come across. I now realise that being able to come across well in an interview is much more important than your CV.

 

6. UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is better than your CV. When it comes to getting a job, a LinkedIn profile serves a slightly different purpose to modern day CVs. Your LinkedIn profile should be written to highlight your skills, strengths and experience so employers or recruiters can find it when searching for talent. By contrast, your CV should be tailored (and thereby often updated) to align as closely as possible with the job description of the role, which you are applying for.

Funding & Financial Support

Social Security Scotland




Looking for information on our benefits that you can share with your clients? Visit http://socialsecurity.gov.scot to get resources like factsheets and social media posts. Clients can also be signposted to http://mygov.scot/benefits

 

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

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

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

Health & Wellbeing

V1P Resilience Guide

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

Hearing Aid Survey


The Scottish Government is looking for feedback from Veterans with MOD-issued In The Ear (ITE) style hearing aids. If this sounds like you, please complete a survey here. We’d also really appreciate if you could share the link to this survey with your contacts and networks.
 
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.  
 

Helping disabled people, older people and members of the armed forces community to find the right home in the right place

FIND OUT MORE

If you are a member of the Armed Forces, a veteran or still serving, finding a suitable home on civvy street can be one of the hardest things you will do, especially if you are an older person or have a disability.
                                      

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.

A link to the current Guides is available HERE
 

News and Other Updates

  • Are you a member of the armed forces community?
  • Can you showcase the inherent skills of our armed forces?
  • Do you want to make a difference to your local community and support others?
  •  
Then Op-Regen Scotland could be for you.
 
Following the Success of Op-Regen in England and The VC volunteering project in Scotland we are at the early stages of launching Op-Regen Scotland in the coming Months.  We would welcome a note of interest from anyone who would want to volunteer to make your community a better place.
 
Our Volunteers will be provided with PPE, training, sustenance and transportation costs to take part in a variety of activities supporting 3rd sector organisations and public bodies as well as veteran lead volunteering opportunities throughout central Scotland, Glasgow and Edinburgh. We will have opportunities for veterans captains to lead other volunteers in the tasks as well as opportunities for peer to peer support , camaraderie and an opportunity to help your country during a very challenging time .
 
So if you want to improve your mental wellbeing, make new connections, do something good to feel good, improve your community develop employability skills ,and make a difference then we would welcome you to come along.
 
Please register your interest here https://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/Home/GetInvolved/24
 
 

Positive Futures - Getting Transtion Right in Scotland


‘Transition’ is the term most commonly used to describe the period of change around reintegration into civilian life from the Armed Forces. The timeframe is fluid, so this and the language of ‘resettlement’ can lead to confusion over expectations of where, when and how it happens and exactly where the responsibilities lie. I consider transition as a journey, not a single process or a point in time.


This report focuses specifically on the areas of employment, skills and learning. It makes suggestions and broad outcomes-based recommendations to the Scottish Government and others, for improvements aimed at getting transition right to benefit the individual and their family as they transition and become veterans, living and working in Scotland.

Do you support an Armed Forces veteran with mesothelioma?


A new study is looking for participants to take part in a study investigating the psychological effects of mesothelioma on carers and patients.

The study involves carers/supporters sharing their experiences in an online interview with researchers from the University of Sheffield.

We are looking for participants who:

• are/have been the main unpaid carer/supporter for a UK military veteran diagnosed with mesothelioma
• are 18 years old or over
• care(d) for a veteran patient who is living, or died (from any cause) in the last two years.

The data gathered will be anonymised and used to improve the care and support offered to this group of people.

To find out more about the study and how you can get involved, please call the Mesothelioma UK information line on 0800 169 2409.

Mesothelioma UK Charitable Incorporated Organisation – Free specialist information, support & improved care and treatment

IMPACT OF COVID-19


The Scottish Government has produced a report into the impact of Covid which readers of the Newsletter may want to be aware of. The report provides an insight into the impact on many topics that Veterans Scotland’s member organisations are involved in. Links to the report, and its summary, are copied below.  
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our health, economy and society, with damaging impacts on the way of life and wellbeing of people in Scotland. This report aims to report openly and transparently on how COVID-19 has affected progress towards Scotland’s National Outcomes.
It brings together a range of evidence sources, as well as analysis and insight, to show the impact of COVID-19 across the National Outcomes to date and its potential future impacts. Understanding the breadth of impacts should aid a range of organisations and individuals who are considering how to reset progress towards the national outcomes in light of the pandemic.
You can download a pdf version of the full report, and a summary set of slides below.

Alternatively, read a html version of the report here.

You can also read our    2019 report Scotland's Wellbeing - Delivering the National Outcomes.
 
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Summary slides of the Impact of COVID-19 Report1.34 MB 1.34 MB
Full report of Scotland's Wellbeing: The Impact of COVID-192.67 MB 2.67 MB
 

Scottish Budget 2021-22



Protecting Scotland’s recovery and renewal.

Significant new investment to drive economic recovery, bolster public services and support families underpins the Scottish Government’s spending and taxation plans for the coming year.

Presenting the Scottish Budget 2021-22, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes today announced support for jobs and skills totalling around £1.1 billion.

Job creation is a priority, with measures including a commitment to launch a new Green Workforce Academy to help people secure work in the low carbon economy, a £100 million Green Jobs Fund over the next parliament,  £7 million towards making Scotland a world class hub for digital business and an additional £115 million for the Young Person’s Guarantee.

Health receives record funding of over £16 billion, an increase of 5.3% on 2020-21, along with a further £869 million to continue tackling coronavirus (COVID-19), including funding for the vaccination and test and trace programmes. This means that, over the course of this parliament, investment in health has increased by £1.8 billion in real terms - more than tripling the commitment to increase health funding by £500 million more than inflation.

To support family budgets, £90 million is being made available for local authorities to freeze council tax.

Public sector workers earning up to £25,000 can receive at least a 3% pay increase via a £750 cash underpin, while there is a 1% rise for those earning above that amount, capped at £800 above £80,000.

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