December 2019 Edition  - Issue 15

The work of Veterans Scotland and what we do.

Veterans Scotland aim to signpost and connect the Veterans’ Community including their families, with the organisations and services best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need from across Scotland.

We look to achieve our outcomes through continued Co-operation, Collaboration, Co-ordination and Communication with both the statutory providers of services in Scotland and our wider membership organisations.


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.
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

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.

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

Housing in Scotland Guide

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


Housing Benefit

You may get help with all or part of your rent. There’s no set amount of Housing Benefit and what you get will depend on whether you rent privately or from a council.

Use a benefits calculator to work out what you could get or check what extra help is available.

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 

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.


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

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

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. 

Scottish Government Support for Veterans and the Armed Forces Community in Scotland

That the Parliament recognises the importance of the Armed Forces and veterans community and values the contribution that they continue to make to Scotland; supports the jointly developed Strategy for our Veterans, which has a clear vision to ensure the best possible outcomes for veterans and their families; notes that the Scottish Government will soon publish the response to its strategy consultation, setting out how it will take that vision forward in Scotland, and agrees that everyone should continue to work in partnership across the Scottish public, private and charitable sectors to ensure that the Armed Forces community receives the best possible support and access to services across Scotland.

For those who were unable to be present or  watch the update by Mr Graeme Dey – Veterans Minister, the link below has the coverage of his update to the Scottish Parliament.

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.

General News and Updates

Charity Seafarers UK publishes its manifesto

Seafarers UK, the charity for those who work at sea, has been championing seafarers since 1917 when it was formed during the First World War as King George’s Fund for Sailors.

A new ten-point manifesto sets out the charity’s commitment for seafarers’ safety and welfare before, during and after their seafaring careers.

Said Seafarers UK CEO Catherine Spencer:

“This manifesto sets out our aspirations for seafarers, the hidden heroes of maritime. It is not aligned to any political party, but summarises what we are working on and what we want the maritime industry to consider, putting seafarers at the heart of decision making.

“We welcome feedback from across the sector and look forwards to working with more partners, with the common goal of ensuring seafarers and their families are able to live their best lives.”

In partnership with others, Seafarers UK will use its grant funding, encourage further collaboration and advocate on behalf of seafarers.

Seafarers UK’s asks that seafarers can:

  1. Be kept safe and return from their seafaring voyages without experiencing accident or harm
  2. Be supported to train and develop careers working at sea
  3. Take care of their families and dependants during long periods away from home
  4. Feel less lonely or isolated when working at sea, through maintaining connections with family and friends ashore, as well as having access to on board initiatives
  5. Access free, high quality welfare services, which respond to seafarers and their families’ needs with respect and dignity and engage their views on the design and development of services
  6. Access independent advice, information and support via their preferred delivery channels such as face-to-face, telephone, web chat, digital tools, social media or self-help literature
  7. Be provided with regular welfare breaks in respect of hours of work, shore leave, length of journey, etc. in order to reduce fatigue and to maintain their health and wellbeing
  8. Thrive and have their uniqueness respected within a culturally diverse working environment without fear of bullying or harassment. This includes equality of opportunity and respecting language, food, religion, and behavioural differences
  9. Transition from sea to shore. This includes supporting the provision of short-term accommodation and other welfare and support services aimed at adjusting from working at sea
  10. Obtain dignity in retirement through access to financial security, appropriate accommodation and a network of support from maritime welfare charities.

Seafarers UK is a leading grant funder of charitable services supporting the safety and welfare needs of seafarers and their families. Every year over £2m is awarded in grant funding (£2.2m in 2019) to a range of different partners delivering services to support seafarers and their families when in stormy seas.

Through providing grant funding to organisations, Seafarers UK achieves its Royal Charter objects to support:

  • The relief of seafarers, their families or dependents, who are in need
  • The education and training of people of any age to prepare for work or service at sea
  • The promotion of the efficiency and effectiveness of the maritime charitable sector
  • The promotion of safety at sea.

Media contact

Nick Harvey, Campaigns Manager, Seafarers UK – 020 7932 5969 / 07910 593588 /

Military Charity Blesma, The Limbless Veterans appoints new Chief Executive

Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is delighted to announce the appointment of Jon Bryant OBE as their next Chief Executive.

Jon joins the leading charity for severely injured Armed Forces personnel and veterans from his role as the Corps Colonel of the Army Air Corps, where he has delivered a wide range of support to serving personnel and veterans.

In a varied career Jon has served in the Commando, Airmobile and Air Assault brigades and led a variety of flying units in peace and on operations. As a Trustee and Charity Chair, Jon has intimate knowledge and experience of governance, fundraising and service delivery to beneficiaries, all of which Blesma feels will serve him well in his executive role with the Association.

Jon will succeed Barry Le Grys who moved on to head the Motability Charity in September.

In commenting on his appointment Jon Bryant said:

“It is a huge privilege and honour to be selected as the next Chief Executive of Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, a charity that is in the vanguard of helping our most injured Service people to lead independent and fulfilling lives.  I look forward to working with the whole Blesma team as they continue to deliver the bespoke help and support for Members that the charity is known for. I can’t wait to get started.”  

Jon will be joining the team in late March.

A festive spectacular in Galashiels! Walking with Heroes is coming

After capturing the hearts of the nation with a series of incredible concerts last year, Scotland’ best-known military band has teamed up once again with leading Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland for a stirring trio of performances across the country.

The final concert of this year’s tour will see the much-loved Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland perform in the Borders for the first time ever, bringing a festive spectacular to the Volunteer Hall, in Galashiels, on Thursday 19 December.

Scotland’s State Band, as it is also known, has a really special performance in store for Poppyscotland supporters in the Scottish Borders. The festive finale will include a symphonic band medley from Christmas classic movie Home Alone, carolling, traditional Scottish folk music with a festive twist and the undeniable sound of Christmas bagpipes – playing some tunes to get attendees in the holiday mood.

The Band’s 2018 tour helped to raise thousands of pounds for Poppyscotland, and it is hoped that this year’s mini-tour will raise further funds to support the country’s Armed Forces community.


PLASTIC-FREE GARDENING - your Christmas shopping solved!

The first of its kind, this book guides readers through the complexities of plastics and why and when they can become a problem, then suggests alternatives, recycling methods and ideas for changing the way we garden to use less plastic.
  • The first guide for gardeners on plastics
  • Full colour photography and line drawn illustrations
  • Comprehensive, covering all aspects of gardening
  • Practical tips and ideas
  • Checklists and suggestions for reducing your plastic use
‘An excellent well-researched reference and the first book on how to reduce the use of plastics in horticulture. The author offers practical solutions to one of today’s key environmental challenges for gardeners.’
Ken Cox, author of Woodland Gardening, Garden Plants for Scotland, Fruit and Vegetables for Scotland
‘Author Fiona Thackeray’s passion and talent for gardening shine through this comprehensive guide to dealing with the problem of plastic in our gardens.’
Claire Wingfield, author of 52 Dates for Writers and rookie gardener
‘Plastic use, recycling and avoidance, simply explained. A sensible and realistic guide to what you can do with a planned, staged approach to minimising the use of plastic in the garden. I want to buy a copy for all my gardening friends.’
Jan Cameron, author of The Garden Cure, publication summer 2020, Saraband
Buy Now

Multi-buy discount

Free postage and packaging on orders of 5 books or more

If you have any problems ordering please call us on 01738 624348
or email

Live in East Lothian, Midlothian, The Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire or South Ayrshire? 
Then don't forget you can support Trellis by voting for us with your blue tokens at Tesco stores until the end of December. 
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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