04 December 2020 (Edition - Issue 53)

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


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


The cyber security sector is now growing 4x faster than any other sector - and demand continues to increase during the COVID pandemic. You may be thinking that cyber is just for the techies but a generalist military background can be enough to enter into the cyber industry as employers really value the security knowledge, skills and experience you bring.
So, if you're interested in finding out more about how to get into the cyber industry or would like to access relevant opportunities specifically for veterans, SaluteMyJob can help. SaluteMyJob’s improved cyber solution offers free support and opportunities to Service leavers and veterans at any stage of their career path; from those interested in a cyber career but not sure how to get there to those with a high level of cyber security experience.
  • Valuable cyber resources, guides and best practice
  • Free online digital training courses
  • Job shadowing and paid work placement opportunities
  • Job opportunities

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

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:

If you have any queries, please contact us at

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.

    Meet with our funding team

Our next Giving Time session will be hosted on the 9th December. Sessions will take place on Zoom with half hour slots available throughout the day.

Do you want to have a chat about a potential application? Or are you an existing grant holder struggling to understand your end of year paperwork? As part of our ongoing support, The Robertson Trust has 1:1 sessions available for new applicants and existing grant holders between 9.30am and 4pm on Wednesday 9th December.

During your session, you will meet with a member of our Giving Team who will provide some pre-application advice or support with an existing grant. Some of the areas that could be discussed include;

  • Making a new application

  • Writing your Outcomes & Activities

  • Our awards

  • Issues with an existing grant

Sessions will take place on Zoom and last a maximum of 30 minutes.

Currently, our funding is aimed at constituted community groups and registered charities who are working to alleviate poverty and trauma in Scotland, and who have an annual income of under £2 million. Find out more about our awards here.

Book your slot

See available times 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.  

Housing in Scotland Guide

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

Membership News and Other Updates


Combat Stress’ Director of Resources Jeff Harrison will step into the role of Interim Chief Executive when our current CEO Sue Freeth leaves the post at the end of January 2021.

Sue will work with Jeff to ensure a smooth transition until 1 February when his leadership begins. He will lead the charity until a permanent Chief Executive is in post. Meanwhile, the Executive Team will increase their responsibilities to support Jeff as both Interim CEO and Director of Resources.

Jeff has the full support of the executive leadership team and the Board of Trustees. Chairman Giles Peel said: “I am delighted that Jeff has agreed to lead Combat Stress until a permanent Chief Executive is found. Having been with the charity since 2013, he has the right skills and experience and is greatly respected by the staff.

“Under Sue Freeth’s leadership, Combat Stress has been modernised and transformed into a strong position, with dedicated and well-trained staff, a new sustainable service model and a redesigned organisation that enables us to balance income with expenditure. The search for a permanent successor to Sue continues and I am confident we will find the best candidate for this important role. I look forward to resuming our search in the new year.”

Jeff said: “I am grateful to the Board of Trustees and the staff at Combat Stress for their trust in me to lead this charity until a permanent Chief Executive is appointed. This year has seen Combat Stress face unprecedented challenges, but we have emerged stronger. I am honoured to be given the responsibility of ensuring this charity goes from strength to strength as we continue to help veterans with complex mental health problems to tackle the past and take on the future."

Director of Resources to become Interim Chief Executive | Combat Stress

This year, our annual Army Carol Service will be different.  Watch a special recording from the Royal Hospital Chelsea featuring the choir and the Chief of the General Staff will lead soldiers in reading the lessons. Order your Army Carol Service pack

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.

venture trust

Building a safer, more equal
and healthier Scotland 
 December update 

To our valued referrers and partners,

I hope you and your team are well,
As you are probably aware we did not make it back to the wilderness; just yet. The outdoor teams have done a fantastic job in preparation and I am confident we have very robust COVID-19 safe procedures in place but the central belt lockdown has impacted on travel and our ability to proceed. Thinking ahead and ensuring we can provide high quality development support, we have reshaped our programmes to work within the Scottish Government’s local restriction levels.
Combined Community Delivery Programme 
This programme endeavours to provide the key elements of Venture Trust’s personal development in a format that is compatible with the current COVID-19 related restrictions. We’ve focused on designing delivery for small groups of participants within their local authority restrictions – so minimising travel, transmission risks, adhering to best practice and the Scottish Government’s current guidance in these areas whilst retaining our unique approach to training and engagement. 
The programme will still feature our three-phase approach to delivery: 
Phase 1 manages all aspects of assessment and preparation to ensure that we build positive relationships and individuals have developed suitable goals and objectives to make the most of the learning opportunities.
Phase 2 provides a range of activities for experiential learning through digital and outdoor delivery. The groups will be introduced to a range of concepts such as Kolb’s Learning Cycle and the principles of Choice Theory, which provide the skills each individual needs to understand the consequences of their thoughts and behaviours. 
Phase 3 of the programme provides flexible, responsive and individually tailored support to participants. Using each participant’s unique action plan as a foundation, personal development support is available to each individual for up to six months after completion of Phase 2. 
The programme will focus on personal development by using a combination of digital group work, one-to-ones and local activity days. The nature of a responsive programme designed to meet the unique needs of the participants, their access to digital technology, the nature of urban, semi-rural and rural delivery, alongside potential changes in local restrictions, means that individual programmes may vary but will all include key sessions on: 

1.     Building effective relationships 
2.     Problem solving 
3.     Choosing effective behaviours  
4.     Goal setting 
5.      Action planning 

It is anticipated that each Phase 2 element will include at least three outdoor based activities alongside digital or “real-world” development, planning and review sessions. 
We are hopeful that we can resume wilderness journeys in Spring next year and we anticipate the blended model above to run alongside through to Easter.
If you have any questions around our delivery or procedures please get in touch.

Mike Strang
Director of Operations

Please circulate to your teams and partners.

If you want to make a referral to our support service please complete our webform:  Secure referral webform

or if you have any questions please get in touch.
or - if you have a secure email

Telephone: 0131 228 7700

News and Other Updates

Campaign to help online Christmas shoppers fight festive fraud

The NCSC launches a new Cyber Aware campaign aimed at helping people shop securely online this Christmas.
Image of family using devices
  • With more people shopping online, major government advertising campaign Cyber Aware’ will help people shop securely this Christmas
  • During the last festive period, victims of online shopping fraud in England and Wales lost an average of £775 each
  • Campaign to increase online protection has support of organisations such as Microsoft, Vodafone, BT, ASOS, Barclays and Citizens Advice

Shoppers buying Christmas presents online have been urged to follow a new cyber safety campaign after callous criminals swindled an average of £775 from each victim over the last festive period.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ – today launched a major government advertising campaign called Cyber Aware, outlining six key behaviours to protect accounts and devices from the majority of online crime.

Statistics by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau have shown that over last year’s Christmas shopping period (1st November 2019 and 31st January 2020) there were 17,405 reports of online shopping fraud, reporting a loss of £13.5 million – an average of £775 per incident.

With more people expected to shop online this year due to coronavirus restrictions, a new NCSC website and television advertising campaign have been launched to advise on the six essential behaviours.

Lindy Cameron, Chief Executive of the NCSC said:

“Technology will play an essential role over the festive period, with more people shopping online than ever before.

“Scammers stole millions from internet shoppers last Christmas – but by following our advice, you can protect yourself from the majority of their crimes.

“We hope the Cyber Aware campaign helps people to shop confidently online and enjoy their Christmas.”

The Cyber Aware campaign is delivered by the NCSC working alongside the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and aims to help individuals and organisations to protect themselves online.

Penny Mordaunt, the Paymaster General, said:

“This year we have spent more time online than ever before. Whether it be working or shopping online, criminals and others often see the internet as another means to cause harm.

“As we approach the Christmas season, we should all be on our guard and take the practical Cyber Aware actions to keep us safe as we work, shop and socialise online.”

The Cyber Aware campaign encourages the public to adopt six behaviours to protect their online accounts and devices. These are:

  1. Use a strong and separate password for your email
  2. Create strong passwords using 3 random words
  3. Save your passwords in your browser
  4. Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)
  5. Update your devices and apps
  6. Back up your data

The campaign is supported by leading organisations such as Microsoft, Vodafone, BT, ASOS, Barclays and Citizens Advice, who are actively helping their customers adopt Cyber Aware’s key behaviours.

Microsoft accounts and devices are protected with multi-factor authentication, which they say is an effective block against 99.9% of attacks on accounts.

Sian John, Chief Security Adviser at Microsoft UK, said:

“If you are shopping online this year, spend the time you would have spent wrapping up warm to head out to the shops on checking your online security.

“If it feels suspicious or unusual it may well be – and that is why, at Microsoft, we recognise the importance of Cyber Aware behaviours like multi-factor authentication and having strong and secure passwords.

“Let’s make sure the gifts we give this Christmas go to the people we love, not to the fraudsters who just want to steal your money.”

The Office of National Statistics’ Retail Sales Index has shown a significant growth in online shopping this year and Ofcom’s annual Online Nation survey showed that UK adults are spending more time online than ever before.

The new adverts, which will run until Christmas Eve, mark the first time the NCSC has launched a TV, radio and online advertising drive, and builds on the Cyber Aware campaign launched at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in spring.



Businesses in Scotland will be able to access an £11.8m digital tech fund to allow them to harness the power of technology as they recover from the coronavirus crisis. Companies across the country can apply for help from the scheme to improve their productivity, increase their resilience and create new market opportunities. As part of the Scottish Government’s support for economic recovery, the cash will go towards helping businesses to adopt digital technologies and improve their digital capability. MORE

BFBS Academy’s New Digital Culture Course

Social media skills are in high demand and with BFBS Academy’s new 11-week ‘Digital Culture Course’, you’ll learn everything you need to know to become social media savvy. And because it’s online, you can take the course wherever you are in the world. Our trainers cover everything from social media campaign planning to content creation, giving teams and individuals all the skills they need to build a strong and engaging online presence and become social media experts. There’s also a Facebook support community for all course participants both during and beyond the course itself. The next course starts on January the 4th (25% discount for military personnel & their spouses/partners).

To find out more visit

Reservists Could Be Called Upon To Boost UK Cyber Capabilities Permanently

Specialists working to counter cyber-attacks and electronic warfare could get help from reservists with relevant skills.

Reservists could be called upon to help support the UK's cyber capabilities on a permanent basis for the first time.

In a written statement to the House of Commons on Thursday, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said reserve personnel can now be called up to permanent service with the Armed Forces to support CEMA – Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities.

Across Government, specialist staff are working on CEMA in a bid to counter cyber-attacks and electronic warfare.

4 SCOTS Return To Work In Catterick After Afghanistan Deployment


Soldiers from 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland have returned to work in Catterick, following a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.

In the capital Kabul, their role was three-fold – protecting camp, providing force protection to advisors and being on constant standby as a quick reaction force.

Major Damien Mead, Officer Commanding, B Company, told Forces News: "It’s great to be back, there’s no place like home.

"We were extremely lucky to get on an operational deployment, and it’s not until you see countries like Afghanistan that it makes you appreciate exactly how lucky we are here."

Several weeks ago, buses arrived in Catterick with a few hundred soldiers returning home. 

The troops were given some time with loved ones in lockdown, before getting back to work.

Keep up to date with all your Forces News on Forces Net

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