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14 May 2021 (Edition - Issue 19)

Focus On Finance 

In this report, DSC explores armed forces charities' financial support. The report investigates the different types of financial support provided, the types of beneficiaries supported and how this support is delivered. It also explores the extent of collaboration, evaluation and challenges experienced by armed forces charities.

Download the report and the supporting materials via the links below.

Finance - Search (armedforcescharities.org.uk)
 

New research shines light on armed forces charities' finnacial support 

New research published by the Directory of Social Change (DSC) finds that 178 Armed Forces charities provide financial support to at least 50,000 serving and ex-Service personnel and their families, spending at least £39 million in the year before the survey took place (July/August 2020).They represent around 10% of all Armed Forces charities currently operating in the UK.

Researchers found that support for families is extremley varied, but the most common types of financial support include grants or loans for essential goods (66%), benefits or welfare advice (55%), and cash gifts or vouchers to relieve need (43%). Charities also provide goods or gifts in kind, help with debt management, help with day-to-day budgeting, pensions advice and support for gambling addiction.

The report highlighs the challenges Covid-19 has had on the sector and calls on charities to strengthen existing partnerships and gather more data in order to improve processes for identifying beneficiaries and recommends expanding the commitment to measuring impact in order to further improve beneficiaries' outcomes.

 

Employment, Training & Transition Support

Informing Scotland Project Officer           

 

ROLE PROFILE – INFORMING SCOTLAND PROJECT OFFICER

FULL OR PART TIME (0.8 FTE) TEMPORARY (3 YEARS MAY 2021 – MAR 2024)

Overview

Veterans Scotland is seeking a Project Officer to deliver our ‘Informing Scotland’ project. Veterans Scotland’s mission is:

‘Veterans Scotland will represent and support the interests of its member organisations, and promote mutually beneficial collaboration, in order to enhance the well-being of the AFVC across Scotland.’

The Veterans Scotland Informing Scotland Project is a 3 year project, funded by the Forces in Mind Trust. It seeks to inform and educate: staff, policy makers and leaders in statutory and non-statutory organisations across Scotland about their obligations to the Armed Forces Covenant and how they may adapt their policies and working practices to ensure that these obligations are met. The post holder will enable a better understanding of the Armed Forces Covenant across Scotland; this is becoming increasingly important as elements of the Covenant become enshrined in law.

Target audiences include, but are not restricted to: Local Authorities, NHS Scotland, Statutory Organisations and Employers, as well as providers of Education, Housing, Health, and the ex-Service and other Third Sector organisations.

Finance Officer with Veterans Housing Scotland – Goodmoves


Role

Veterans Housing Scotland has over 100 years of experience in providing homes for Veterans in Scotland who are disabled.

We are incredibly proud of our history and the service we have provided to those who have served their country. We are equally excited about our future and how we as a charity will continue to work with and support members of the Veterans Housing Scotland family.

This is an exciting time to join this evolving organisation with a critical role reporting to the Finance Manager. The position will be responsible for assisting the Finance Manager in ensuring the organisation's efficient and effective financial management. As this is a hands-on role, the post holder will be involved in all aspects of the Charities financial activities.

This is a broad role that requires both financial and management accounting skills in addition to good knowledge of accounting standards and best practice. You must have strong technical and excel skills. You will possess excellent knowledge of Accounting and Payroll Systems, particularly as there is a planned implementation of a new accounts package. You will have the ability to implement process improvement and work flexibility and adaptability – effective teamwork is essential.

As the job description details are likely to evolve and change in response to working practice, the post-holder will require a flexible approach. If you have the skills, drive, energy, and willingness to learn and want to be part of this exciting opportunity to support veterans in Scotland, we would like to hear from you.


THE BEST ADVICE FOR JOBSEEKERS IN THE ARMED FORCES COMMUNITY, STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX
 

HOW TO WRITE A STAND-OUT CV 

Your CV has 30 seconds to impress an employer, so it's extremely important that you get it right. Make sure yours stands out from the crowd by following our step-by-step CV guide for ex-military jobseekers. 
READ MORE
Funding & Financial Support

Grants from The Veterans' Foundation


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 maximum grant in both circumstances is £30K, however, we have also introduced a few salary grants, 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 grants@veteransfoundation.org.uk.

Deadlines for submission through 2021 are as follows: 
  • 21 May

  • 27 August

  • 12 November

Funding

Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust - Sustaining Support for Armed Forces Communities
This programme will award grants of up to £100,000 for existing charitable projects to help charities to sustain activities and services that people from Armed Forces communities use and value. Deadline (round 1) 4 June 2021
Sustaining Support for Armed Forces Communities programme

Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust - Force for Change programme
This programme will award grants of up to £10,000 for community projects that reduce isolation and promote integration; supporting post-Covid recovery in local Armed Forces communities affected by isolation.
Deadline: 2 August 2021
Armed Forces Covenant Fund: Force for Change programme
 
SCVO / Scottish Government - The Digital Participation Charter Fund
The Digital Participation Charter fund has awards of up to £10,000 available for organisations to enable them to embed passing on essential digital skills to the people they work with and support.  Go to digital-participation/charter-fund

Alpkit Foundation – Grassroots Support
Projects that demonstrate an immediate impact on those effected by the Covid19 virus crisis particularly the elderly or vulnerable people to reduce the impact of self-isolation for those in quarantine and need access to food, medicines, or social care. Details here

The Robertson Trust - Various grants
Grants ranging from £2,000 for constituted community groups and small charities with an annual income of under £25,000, to grants of up to £2 million.
For more information, please visit the website: www.therobertsontrust.org.uk

Foundation Scotland - Community Awards
Grants of up to £2,000 for smaller community organisations, criteria including supporting older people.
https://www.foundationscotland.org.uk/programmes/baillie-gifford-community-awards/

John Lewis Partnership - Community Support Fund
Waitrose has put aside £1 million to be used as direct aid for the communities near their stores. Your local store will have these funds and will support their local area based on community need. Contact your local store.

Digital Scotland - Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme
Vouchers to ensure that every address in Scotland has the ability to access a superfast broadband connection by the end of 2021.
https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/how-can-i-get-it/voucher-scheme/

Foyle Foundation - Small grants scheme
One-year grants only to cover core costs or essential equipment, to enable ongoing service provision, homeworking, or delivery of online digital services to charities that can show financial stability.  The priority is support for local charities still active in their communities which are currently delivering services to the young, vulnerable, elderly, disadvantaged or the general community either directly or through online support if possible.
No deadlines
http://www.foylefoundation.org.uk/small-grants-scheme/     

National Lottery - Awards for All
Grants of £300-£10,000 for voluntary or community organisations, constituted groups or clubs that will support people at high risk, will see an increased demand in this period, or that have high potential to support communities with the impact of COVID-19:
https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/national-lottery-awards-for-all-scotland

National Lottery - Community Fund
The National Lottery Community Fund is now focussed on responding to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards process will also be faster, recognising the need to respond quickly to people who are in real need.
https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/

National Lottery - Grants for Improving Lives
For voluntary or community organisations that will support people at high risk, will see an increased demand in this period, or that have high potential to support communities with the impact of COVID-19.
https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/grants-for-improving-lives

National Lottery - Grants for Community-led activity
Grants up to £10,001- £150,000 for voluntary or community organisations, constituted groups or clubs, to deliver work that achieves the following outcomes: • Everyone in the community has the opportunity to influence and get involved in community-led activity. • People in the community are better connected and work together to improve their well-being. https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/grants-for-community-led-activity

Scottish Government - Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme
Adapt and Thrive programme aims to support organisational change. It offers tailored support and funding to develop a plan for third sector organisations to operate sustainably post-COVID.
Deadline:  21 June 2021
https://scvo.org.uk/support/coronavirus/funding/scottish-government/community-recovery

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

Information and Resources

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


An updated copy of the information booklet as at 25 March 2021 is available via the link below:

Veterans' Gateway

As you may be aware the Veterans Gateway have their VG App which looks to support service users across the whole of the United Kingdom.  If you are a member of an organisation that is not currently listed and wish to be included, you should follow the links below.

The combined and continued delivery of services under current COVID-19 restrictions has placed a greater reliance on digital and telephone services to ensure that we continue to support the Armed Forces Community (AFC) across Scotland.  As you may be aware Poppyscotland is one of the 4 consortium partners (along with SSAFA, Combat Stress and RBL) who deliver the Veterans’ Gateway service that has been in existence since April 2017.  We are now in the process of working closely with Patzi Cacchio, the VG Co-ordinator and Dr Matt Kiernan and his team at Northumbria University to broaden awareness of your services and locations and for the Armed Forces Community to access them via the Mobile App that can be downloaded from the Play Store or Apple Store via this link: 

Google Play Store Listing: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rview_mobile&hl=en_US
 
Apple Store Listing: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/Veterans-Gateway-Directory-UK/id1488014248  
 
The App is proving to be invaluable and since its launch in May 2020 the directory has expanded to include approximately 17,000 markers to date across the UK, each representing a service available to veterans or service families.  The Consortium remain encouraged by these initial findings, but we think collectively it is possible to increase the breadth and depth of listings in Scotland with your help.   There are 2 areas that we would ask you to consider.
The first is to consider being listed on the App, which is a straightforward process, for ease we have attached the Local Support Directory User Guide.

To ensure your service can be listed please complete the attached VFDS template (spreadsheet) and then submitting it to be check for completeness before the details are submitted to Northumbria University to upload to the system.


Secondly if you are listed already may I encourage you to go to  https://www.veteransgateway.org.uk/local-support/ to ensure that your listing is correct, as your services, focus or contact details may have changed . Again, please use the attached directory template (VFDS) for submitting any amendments and in both cases forward to Danny Renowden d.renowden@poppyscotland.org.uk

 VFDS template (spreadsheet)

Can we also take this opportunity to mention that you may also wish to be listed as a Referral Partner or Information Organisation on Veterans’ Gateway, details of these are at https://www.veteransgateway.org.uk/become-veterans-gateway-supporter/

Working closely with our partners and particularly Veterans’ Scotland the intention is to increase access to your services through these additional channels.  Once listed more veterans and their families will have greater visibility of the services you provide and all from the convenience of their mobile device or tablet; at a time when we know the need is increasing, along with the complexity of support need and for many this could be their first foray in to gaining information, advice, and support.
 

News and Other Updates

Armed Forces Day logo

ARMED FORCES DAY - Saturday 26 June 2021

 

ABOUT

What?

Armed Forces Day is a chance to show your support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets. There are many ways for people, communities and organisations across the country to show their support and get involved.

When?

Armed Forces Day takes place on the last Saturday each June.  In 2021, it will take place on Saturday 26 June.

Armed Forces Day celebrations begin on Monday 21 June when the Armed Forces Day flag is raised on buildings and famous landmarks around the country.

Reserves Day will also provide an opportunity for the country to recognise our Reserve Forces.

Where?

This years Armed Forces Day National Event will be hosted by Scarborough Borough Council. Find out how you can still show your support on Saturday 26 June.

Events may be affected by COVID-19. Please contact the individual event organisers, using the contact details provided, for further information on specific events.

Why?

Showing support for the Armed Forces provides a much valued morale boost for the troops and their families. You can find out more about what they are doing at home and around the world by visiting the official sites of the Royal NavyBritish Army and Royal Air Force.

The public show their support for the Armed Forces on Armed Forces Day, but did you know the Armed Forces Covenant outlines how the Government, businesses and communities support Armed Forces personnel past and present throughout the year? Find out more here.

Who?

 

The Armed Forces

The UK Armed Forces defend the UK and its interests. They are busy working around the world, promoting peace, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers, providing security and fighting terrorism.

Veterans

A veteran is anyone who has served in the HM Armed Forces at any time (including National Servicemen, Regulars and Reserves). Armed Forces Day celebrates their continued role within the military community.

You can find out more information about support for Veterans on the Veterans-UK website or by calling Veterans UK on 0808 1914 218.

Reservists

Reservists give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces, balancing their civilian life with a military career to ensure that should their country require them, they would be ready to serve.

An annual Reserves Day celebrates their contribution to the Armed Forces.  Reserves Day is the Wednesday ahead of Armed Forces Day – 23 June.

Cadets

The Cadet Forces (Sea Cadets, Army Cadets, Air Cadets and the Combined Cadet Force) currently support over 130,000 young people in more than 3,000 locations across the UK. Cadets learn life and career building skills as well as gaining vocational qualifications..

Families

Our Armed Forces couldn’t do their job without the incredible support of their family and friends.

Charities

Although Armed Forces Day is not a charitable event, the Armed Forces have the support of several UK charities and many local events will offer opportunities to support them. To find out more about Armed Forces charities please see here.


Local veteran, Major Steve Roworth is a name many in Highland Perthshire may be familiar with due to his work with Loch Rannoch Conservation Association however many may not know of the incredible work he does with veterans’ charity, SSAFA.

Major Roworth joined the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association (SSAFA) when he retired from the Army in 2012, looking for a purposeful way to help others as he had done throughout his life in active service and by training other Army Officers.

Individuals may be interested to hear this interview from Steve from SSAFA Perth https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/Lv47p
 

VETERAN TREKS THE WEST HIGHLAND WAY FOR SSAFA, THE ARMED FORCES CHARITY

Veteran Peter McIntyre has completed trekking Scotland’s picturesque West Highland Way.

This challenge was 154 km/96 miles long and took five days, running from Milngavie North of Glasgow to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. Peter completed the challenge whilst carrying an impressive 25kg as part of the challenge.

Peter served in the Royal Scots and is a Gulf War veteran. He is now in the process of becoming a SSAFA Caseworker in order to support Forces families further.

Peter McIntyre said: “I have seen a lot of people being helped by SSAFA. I am a veteran and I want to give back.”

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885.

A fundraising target of £150 was set and Peter has raised an incredible £1,700 for SSAFA. Please continue to support by donating here: justgiving.com/fundraising/peter-mcintyre15

POPPYSCOTLAND CALLS SUPPORTERS TO TAKE STRIDES FOR THE ARMED FORCES


My Poppy Run is a new fundraising challenge encouraging supporters to run, walk or jog in aid of veterans.
 
Leading military charity Poppyscotland is launching a new fundraising challenge with the aim of raising money to support the Armed Forces and Veterans community. My Poppy Run encourages entrants to double knot their trainers, grab their sweatbands and hit the road, park, or treadmill.
 
As Scotland begins to emerge from COVID-19 restrictions, My Poppy Run is designed to be a safe way for supporters to back the charity with their vital year-round fundraising programme. Participants are encouraged to pick a route in their local area and can chose to run, jog, or walk any distance of their choosing either solo, in a household bubble, or a socially distanced small group.
 
Gordon Michie, Head of Fundraising at Poppyscotland said: “We provide life-changing support to help those who have served, those still serving, and their families, and although restrictions are slowly lifting, we have been forced to cancel several major events we had planned in 2021. Our Armed Forces community need Poppyscotland’s support now more than ever, and My Poppy Run is a great way to ensure they get the help they need. The beauty of the challenge is that you can design it yourself from running a 5K alone, jogging around the park with your family, or racking up the miles with your local running group in a marathon rely.”
 
Poppyscotland supporter and fundraiser, Ryan Small, was so keen to be involved he wanted to be the first to sign-up: “I’ve supported Poppyscotland for over 3 years by participating in various challenges and fundraising events. I was inspired to take part in My Poppy Run after my cousin sadly passed away very suddenly last year. He was a big advocate of Remembrance Day as his dad is an ex-serviceman, and he was always very proud to see him take part in the commemorative events, so I’m raising funds for Poppyscotland in his honour.
 
“After spending a year indoors due to the pandemic, I’m desperate to get my body moving again so I decided to break-up My Poppy Run challenge over the course of 4 events. I’ll be running 50- and 80-mile races, a full marathon, and a 24-hour hill run. Some might say I’m a glutton for punishment, but I find running very therapeutic and to combine my passion with such a noble cause was a no-brainer. You certainly don’t need to do anything as extreme as my challenges; it’s just about getting involved, getting active and raising money for an amazing cause!” 
 
My Poppy Run is open between now and Armed Forces Day on Saturday 26th June. Registration costs just £15 for adults and £10 for children, for which participants will receive a t-shirt, medal and an online fundraising page that can be shared with family and friends. Those who raise £100 or more through their fundraising efforts will be awarded a special edition My Poppy Run medallion.
 
For more information and to register visit poppyscotland.org.uk/My-Poppy-Run.
 
 

 

Newly Launched: Outdoor Therapy Service

 
This Mental Health Awareness Week, we are proud to share details of Venture Trust’s newly launched Outdoor Therapy Service. And would you believe… the theme of the week is “Mental health and nature”. The positive messages about the connections will be abundant this week, but let’s not forget a recent announcement from the Office for National Statistics, revealing that the number of people experiencing depression has doubled since before the Pandemic of 2020/21. There is a long road ahead of us.
 
We are now open to organisational and self-referrals from anyone affected by poor mental health and emotional distress, seeking an opportunity to access professional therapy who might otherwise struggle to do so.

We offer 12 weekly therapy sessions initially, to people living in Edinburgh, Lothians and surrounds who are:
  • 16-25 years old
  • Ex service personnel
 
If you work with people who could benefit from a free therapy service to help improve mental, emotional and physical health, then get in touch or make a direct referral via our secure, encrypted online referral form HERE. Our team of qualified and professionally registered therapists will travel to and work with clients in appropriate outdoor and urban greenspaces in the clients’ home community or local area.
 
Who is Venture Trust? 
  • Venture Trust, for 30+ years, have led the personal development sector both in Scotland’s wild places and in underserved communities
  • Our Outdoor Therapy Service is the only one of its kind in the country
  • Our therapy team is dependable, professional (registered with BACP/COSCA/BPC/HCPC, or trainees working towards registration) and committed to developing good practice in the sector
  • We support people to gain skills, stability, and confidence, to reach their potential, who have experience of the criminal justice and care systems, as well as armed forces veterans.
  • If you would like to find out more about what else Venture Trust can offer, please explore our personal development programmes

Who is Outdoor Therapy for?
The service is fully funded for people aged 16-25 and for people who have served in the armed forces at any point in their life. It is for people who are experiencing poor mental health and emotional wellbeing and feel ready to engage in a reflective process to explore these difficulties. Accompanied by a dedicated therapist, clients can embark on a journey towards reconnecting with themselves, others, and the world around them. Our team have specialist knowledge and are experienced in working with a range of issues. These may include, but are not limited to:
 
  • poor mental and emotional wellbeing
  • violence and aggression
  • depression
  • relationship and family difficulties
  • anxiety and stress
  • grief and trauma
  • loneliness and social isolation
  • problem substance use
 
If there is something you are unsure of, or wish to discuss something specific, please contact the team for a conversation.
 
NB. This is not a crisis service. If someone is suffering from an acute mental health crisis, please read our immediate help guide for advice on how best to seek immediate support.

Where do we work?
We are currently offering the service throughout Edinburgh & Lothians, Fife, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire.
 
 
You will find more details of the Outdoor Therapy Service, by going direct to the service page on our website and on the attached leaflet. If you wish to refer directly, please do so through our secure, encrypted online referral form. We will be happy to speak with you directly and provide further information or give a presentation to teams or services interested in hearing more about our approach. Please also do share widely with any other colleagues or networks who you think may be interested or work with potential beneficiaries.
 
We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Email the Venture Trust Therapy Team:
Therapy@venturetrust.org.uk
 
Securely refer direct to the Venture Trust Outdoor Therapy Service:
venturetrust.org.uk/outdoortherapyreferral
 
Visit the Service Page on our website:
www.venturetrust.org.uk/programmes/outdoor-therapy
 
 

TFN's May edition is out now - read it here!

TFN's May edition is out now - read it here!

This month's magazine examines at the vexed issue of the charity sector’s relationship with government. We also look at the pandemic puppy craze and the launch of the #NeverMoreNeeded film.

Plus, we have our usual line up of great columnists and features.

You can read it all now - and feel free to share the link for others to read and enjoy!

CALL TO HELP UNCOVER IDENTITY OF FALLEN ST VALERY HERO

As the anniversary to mark the battle of St Valery-en-Caux approaches, an international search has been launched to uncover the identity of a fallen hero. The 51st Highland Division soldier evaded capture during the infamous Second World War battle but would later be betrayed in the French fishing port and now rests in an unnamed grave.

Days after the mass-evacuations at Dunkirk, thousands of men from the 51st Highland Division remained on mainland Europe supporting their French allies. As German troops advanced through Normandy, the 51st fought valiantly, protecting French citizens, and hoping that evacuation by sea would be forthcoming.

On 12th June 1940, German Panzer units surrounded the Division at the coastal commune of St Valery. This, alongside a curtain of heavy fog, made the long-awaited flotilla rescue unviable, and they were forced to surrender. Those who were not killed in the fighting were captured as Prisoners of War and marched to camps in Eastern Europe, where they remained for five gruelling years.

Following the commemorations to mark the 80th anniversary of St Valery last June, which saw hundreds of pipers around the world play in unison in tribute to the ‘Forgotten 51st’, a remarkable story has emerged. One brave soldier miraculously evaded capture and was taken in by a local French family, hiding him from the occupying German forces.

“We were contacted by Monsieur Patrick Prieur, a 65-year-old St Valery resident whose grandparents and father remained in the town during the entirety of the war. He told us the story of the escapee and the tragedy that befell him” said Dr Claire Armstrong, Chief Executive of Legion Scotland. “Until last year the battle of St Valery was relatively unknown, but we set that right with commemorations that reached around the world. As we approach the 81st anniversary of the Battle, we hope to identify this Scottish hero, give him the recognition he deserves, and bring peace to his family.”

Patrick Prieur recalled the tale his late father told him: “A soldier from the 51st Highland Division was hidden by a local family in the village. They bonded, and the family learned that he was a married man with a wife and two daughters waiting for him to return home.

“For several weeks, the soldier remained hidden, but regretfully he was eventually discovered by German troops and marched through the town to the municipal cemetery. After being forced to dig his own grave, he was positioned against the cemetery wall and shot. His death deeply upset the townspeople— who had been aware of his hiding—and especially my father, who was only eleven at the time.

“In later years, the Franco-British military cemetery was built, and his body was moved there. His grave is marked as ‘Known unto God’, and my father and other villagers tended to it for decades after the war ended.” Monsieur Prieur continued: “My father had been gifted a piece of paper on which the soldier’s name was written, ‘Keller Len Scott’, and this became his prized possession.

He desperately wanted to find the soldier’s family to tell them what had happened to their beloved and where he was laid to rest, but having very little information, he struggled. In 2014 my father passed away and being eager to finish what he started I recently contacted Poppyscotland and the Highland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association to ask for help.”

RMA – The Royal Marines Charity announces 2-year partnership with The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust

We are pleased to announce a 2 year partnership worth £250,250 with The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust’s specialist, target programme, One is Too Many.

One Is Too Many was created to address the difficulties experienced by vulnerable veterans in dealing with suicidal thoughts and feelings, but who are not successfully accessing the support that they need. Our two-year Project ‘Lifting the Lid’ builds upon the success of our recent campaign where we encouraged our Royal Marine community to talk about mental health and ask for help.

Over the next two years, this project will embed community-based support pathways, enhance professional skills, and reduce stigma amongst the Corps family. Through developing best ‘prevent and recovery’ practice tailored to the unique experience of Royal Marines, it will encourage those at risk to engage with services. This project aims to change how support is offered to save lives within the Royal Marines community and will provide direct support to veterans who are at significant risk of suicide and are not accessing support.

Our aims are:
• To promote positive mental health and advocate help-seeking at an early juncture
• Detect those most at risk through holistic assessment detecting those most at risk and enabling them to seek support.
• Prevent those that might be at risk of suicide by helping them with employment advice, financial and benevolence support
• Provide assistance with mental health management or substance misuse challenges

We will achieve this through training and developing clear pathways into recognised and approved support. So, whether an individual is in contact or not with professionals or members of the Corps family, those in first contact will be skilled in recognising signs of suicidal ideation and will feel equipped to manage sensitive and difficult conversations.

We will:
• Deliver targeted communications to promote help seeking behaviours
• Support our volunteers to be better equipped in managing those difficult conversations and importantly will know where to refer those in crisis for support
• Increase peer level training and heightened awareness to reduce suicide rates and self-harm amongst our community
• Host two symposia for practitioners in 2021 and 2022 and publish our finding to support professional practice.

We will be working with Samaritans, Zero Suicide Alliance, MHFA England and the NHS Veterans Service to deliver this work. We particularly wish to further develop our relationships across the military charity sector to share learning in a multidisciplinary way that in turn will help to prevent veterans falling into crisis and developing a sense of hopelessness that could lead to suicidal ideation.

Our Director of Health and Wellbeing Danny Egan stated:

“This grant will enable us to continue to offer direct support to our Corps Family, continuing to breakdown the stigmas associated with mental illness, promoting positive mental health to prevent illness and supporting those in crisis to seek help when needed.”

Jonathan Ball, Chief Executive, RMA – The Royal Marines Charity:

“This incredible grant from AFCFT is the fourth major donation from the Trust in the last year and demonstrates not only AFCFT’s confidence in the quality of support already provided by RMA-The Royal Marines Charity, but also the strength of our growing partnership with the Trust and the other charities who have benefitted from the One is Too Many funding.”

It is a strong person, not a weak person who is able to understand when to seek help from others; asking for support is a strength that should be applauded not stigmatised. Click here to visit our Lifting The Lid landing page.

Walking With The Wounded and Keep Attacking join forces for ‘Longest Day’ challenge

Military charity Walking With The Wounded has teamed up with Brian Wood MC’s Keep Attacking brand to create the ‘Longest Day’ challenge – with supporters able to earn an exclusive piece of ‘Keep Attacking’ kit while ‘going further for those who served’.

Brian was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in combat for courageous leadership in Iraq but was later summoned for unfound war crimes which eventually led to full vindication. His story is now the subject of a BBC2 film, Danny Boy, and he has been open about his struggles with PTSD and anxiety while also supporting Walking With The Wounded’s mental health programmes to help others.

This June, Brian and WWTW are looking to inspire 50 men and 50 women to set a new personal best and, simply, go further than they’ve gone before to raise funds for other veterans who need mental health support.

AN ACTIVE FUTURE WITH DEMENTIA - HOW SPORT & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY CAN CONNECT US 

 
BOOK YOUR PLACE AT OUR THRILLING ONLINE EVENT!
 
Staying active has a huge number of benefits for everyone, including people who are living with dementia and the unpaid carers of people with dementia. It can help to improve mental health and well-being, strengthen social ties, and improve cognitive function.
We will highlight how people with dementia and unpaid carers can stay active at home, as well as access outdoor activities and local sports clubs.
Hosted by Sporting Memories Ambassador Stephen Halkett, you are invited to an energising interactive online session, exploring what sport and physical activity looks like for people living with dementia and unpaid carers post Covid.
We will hear from some brilliant projects who have continued to support their communities to be active throughout the pandemic and look at what their plans are for the future.
The event is for people with dementia and unpaid carers, as we want to hear about activities that resonate and inspire, but also the challenges faced in getting active and accessing groups/facilities.
Your feedback will provide vital learning for us and other groups to focus and adapt our activity as well as help and support organisations adjust to a post Covid world.
 
 
Please register your place for free via the Eventbrite link:
 
Monday 17th May - Staying Active at Home
 
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-active-future-with-dementia-how-sport-physical-activity-can-connect-us-tickets-152701782141
 
Tuesday 18th May - Getting Active Outdoors and Inclusive Sports Clubs
 
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-active-future-with-dementia-how-sport-physical-activity-can-connect-us-tickets-152720680667
 
Or email Donna Mackey - donna@thesmf.co.uk
 
 
 
 

 May 2021 edition

Welcome to the May edition of  Unforgotten Forces news for groups and services supporting older veterans and their families. 

 In this edition:
 
Veterans' Services Update


Unforgotten Forces magazine - spring issue out now

Inside: Men’s Sheds, support for LGBT+ older veterans, spirituality matters, introducing the Legion Scotland Veterans’ Community Support Team, and more.  View online at Unforgotten Forces Magazine
Order one or more free postal copies at Publication order form


Changes in the Unforgotten Forces Consortium

In April, The Scottish Men’s Sheds Association was welcomed into the Unforgotten Forces consortium.  Read the news release here
 
The RNID Hearing Forces service stopped on 31 March, a decision taken by RNID following a review of its UK-wide services.  RNID has now withdrawn from the consortium.  Hearing Forces has provided vital support to older veterans with hearing loss since 2017, and Unforgotten Forces is grateful to the RNID Scotland and the Hearing Forces team for their dedication, expertise, and collaborative ethos.  The Unforgotten Forces partnership is looking at what might be done in the longer term to address the hearing loss support needs of older veterans. 

Hitherto Unforgotten Forces has offered support to older veterans in Scotland age 65 and older.  This age range has now been reduced to age 60 and older.  Most services in Unforgotten Forces are however open to veterans of all ages.  For full information on support available from Unforgotten Forces visit www.unforgottenforces.scot.


Spirituality for older veterans podcast
The latest in our Unforgotten Conversations series looks at why and how older veterans can get support for their spiritual wellbeing.  Listen to the podcast.
 
Comradeship Circles service funding boost

The future of Age Scotland’s Comradeship Circles service, which offers regular telephone group chat to older members of the veterans’ community, has been secured until Autumn 2022.  Read the story: Funding boost will tackle loneliness among Scottish veterans


Erskine Radio

Erskine has launched a new Radio channel, with music and chat every Tuesday, Thursday and Sat 3pm & 7pm plus 24/7 music.  You can listen online at http://erskine.org.uk/radio, plus it’s available via Alexa smart speaker and by Erskine’s Veterans Radio app.

ERMAC is back!

Erskine CEO Ian Cumming says: “If you go down to the woods today... You’ll see that our activity centre veterans are back, out and about!  You’d have thought they’d had enough of bashas and bivvies!”

Find out more about Erskine’s west of Scotland activity centre for veterans: Reid Macewen Activities Centre

Free Open University study for veterans injured in or due to service
Veterans who have been injured in, or due to, military service may be eligible for funding for a full Open University qualification thanks to the Disabled Veterans' Scholarship Fund.  Find out more and apply here.

ANZAC Day service 25 April
Legion Scotland held an Anzac and Gallipoli day service on Sunday 25th April which you can watch now on YouTube.
ANZAC Day 2021 dawn service - YouTube

Veterans' housing guide
The Scottish Government publishes a Scottish Housing Guide for people leaving the Armed Forces and ex-service personnel.  See the guide here.

Legion Scotland making the news
Legion Scotland’s Veteran Community Support Service received some great publicity in the Press and Journal.  Read the story here.

Poppyscotland 'Stop the service charge' campaign
Poppyscotland is campaigning for fair treatment of Commonwealth veterans.  Find out more here:  Stop The Service Charge (poppyscotland.org.uk)

BLESMA spring magazine
Blesma, the limbless veterans’ charity, has a spring issue of its magazine out now.  Read it online here.

RAF Association Navigating Dementia Forum
Many serving members of the RAF community are in the position of caring for someone with dementia at a distance. The support other people can offer can be invaluable, so RAF Association has created a forum on its Navigating Dementia website to bring everyone together.  RAF Association Navigating Dementia : online support for RAF community
 
  
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