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10 September 2021 (Edition - Issue 33)


Minister for Mental Wellbeing & Social Care Kevin Stewart writes to armed forces veterans and their families

 
As the Scottish Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care I wanted to re-inforce my personal commitment and the commitment of the Scottish Government to armed forces veterans and their families who have been affected by the recent events in Afghanistan.
 
The humanitarian crisis which is unfolding in Afghanistan is incredibly difficult and distressing for all of us to watch. I know that some of those who served there and elsewhere and the families and friends of those whose lives have been lost in Afghanistan may be feeling a sense of anger and disillusionment.
 
That is why I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that the commitment and the sacrifice that has been made by all veterans and current serving personnel will always be valued and respected. In my position as Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care in Scotland I want to assure you that the Scottish Government will continue to do all we can to support you and your families at this time and on an ongoing basis.
 
Veterans may be feeling increased stress or anxiety or other mental health issues as the emotional burden of these events take their toll. It is crucial that you have access to the right support and help when you need it. You can contact our specialist Veteran’s support organisations Veterans First Point at 0131 220 9920 or Combat Stress on 0800 138 1619
 
Veterans and families can also  contact the Breathing Space telephone support service (0800 83 85 87) and the NHS24 Mental Health hub (111). I would encourage you to do so if you have any concerns or just want to talk about how you are feeling.
 
In the longer term, the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting veteran’s mental wellbeing will be underpinned by Scotland’s Mental Health Action Plan for Veterans. The Plan is currently under development and is planned for publication in December 2021.
 
I want this plan to ensure that there is equity of access to mental health services for veterans across Scotland, with a full range of support available to suit individual needs including community services, online support and specialist mental health services.
 
I’m acutely aware that the current situation in Afghanistan is like no other for our serving personnel and veterans. We all owe you a great debt. The people of Scotland rightly expect all efforts to be made to ensure that debt is repaid in any way possible.
 
As a key part of that I am committed to ensuring that the Scottish Government and all our mental health service providers continue to give you the support you need.
 
Employment, Training & Transition Support

Trustees for the Veterans' Foundation


The Veterans' Foundation was formed in mid-2016 and has awarded £7.1M in grants to over 260 charities and charitable organisations that are helping people in need from the armed forces' and operational qualified seafarers’ communities.  Such is its growth that the Veterans’ Foundation expects to be able to award a further £4.5M in grants in the coming year and more in future years.

We wish to recruit two additional Trustees who will share our passion and commitment to provide grants to help members of the armed forces who are in need.  Successful applicants will provide appropriate oversight of the governance of the Veterans’ Foundation, and, in addition to the general requirements of the role, the successful candidate will most likely be an experienced charity lawyer, or have experience of fundraising, or be experienced and successful in business.  Applicants may wish to be part of the Grants or Finance Sub-committees too.

The Veterans’ Foundation recognises the importance of board diversity and inclusivity and, in seeking to attract the best talent and expertise, continues to achieve diverse membership of its Board.  We encourage applications from people from all relevant backgrounds. 

The Board meets on a quarterly basis virtually or in Edinburgh and the time commitment is likely to average 1-2 days a month.

The position is voluntary but reasonable expenses can be reimbursed. 
Further details can be found on the Veterans’ Foundation’s website and specifically here:  
https://www.veteransfoundation.org.uk/media/grbjbfk3/20210823-vf-s-generic-trustees-job-description-f.pdf

To apply please submit your CV and a covering letter to secretary@veteransfoundation.org.uk .
The closing date for applications is 18 Sep 21."
 



Do you have what it takes to be part of the Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) team? We have an opportunity for a detail focused and enthusiastic individual to enhance and expand our small but dedicated team into Scotland.

Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) supports disadvantaged veterans who have served in the Armed Forces and their families. OP-REGEN is WWTW’s volunteering programme that offers a platform for ex-military personnel to recognise their inherent skills and empowers them to demonstrate these skills to the wider community.  

The project aims to support individuals and their families who have landed on hard times to reintegrate back into society through the provision of a meaningful and positive impact on the environment in which they reside; additionally, for those not in employment the programme aims to assist in their journey back into the workplace; empowering ex-service personnel to regain their independence, thrive and contribute to our communities.

Although focused on ex-military, more generally the programme is supported by volunteers from all backgrounds including Corporate UK and encourages these individuals to work together, leading to a greater increase in community cohesion and safer neighbourhoods. 

OP-REGEN embodies the ambitions of WWTW; to support ex-military seeking support and to find those that require support but are not seeking it.

As Project Officer your primary focus will be to assist the Project Manager in the planning, promotion, co-ordination, and delivery of OP-REGEN and will be integral to the development and success of OP-REGEN in Scotland; maintaining our database of volunteer information and skills will be paramount to the success of the project, matching volunteers to opportunities to suit their skills, keeping them informed and conveying WWTW’s purpose to the public.

Find out more about this opertunity here

How To Translate Your Military Skills & Experience into Civvy Language

 

You will have acquired a diverse and well-developed set of hard and soft skills from your service in the Armed Forces. From discipline and leadership to adaptability, excellent communication skills and the ability to get things done, you’ll possess many qualities that will be highly transferable to Civvy Street.

However, although you might have lots to offer, it can be difficult for employers to grasp the value of your military experiences and skills, and understand how they will apply to their business. So, it’s crucial that you take the time to ‘translate’ your skills, qualifications, military job titles and any military-specific terms into “civvy speak” so that employers can understand a bit more about you,what you have achieved and how you will add value. 

—> DOWNLOAD OUR FREE SKILLS TRANSLATION WORKBOOK

FREE ONLINE TRAINING

Get access to 1000s of accredited IBM online training courses today.

SaluteMyJob provides Serving and former military personnel and their families with free education and training opportunities through IBM’s online training platform, Skillsbuild. The Armed Forces Community can gain exclusive access to a variety of free courses in areas including Cyber Security, Data Analysis, Marketing, Project Management and many more. Skillsbuild enables you to develop the professional skills and qualifications you need to achieve your career goals.

                             Job Advertisement – Officers Association Scotland



Job title:               Head of Employment Services
Location:              Edinburgh – with travel across Scotland
Hours:                   35 hours per week
Salary:                   £32 - £35k
Benefits:              Contributory pension scheme after 3 months’ satisfactory service.

About Officers Association Scotland
Officers Association Scotland is a military charity, established in 1920, to provide support to serving or former military officers and their dependents. While originally a welfare charity, OA Scotland has developed, so that it now provides a comprehensive employment advice service along with welfare and financial support to individuals and grants to other charities.

Purpose of the Role
The primary responsibility of the Head of Employment Services is to develop, manage and deliver a high quality, individually tailored employment service to transitioning military personnel. They will also establish and nurture relationships with a wide range of employers, head-hunters and recruitment consultants across Scotland to recognise the value of military personnel in the commercial world. You will have a clear vision for our employment strategy and will bring creativity, passion and dedication to find a better way in how we deliver our services. You must be creative, forward thinking and want to challenge the traditional way to enjoy this role and our culture
 
Applications
By CV and covering letter to Heather McVeigh, Chief Executive, OA Scotland
H.mcveigh@oascotland.org.uk

Closing date:  Friday 17th September 2021

Interviews:     Week commencing 27th September
Informal enquiries about the post can be addressed to Heather McVeigh, Chief Executive, Officers Association Scotland Tel: 0131 550 1575.


A link to the OAS website is included here
Funding & Financial Support

Armed Forces charities to receive £5 million boost

Armed Forces charities will receive an additional £5 million in funding to support those who have served.

The Prime Minister has announced today that Armed Forces charities will receive £5 million in additional funding to support those who have served, including those who may be struggling following recent events in Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister made the announcement at a statement today in the House of Commons on the situation in Afghanistan.

The additional funding will be allocated to a range of projects that will increase capacity in mental health charities, improve veterans’ understanding of the support available and deliver enhanced social support. The Office for Veterans’ Affairs will allocate the funding over the coming months.

Funding will also enable veterans to continue helping the people of Afghanistan who have settled in the UK under the ARAP scheme, by providing social support, integration into local communities and help navigating life in the UK.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs will commission charity provision of targeted and relevant support for Afghan refugees with military links and provide surge capacity to support transition to life in the UK.

The £5 million boost will also help increase the user friendliness and accessibility of services, better signposting veterans to the range of state and charitable services available to them. This will help to make mental health services even more accessible to the Afghanistan veteran cohort.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

In addition to the extra £3 million we have invested in mental health support through NHS England’s Op Courage, we are providing another £5 million to assist the military charities who do such magnificent work, with the aim of ensuring that no veteran’s request for help will go unanswered.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Leo Docherty said:

This targeted increase in funding to charities, both large and small, will allow those who served to receive a gold standard of care across the board.

We are forever grateful to the serving personnel and veterans who aided the people of Afghanistan, and will ensure they get the support they need and deserve in the most accessible methods possible.

This follows a Mental Health Summit two weeks ago, where the Secretary of State for Defence, Minister for Defence People and Veterans and Secretary of State for Health discussed the current mental health and wellbeing provision for service leavers across the UK with NHS, charity and academic experts.

If you are struggling as a result of the recent events in Afghanistan, there is support available across the United Kingdom for veterans and those affected:

  • in England, veterans and their families in England can get specialist help from the NHS Op COURAGE service
  • in Wales, you can reach out to Veteran Therapists in each Local Health Board through Veteran Wales
  • in Scotland, veterans can access veteran-led mental health and welfare support through Veterans First Point, part of NHS Scotland
  • in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Veterans’ Support Office links individual veterans, veterans’ groups, statutory and non-statutory bodies, and charities supporting veterans
  • anyone in the UK or overseas can also contact the Veterans’ Gateway helpline on 0808 802 1212, or visit the website for advice and signposting to further support, including for families and the bereaved.

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: 
  • 12 November

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

Health

Support for veterans

If you are struggling as a result of the recent events in Afghanistan, there is support available across the United Kingdom for veterans and those affected.

Image of servicemen helping Afghans onto a plane. Text reads: Support for veterans.
 

This nation is justifiably proud of its Armed Forces, and the brave men and women who step up to serve their nation, often at great personal sacrifice. All those who served in Afghanistan over the past 20 years should be proud of their professionalism and what they helped achieve.

If you are struggling as a result of the recent events in Afghanistan, there is support available across the United Kingdom for veterans and those affected by the latest news.

Immediate support

If you require urgent and immediate support, you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 or jo@samaritans.org
 

Veterans in Scotland can access veteran-led mental health and welfare support through Veterans First Point, part of NHS Scotland.UK-wide

Anyone in the UK or overseas can also contact the Veterans’ Gateway helpline on 0808 802 1212, or visit the website for advice and signposting to further support, including for families and the bereaved.

Check in on each other and if you or someone you know is struggling, get in touch with the services available now.
 

Veterans can also access general services through the NHS24 Mental Health Hub ☎️111 and the Breathing Space ☎️0800 83 85 87.

The complete guide to insomnia

How to sleep have produce several guides to assist individuals who may have sleep issues.  A recent addition is the complete guide to insomnia which may help you understand some of the causes and methods to deal with this.  A link to their website is included below if you wish to find out more:

The Complete Guide to Managing Insomnia (howtosleep.co.uk)
 

Housing


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.


Haig Housing

In 2020 Haig Housing welcomed 119 new beneficiaries to homes across the UK. We provide housing to Veterans and their families in need and have a range of family-sized houses, maisonettes and smaller flats #NoHomelessVeterans
 
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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


The latest copy of the information booklet is available via the link below:

News and Other Updates

HRH The Princess Royal Unveils Plaque at Official Opening of Banchory Men’s Shed

 
Banchory and District Men’s Shed, the first ‘Shed’ in Scotland to be based at a Legion Scotland branch, is officially open following the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, to mark the occasion this month.
 
 

The idea for the Shed to be based at Legion premises is the brainchild of a pioneering joint partnership between Legion Scotland and the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA). Mr Jason Schroeder, SMSA Executive Officer, said: “There are over 190 open or developing Men’s Shed groups across Scotland accessible to men (age 18 or over) from all walks of life offering a welcoming, supportive and intergenerational environment for local men to go for friendship, comradeship and/or to learn or pass on skills to others.
 
“It is hoped that this Shed will also provide an avenue/pathway for ex-servicemen and veterans, based in and around Banchory, to join and see what it has to offer. Men’s Sheds are a place for men – no matter what their background - to connect and socialise with their communities for mutual benefit. Veterans can thrive in a Shed environment which offers very similar types of banter, camaraderie and purpose which makes them unique when compared to other types of civilian clubs etc. The Shed can also positively benefit from their involvement too.”
 
The Banchory and District Men’s Shed was conceived in 2015 as part of Legion Scotland’s Banchory Branch and Club. The Shed premises, beneath the building on Ramsay Road, have been transformed into an impressive workshop and social area with a wealth of varied activities to meet the needs of its growing membership. 
 
Following the lengthy conversion and fundraising project, the Shed finally opened its doors in February 2020 for a short period of time before being hit by closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.  Shed Chairman Mr Paul Evans said: “We are honoured to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to mark the opening of our Men’s Shed. It has been heartening to see this project finally come to fruition after many hurdles. It can now go forward as a valuable resource for men in our community who are looking to make new social contacts and take part in activities.”
 
Her Royal Highness was given a tour of the premises by the Shed Chairman and was greeted on arrival by the Lord Lieutenant for Kincardineshire Mr Alastair Macphie, Deputy Lieutenant of Kincardineshire, Mrs Claire Maitland and Mr Alastair Black, Legion Scotland Area Chairman for Aberdeen.
 
Shed members – Mr Fred Harrott (silversmithing), Mr Alan Pumfrey (bird table construction and model railway), Mr John Dunnett (model steam engines), Mr John Mason (clock repair) and Dr Bill Byth (bicycle maintenance) – had the opportunity to showcase some of the projects that they had been involved in to The Princess Royal before she spent some time talking to other members and invited guests including architect Gerry Robb and building contractor, Bruce McCombie.
 
Mr Evans then invited Her Royal Highness to unveil the plaque to commemorate the opening, which was hand-engraved by member, Mr John Mason. Mr Alan Pumfrey then presented Her Royal Highness with a gift of a bird box that he had made.
 
Banchory and District Men’s Shed is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9.30am – 12.00pm. Activities on offer include the workshop, bridge sessions, silversmithing, computing, cycling and model building.  For more information about Banchory and District Men’s Shed, visit banchorymensshed.org  and follow their journey on Facebook at www.facebook.com/banchorymensshed. Find your local Shed today at www.scottishmsa.org.uk/find-a-shed
 

Black Watch Museum


#DYK that we are taking part the 2021
@DoorsOpenDays
.
On Sunday 19th September we will be offering free entry to The Black Watch Museum. Why not come along and discover the story of Scotland’s oldest Highland Regiment? #DoorsOpenDay #visitbwmuseum #TheBlackWatch
 
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Veterans First Point Scotland


Veterans First Point have very kindly shared their veterans calendar for the month of September.  Click on the link below to find out more about services that are available and how to access them:

Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs
 


Welcome to the Official Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs! Our purpose is to to facilitate veterans and serving Armed forces personnel to meet face to face in a relaxed, safe, social environment to enjoy breakfast and banter, to combat loneliness and allow veterans to ‘return to the tribe’. With over 370 clubs in 14 Countries, and approximately 150,000 members worldwide, you can use our ‘find a club’ option to find a club near you.

If you want to find out more about the various breakfast clubs follow the link below to their website to locate your local events. 

Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs – We Are The Only Official Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Clubs (afvbc.net)
 
 

24/7 VETERAN HELPLINE: 0800 138 1619

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR AUTUMN COMBAT STRESS NEWSPAPER IS HERE

 

 
As a valued supporter, I want to give you an insight into our specialist services to veterans.
 
It’s more important than ever to support former servicemen and women right now. As you may be aware, events in Afghanistan mean this is a difficult time for the Armed Forces community – past and present. The recent increase in calls to our Helpline highlights the importance of our services.
 
But we simply couldn't do what we do without you. Because of your support we’re able to provide our life-changing clinical treatment to around 1,600 former servicemen and women every year, so thank you for all you do.
 
To find out more about the different ways we support veterans and to get updates on our work and how you can get involved, read the latest edition of our Combat Stress newspaper.
 
Thank you again for your continued support.
   
Best wishes,

 


IN THIS EDITION OF COMBAT STRESS
 
In this edition of our Combat Stress newspaper, you can:
  • Learn about our increase in provision of online treatment, helping more veterans access our specialist services more easily.
  • Take a look into how trauma-focused therapy helps veterans put the past behind them.
  • Read a feature on the benefits of peer support – something I feel passionately about.
 
  • Discover how art therapy played a key part in helping veteran Spike manage his PTSD.
  • Find out about our exciting online Secret Postcard Auction, where you'll have the chance to bid on exclusive artwork from artists, celebrities and veterans.
  • And much more...

 

 

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE NEWSPAPER


 

 

 




Have you seen our latest newsletter? If you are a jobseeker in the Armed Forces Community, be sure to check it out, http://ow.ly/uXK650G6dJ6. It features a guide on networking yourself into a job on Civvy street and more! Read now on The Saluting Post. http://ow.ly/PNq850G6dJ7
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Amazon joins RFEA’s Careers Sitrep to offer free advice to veterans

Multinational conglomerate, Amazon, is joining up with RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity to offer free careers advice to job seeking veterans, as part of the charity’s latest Careers Sitrep event.

Careers Sitrep is a monthly live stream event hosted by RFEA and features guest speakers from key industries who value the skills and attributes of those who have served in the Military.

Each session is designed to inspire veterans to consider new career paths and provide valuable insight for those looking for support with finding a meaningful civilian job.

Taking place on Friday 17 September from 2.30pm – 3.30pm, the latest Careers Sitrep event will feature a live Q&A with Amazon’s Global Military Affairs Senior Programme Manager and ex-Navy Logistics Officer, Gillian Russell, plus Hazel Savage, who served for 23 years in the British Army and now holds the role of Area Manager at Amazon. Further insight will also come from RFEA’s Employment Engagement Manager, James Moore, and RFEA’s Chief Executive and Sitrep host, Alistair Halliday.

Careers Sitrep will be streamed across Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. Those watching in real time will have the opportunity to submit questions for the panel to discuss during the session, subject to timings and availability.

This month’s event will cover topics spanning:

  • Each guest’s experience of transitioning from the Military to ‘civvy-street’
  • The key skills veterans bring to the workforce once their Forces career has ended
  • Top tips for veterans interested in working for Amazon
  • Advice for any ex-Forces seeking further support with their career

Careers Sitrep host and RFEA Chief Executive, Alistair Halliday, comments:

“The pandemic has meant that many more people are now thinking about their career options, whether that be thinking about a new industry, or looking for support to help them take their next career step. RFEA’s Careers Sitrep events are a great opportunity for veterans looking for ideas, tips and advice for the next stage of their job hunt, or just simply wanting to hear a fresh perspective from someone who understands what it means to be a veteran on civvy street.”

Gillian Russell, Senior Programme Manager for Amazon Global Military Affairs says:

“Amazon recognises the incredible value that veterans bring to the workforce, which is why we have dedicated programmes to encourage those who have served to join our team. I am really looking forward to sharing my own experiences, both as someone who has served, and now as a representative of Amazon, to help support any veterans who may be interested in working with us.”

For more information visit www.rfea.org.uk/careerssitrep 

War Widows ‘Knock on the Door’: An exploratory study of the experiences of bereaved military families

Join Northumbria University on 21 September for a stimulating online public lecture launching new research into the impact that death, whilst in military service, has on the surviving family, how casualty notification was undertaken and the impact that notification has on the long-term wellbeing of those left behind.

For members of the Armed Forces there is an increased risk of being exposed to serious and unsafe situations that may result in an untimely death and, for their families, increased risk of experiencing traumatic bereavement. The sudden or traumatic death of a family member can lead to traumatic bereavement and long-term financial and emotional difficulties.

Northumbria University researchers will launch the findings of a new report exploring the impact that death, whilst in military service, has on the surviving family. The study, funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Trust, and conducted in collaboration with the War Widows Association, is launched in partnership with the Ministry of Defence and specifically focuses on how families are informed about the death of the service person, the long-term financial, housing and emotional impacts of their loss and how families are affected by media interest.

The launch will outline the research methods, key findings and recommendations for improvements in the way bereaved military families are supported.

About the Northern Hub for Veterans and Military Families Research

The Northern Hub for Veterans and Military Families Research was established in 2014 and sits within Northumbria University Newcastle. It is a collective of academics, service providers and service users with an interest in improving the health and social wellbeing of Armed Forces veterans and their families. The research hub is directed by Dr Matthew D. Kiernan, Lieutenant Commander RN(Q) retired.

Register here.

Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA)/Men’s Sheds




Men’s Sheds offer a friendly, welcoming and healthy environment for men (aged 18 and over) to socialise, work on personal and/or Shed projects and take part in activities together with a purpose. Find your local Shed today at www.scottishmsa.org.uk/find-a-shed or email admin@scottishmsa.org.uk or call 07465202834.
 
In our latest newsletter, ‘The Scottish Shedder’, we feature updates on the Unforgotten Forces consortium, Combat Stress and an interview with Charles Wallace, the Scottish Veterans Commissioner (page 5).  Veterans can join as an individual member of the SMSA (for free) to receive The Scottish Newsletter directly to their inbox.
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New Haig House
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