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13 November 2020 (Edition - Issue 50)

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


Resources

Veterans Scotland Information Booklet


The updated copy of the information booklet (August 2020) is available via the link here

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

Capitalising on Military Family Talent


Business in the Community (BITC), in partnership with the Welsh and Scottish Governments, is delighted to invite you to a webinar on Capitalising on Military Family Talent.

Webinar: Capitalising on Military Family Talent
Monday, 30th November   |   11:00-12:00pm
Register
here
 
Life for members of an Armed Forces family can have its challenges. Serving family members can expect to be displaced, at times overseas, and be apart from their partners for long period of times. These conditions have a tremendous impact on family members and make it more difficult for military family members to gain and sustain employment compared with civilians.
 
As an addendum to our work on Capitalising Military Talent, we have published a new factsheet to help your business extend support to include military family members. This webinar explains how family members of those serving in the military can be affected and what steps employers can take to support this cohort and benefit from opening up opportunities to military family members.
 
Join this webinar to hear from:
 
  • Graeme Dey MSP, Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans
  • Hannah Blythyn MS, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government
  • Sophie Underwood, Head of Strategic Finance, Standard Life Aberdeen
  • Amanda Holmes HR Advisor, Alun Griffiths
  • Richard Bruten, Major Projects Director, Alun Griffiths
  • Sue Husband, Business in the Community Cymru Director
For more information, please contact Andreia.Kristensen@bitc.org.uk.
 

GET INTO CYBER


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
FIND OUT MORE HERE
 
TOP JOBS FOR VETERANS: Scotland Jobs
  
VIEW ALL JOBS
 
 
Funding & Financial Support

 
The Veterans’ Foundation continues to provide grants to cover pandemic-induced need and other ‘normal’ grants.  The former may be considered out-of-committee and decided upon within a week.  The next deadline for normal grant applications this year is the end of Dec 20.  
 
The maximum grant in both circumstances is £30K, however, we have also introduced a NEW salary grant which can provide up to £40K spread over two years for salaries, only salaries, to help small and medium-wealth organisations.  The application process for all grants is online, here:  
 
https://www.veteransfoundation.org.uk/grant-application/

If you have any queries, please contact us at grants@veteransfoundation.org.uk

                      

 

Scottish Veterans Fund 2021-2022

The £200,000 Scottish Veterans Fund is open for bids from projects that improve the lives of former service personnel. The 2021/22 fund, supported by the Scottish Government and Standard Life Aberdeen, also funds groups who help the families of veterans. This year the criteria has been extended to include projects which address the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the veterans community.

Copies of the grant application form and application guidance document are available via the links below.  Please note these have been updated from previous years forms and guidance.

http://www.veteransscotland.co.uk/

Scottish Government press release on the Scottish Veterans Fund
 

The Closing date for bids is Monday 30th November 2020

Housing Support

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.
 


Building lives: building communities

Veterans Housing Scotland has over 100 years’ experience in providing homes for disabled Veterans.

We are extremely proud of our history and of the service we have provided to those who have served their country yet 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. Our vision is to offer the Veterans Housing Scotland family much more than just a home but also, through coordination and cooperation with specialist partners, ensure that those of our veterans and their families who are in need of support get that support when and where required – as demonstrated in our new strapline ‘building lives; building communities’. 

Membership News and Other Updates



After a successful Operation Bletchley in July, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity has brought back its virtual codebreaking challenge in time for Christmas.
 
Registration is now open for Operation Bletchley: Christmas in Berlin. The 12 days of Christmas but not as you know it.
 
Participants will immerse themselves in 1948 walking through Soviet territory, decrypting vital intelligence about the blockade, and helping to bring stranded contacts back to HQ. We’re encouraging supporters to be a part of something incredible this winter whilst supporting The Soldiers' Charity by signing up today.
 
More information can be found here: https://operationbletchley.soldierscharity.org/
 

 

Forces in Mind Trust awards grant to examine the lived experiences of veterans living in Scotland

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded £300,000 to the University of Edinburgh, in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, to conduct new research into the experiences of ex-Service personnel living in Scotland.

The project, entitled You’re in Your Own Time Now, will address the current lack of up-to-date and in-depth data on ex-Service personnel in Scotland. It will map the distribution of Service leavers across Scotland and seek to understand their aspirations, concerns and support needs when leaving the Armed Forces. It will examine a range of outcomes for Service leavers including education, housing, employment, health, and finances. The project team will also undertake qualitative research with organisations that provide support to Service leavers in Scotland, as well as research with Service leavers themselves.

The findings of this study will be disseminated widely to both the UK and Scottish Governments, as well as the third sector, to help inform them about the changing landscape of Service leavers’ needs in Scotland and the resources required to support them.

The project is expected to start in mid-November 2020 and will be conducted over two years.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive, Forces in Mind Trust, says:

“FiMT’s goal is to enable successful and sustainable transition for ex-Service personnel and their families across the UK. To be able to do this we must first acknowledge and understand the differences in each of the devolved nations, including in the organisation and delivery of support, and how these can impact upon the experiences of Service leavers as they transition out of the Armed Forces. The report will complement our studies in Northern Ireland, and we continue to work with the Welsh Government to understand their evidential needs.

“This exciting project will provide policy makers, service providers and local authorities with the evidence they need to be able to make informed decisions and implement effective interventions to support the ex-Service personnel who choose to settle in Scotland.”

Doug Mackay, Project Director, University of Edinburgh, says:

“I am very grateful to Forces in Mind Trust for their generous support and delighted to be working on this project in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, which already does so much to support the wider military community. The University of Edinburgh’s Data Driven Innovation initiative is focused on improving many aspects of society by harnessing the power of big data. This project is all about ensuring that servicemen and women, and their families – many of whom have made considerable sacrifices and are now returning to civilian communities – are included, and given the help they need as they make that transition.”

Dr Gerri Matthews-Smith, University lead for Military Research, Edinburgh Napier University, says:

“I’m delighted to be the research lead on this important study and look forward to accurately representing the voices and perceptions of military personnel here in Scotland. This is a practice-based study with a real Scottish focus that will have a positive impact on the military community.

“At Edinburgh Napier University, we have a proud history of supporting the military, including through high-level research projects focusing on military families, and on developing a better understanding of PTSD in service personnel and its potential treatments. This latest study will deepen our knowledge and further strengthen those armed forces links.”

“Empowering You!” RFEA offers new services to give more employment support to military women, spouses and partners

RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity is now able to offer more support to Military women, as well as the partners and spouses of serving and ex-Forces personnel.

Research shows that female veterans, as well as partners and spouses of those serving in the Armed Forces, face more barriers to finding meaningful employment than most – they often step off their career pathways to take on greater caring responsibilities and, unlike their male counterparts, often undervalue their experience and may deselect themselves from roles they are suitable for. Frequent moves, relatively isolated locations, employer reluctance and the complexities of building a normal career often mean that many military spouses and partners (both male and female) can also often face unique challenges getting back into work.

Led by a team of specialist Employment Advisors, RFEA now has two dedicated programmes committed to providing tailored support to both ex-Servicewomen (Military Women Programme) and Military spouses and partners (Families Programme) with everything they need to be successful in their employment search, whether it be CV advice, interview skills or help with finding suitable employment opportunities.

On 24th November RFEA will be hosting ‘Empowering You’, a unique 2-hour webinar that will be led by a range of business leaders from large ‘household name’ organisations, such as Amazon and Vodafone. During the session they will share tips on: understanding your skills and capabilities; how to stand out and market yourself effectively; resilience in a covid-competitive job market; flexible working; and employment opportunities and initiatives, in order to boost attendees’ employability to help them find meaningful roles.

Claire Gratton served for 22 years in the RAF and sought support from RFEA’s Military Women Programme. She says:

“My Advisor has helped me rediscover my worth again professionally. I felt at ease immediately and our first contact phone call lasted for over an hour. By the end of the call I was in no doubt I had made the right choice by enquiring about the Military Women Programme.  My Advisor has the ability to connect with you in a way no pure civvy advisor ever could, part big sister, part friend, part comrade, she will help you see your value and give you the mentorship to realise your skills set. I thoroughly recommend RFEA to any ex-Servicewoman and hope this programme grows and continues to help out the female veteran.”

Lee Johnston, Families Employment Advisor at RFEA says,

“Whether it’s in terms of welfare, family or deployment, I can completely empathise with the challenges our clients face, because, as the wife of a Royal Marine, I’ve experienced them myself. That’s why I am so passionate about getting our clients to where they want to be.”

Alistair Halliday, Chief Executive of RFEA, adds:

“Times are really tough for a lot of people at the moment, so it’s so important that we are able to reach those who need our help and we simply wouldn’t be able to do this without the incredibly generous support of our donors. We are extremely grateful to the Call of Duty Endowment and Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund, the Lloyd’s market military charity. Thanks to their help, RFEA will now be able to extend its reach across the country, to ensure it can help even more ex-Servicewomen and Military partners/ spouses into meaningful employment, the impact of which can be life changing.”

Anyone seeking employment support or further information about RFEA’s Empowering You event should visit www.rfea.org.uk/empoweringyou

Supporting each other during winter                

Refreshed ‘Ready Scotland’ website to help communities work together.

Communities are being encouraged to continue to support each other as the country moves into winter. 

The Scottish Government’s recently refreshed Ready Scotland website (ready.scot) provides a range of information for anyone looking for support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as advice on preparing for winter weather. 

It also provides guidance for those who wish to help out those around them, whether on an individual basis or through volunteering with local community groups or charities.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“In any year, winter weather can be a challenge for many of us, and this year it will come while we are already managing the effects that COVID-19 is having on so many aspects of our lives. 

“As we have seen in previous winters, and as we saw so clearly during our lockdown in the spring and in the months since, the strength and kindness of our communities and our desire to look out for our neighbours is one of our greatest resources.

“These support networks are no less important now than they were in the spring, especially to older, disabled and at risk people, and those who are on their own or feeling lonely. While we can’t visit each other as we might have done in previous years, a phone call or a text can go a long way, and there are a wide range of services standing ready to provide support. 

“I would encourage people to continue to take time to check in with those around you and offer any help that you are able.”

Background

Guidance on giving and finding help during the coronavirus pandemic, preparing for winter weather, and forming community groups is available on the Ready Scotland website.

For those without digital access, coronavirus support can be sought from the National Assistance Helpline by telephoning 0800 111 4000.

Clearyourhead.scot has a range of advice and resources, also offering practical assistance for anyone feeling low or needing to speak to someone for emotional support.

COVID-19 and Scottish Charities - Your Voice Matters


 

In May 2020, OSCR asked all Scottish charities to complete a survey on the impact of COVID-19. They received an overwhelming response, with almost 5,000 charities sharing their views. The information has been shared widely to inform our guidance, and it has helped us work with other organisations to shape the wider response to the crisis.

However, since then the situation has moved on considerably. We would like to take another snapshot from the sector to provide Scotland’s 25,000 charities with the opportunity to give a more up to date picture of their situation and to help us understand their needs. Charities will have received the invitation to this new survey via an email to the principal contact email address associated with their charity (if your charity has not received the invitation you can check your principal contact details using OSCR Online). The survey is being conducted by Breaking Blue, an independent market research organisation and member of the Market Research Society.

It will close at midnight on 15 November 2020. The results will be published on our surveys page and used across local and national government, funders and other bodies to inform policy development and support the sector.

If you have any queries about the research, please contact OSCR by emailing info@oscr.org.uk.

OSCR Chief Executive Maureen Mallon said, “Scottish charities remain at the heart of the COVID-19 response. They have shown great strength and commitment in adapting to the challenges they are facing. For regulation and support to be as effective as possible, it is important that we build a complete and current picture using this new survey. We realise that charities continue to face great demands on their time, but the survey should only take a few minutes to complete and we would like to hear from as many charities as possible.”

DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE BOOST WITH NEW TELECOMS UNIT AND PORTAL FOR GLASGOW


Glasgow City Council has developed a pioneering ‘telecoms unit and portal’ that will work with industry to attract, accelerate and facilitate digital infrastructure investment in the city to support the next generation of 5G connectivity. The portal – a first in Scotland, which can be found at www.glasgow.gov.uk/telecoms – is a single point of entry for industry, providing a source of information for any queries from the telecoms industry. It coincides with the announcement of a nationwide programme, Infralink, by Scottish Futures Trust. MORE
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