26 March 2021 (Edition - Issue 12)

Defence in a Competitive Age

Defence in a Competitive Age outlines defence’s contribution to the overarching objectives set out in the government’s Integrated Review. This includes detail on how defence will deliver the multi-year settlement it received in 2020 and how it will transform its armed forces to meet the threats of the future.

Below is a link to the document and further information: 
Defence in a competitive age (

Defence in a Competitive Age – GOV.UK (

Employment and Transition

This month we are focusing on how to get into cyber security after leaving the Forces. Though cyber may not seem to be the obvious path to take, veterans with their military security training, knowledge and experience possess valuable skills that are easily transferable to cyber sphere. And, as the cyber industry has grown at an unprecedented rate throughout the coronavirus pandemic employment opportunities are plentiful – so really there has never been a better time to get into cyber! 


To help you understand your options in cyber, we've created this in-depth guide packed full of advice and top tips on how to kick-start your career in cyber security. 
Putting people at the heart of its business, Eight Wealth Management, helps individuals and organisations to plan and achieve their financial aspirations. Aiming to help members of the Armed Forces to financially prepare for their transition, Eight Wealth Management offers serving and ex-military personnel complementary consultations with their ex-Forces Financial Adviser Stuart Brown – who is also keen to give advice to anyone looking to get into finance after the military. 



Six Figure Base Salary

(Insurance Broker)
£50k +
Though your military skills are valuable when looking to get into cyber, it is recommended that you obtain some cyber training and qualifications. We've rounded up the best cyber courses for ex-military personnel.

With their security mindset and sought-after mix of hard and soft skills, veterans are well-suited to cyber security careers. Discover which skills are most highly valued in the civilian workplace. 

With the future looking decidedly digital, choosing a career in cyber security is a savvy move for any Service leaver. Discover our list of best companies that hire veterans for cyber security roles. 

The average cyber salary is dependent on your role, experience level and – to a certain extent – who you are working for. Our list of the top 10 entry or mid-level cyber security salaries and jobs will give you an idea of how much you can earn in cyber.

Funding & Financial Support

£1 million for Armed Forces charities

Armed Forces charities across Scotland will benefit from a new £1 million support fund.

The Scottish Government fund will help the sector offset a shortfall in income due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In May last year a survey by the Scottish Charity Regulator found 75% of charities had seen a negative impact on their finances as a result of COVID-19.

Under the new initiative, Armed Forces charities that have suffered financially because of the pandemic can apply for funding to help them continue to deliver support services.

The Scottish Government is currently working with partners to finalise the eligibility criteria to ensure funding gets to where it is needed most.

Further details of the one year Armed Forces Third Sector Resilience Fund will be published ahead of the launch, expected in April.

Veterans Minister Graeme Dey said:

“Third Sector organisations play a vital role in supporting our Armed Forces community in Scotland and, this year in particular, they have gone above and beyond to provide crucial support for veterans and their families despite the impact of the pandemic.

“I am delighted that we have an opportunity through this £1 million fund to offer these vital organisations financial assistance to help them continue the great work they have been doing.”

Chris Hughes, executive chairman of Veterans Scotland, said:

“We welcome this support to Armed Forces third sector organisations which recognises the vital assistance they provide to veterans, service personnel and their families across Scotland.

“It is much needed, given the current difficult circumstances and additional challenges faced by all in that community and more widely.”


In 2020, the Scottish Government launched the Third Sector Resilience Fund and the Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme as a result of difficulties faced by charities in the wake of the pandemic.

Last year, two UK-wide surveys by the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO) identified a significant increase in demand from their members for services such as mental health and wellbeing support.

The surveys found three quarters of respondents reported an overall fall in income, partly due to declining public donations and money from fundraising events. COBSEO estimates the overall shortfall across the UK at £250 million compared to a normal year.

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: If you have any queries, please contact

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

  • 27 August

  • 12 November


Scots become automatic organ donors under new law

Everyone in Scotland is now an automatic organ donor - unless they opt out of a new system.

From Friday, it is presumed that people have consented to donation unless they have stated otherwise.

Experts say this will mean that many more people can be given life-saving and life-changing transplants.

People who do not want their organs to be donated for a transplant can opt out through the Organ Donation Scotland website.

Under the old system, more than half of Scotland's population were registered to donate their organs or tissue after their death.

But it is hoped the number of potential donors could increase further under the new scheme.

In two years, a similar system in Wales has increased family consent by 50%.

The Scottish law was due to change in November but was postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

Organ donation means people like 27-year-old Ross Peters, who was diagnosed with a heart condition at 21, have a second chance at life.

'A normal life'

By last summer Ross' health was so bad that he was put on the urgent transplant list - just months before his wife Shauni was about to have their first child.

Luckily for Ross, he got his new heart in August, and now he is able to play a more active role as dad to baby Louis, who was born in November.

"It's just perfect," he said. "I can do things now I wasn't able to do before without even thinking about it. I was always breathless and tired. All the symptoms of heart failure, I had them all and now I'm just living a totally normal life. It's perfect."


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.  

Helping disabled people, older people and members of the armed forces community to find the right home in the right place


If you are a member of the Armed Forces, a veteran or still serving, finding a suitable home on civvy street can be one of the hardest things you will do, especially if you are an older person or have a disability.

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 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.


Veterans Scotland Information Booklet

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

News and Other Updates

Coordinator / Driver

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Coordinator / Driver to join the Fares4Free family.
Due to the success and growth of the Charity, demand for our services has increased. As such this has resulted in the opportunity for a new position with the team.

Fares4Free is a unique free to use transport service for the armed forces family. We focus on fostering continued engagement with services and on fighting isolation one mile at a time. Our service is designed to feel informal to the passenger and much of your time would be spent driving and listening to passengers, identifying need, and signposting to our many partners who can provide advice and support.
The successful candidate will concentrate on clients within the East of Scotland.

Specific Responsibilities

Undertaking journeys for clients referred to Fares4free.
Provide guidance to individual beneficiaries where appropriate, signposting to other agencies.
services and charities.
Provide reports and feedback to the Operations Manager and referral organisations, highlighting any concerns or issues.
Liaise with referral agencies, taxi companies and drivers.
Ensure the safety of all service users at all times including the use of mobility aids where required.
Assist Operations Manager with diary management.
Assist Operations Manager in encouraging goodwill and volunteers from local communities.

Skills and Qualifications

The successful candidate should have knowledge of welfare and services in the veterans third sector.
Approachable and able to develop rapport with referral agencies and clients.
Good oral and written communication skills
IT literate and able to communicate effectively by phone and email.
You will be a competent driver able to listen to passengers patiently.
Highly organised and motivated
Be flexible to meet the demands of the role often at short notice.
Willing to undertake relevant training.

The following essential competencies will be used for the selection process:

Respect for Diversity
Service Delivery
Personal Effectiveness
Effective Communication
Problem Solving
Personal Awareness
Job Knowledge


Competitive salary
28 days annual leave and 6 public holidays on appointment
Access to employee assistance programme

This is a part time position of 25 hours a week and a salary of £15,000 per annum.

Please email your CV and covering letter with Coordinator Driver Application in the subject line by 09/04/2021 to:

Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity appoints new Chairman

The Board of Trustees of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity is delighted to announce that Dr Brian Gilvary will succeed Sir Bill Thomas as the new Chairman of the Charity when Sir Bill completes his six-year term of office in July 2021.

An exhaustive process to find the Charity’s next Chairman was led by Vice-Chairman Andrew Jameson in which over 150 potential candidates with a range of backgrounds in industry, the military and civil society were approached and whittled down to a high-calibre shortlist. Brian was the unanimous choice to lead the Board and shares a deep personal commitment with the RNRMC’s mission to champion and support the remarkable men and women of the Royal Navy, past and present, as well as their immediate families, particularly at a time when the demand signal for support in the wake of Covid-19 has never been greater.

Brian Gilvary is Executive Chairman of Ineos Energy, a division of the INEOS Group focusing on oil and gas and the energy transition. Prior to this he was BP plc’s Chief Financial Officer and Board Director from 2012- 2020, having joined the company in 1986. During his time at the British multinational oil and gas company, Brian acted as BP’s principal negotiator on a series of large transactions and complex legal matters.

Brian is also the senior independent director of Barclays plc; a non-executive director of Air Liquide SA, the Royal Navy and the Francis Crick Institute. Since April 2020 he has also served as a Trustee of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Born and raised in Liverpool, Brian was one of the few pupils at his state comprehensive school to gain a place at universities in Manchester and Sheffield, where he is now an Honorary Professor and Honorary Doctor of Science respectively. Brian has represented Great Britain at the last 5 Age Group ITU Triathlon World Championships (2015-19) having taken up the sport in 2014.

Speaking of Brian’s appointment, current Chairman Sir Bill Thomas remarked:

“I am delighted by the news that Dr Brian Gilvary will succeed me as Chair of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. Brian brings not only a tremendous business pedigree, but a deep understanding of and commitment to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines gained as a Non-Executive Director of the Navy Board and as a trustee of the RNRMC. Under Brian’s expert leadership, working with our energetic Board and our hardworking Executive team, I am confident that the RNRMC has a very positive future. I look forward to handing over to Brian and seeing the Charity re-double its efforts to continue supporting our beneficiaries, the truly excellent men, women and their families who serve or served in the Royal Navy.”

Chief Executive Adrian Bell commented:

“Brian has already made a huge impact in his short time serving on the RNRMC Board as a Trustee. I am very much looking forward to working with him further to achieve our strategic goals, develop our support to and services for beneficiaries, and ensure that we gain the levels of support we need for the charity’s long-term resilience and sustainability.”

Dr Brian Gilvary said:

“Throughout my life I have dedicated time and resources to causes that inspire me. It’s an honour and privilege to take on the baton from Sir Bill and serve as the next Chairman of Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. We are living with the continued impact of the global pandemic and the world is a different place. Our programmes, our fundraising, how we work with beneficiaries – there’s much work to be done to ensure a safe, secure and bright future for the RNRMC – and most importantly for the naval communities it serves. I have seen for myself the enthusiasm, dedication and fantastic efforts made by staff, volunteers, fellow Trustees and the Senior team and I look forward to working alongside them all to deliver the Charity’s ambitious and exciting strategy in the months and years ahead.”

We will soon be celebrating the Pride of Scotland Awards, in partnership with TSB and the Daily Record. We wondered if you have come across anyone involved with your organisation who might be recognised as an unsung hero.

Judging takes place in early April, and we are looking to complete a shortlist by late March. 

We are looking for amazing fundraisers, inspirational campaigners, children and young people who have overcome adversity to help others, and people who have displayed heart-stopping courage.

All our winners also go forward to the judging process for the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB. Since it began in 1999, royalty, prime ministers, and hundreds of leading figures from show business, sport, politics and the arts have all taken part. The show is broadcast every year in a primetime slot on ITV, and it has served up dozens of truly unforgettable moments, including the meeting of two global icons In 2013 when David Beckham presented a Teenager of Courage Award to Malala, the Birmingham schoolgirl who defied the Taliban and inspired the world.

It would be fantastic if you could circulate this information to your colleagues and let us know who you would like to nominate as soon as possible. If you could give a brief overview about the nominee and why you’re nominating them, that would be great.

Military Widow/ers Survey

Northumbria University are researching loneliness and social isolation among military widows and widowers. An important part of the research is a survey, which is being led by Dr Gemma Wilson. Please pass the link to the survey on and encourage military widows and widowers to complete it. Your thoughts matter to the research team and could lead to improved well-being of a group of the armed forces community who are often forgotten.
Here’s the link for you to check it out – it closes on 14th May:

FirstLight Trust’s Stress Down Day

FirstLight Trust’s Stress Down Day is tomorrow – Friday 26 March.  This campaign exists to support veterans of our emergency services – work that is more vital than ever before.

Ways you can support Stress Down Day:

1. Take a picture/video of you or your pet ‘de-stressing’, use the hashtag #StressDownDayUK and tag us on:

Instagram: @stressdownday and @firstlight_trust

Facebook: @firstlighttrust

Twitter: @firstlighttrust

2. Come up with a quote for Stress Down Day as expressed by pets – see example of Pepper to the right!

3. Join fantastic activities and competitions through our website:

4. Donate to Stress Down Day and help support veterans of the emergency services:

5. Purchase some fab Stress Down Day merchandise from the web shop:

6. Circulate to your friends, family and network to reach as far and wide as possible and give Stress Down Day the engagement it deserves in working towards promoting positive mental health and helping support our emergency services.

Pipers called on to take centre stage of centenary celebrations

Pipers across the world are being invited to compose a new piece of music to be performed at a prestigious event marking the centenary of the Royal British Legion Scotland (Legion Scotland) in September.  Massed pipes and drums will perform the winning composition as part of a Beating Retreat to be held in City Square, Dundee, as part of a year of celebrations for the Armed Forces charity.

While some plans to mark 100 years of the national institution are being adjusted due to the ongoing Coronavirus restrictions, it is expected that hundreds of pipers will participate in the Beating Retreat on Friday 3 September, with the winning entry taking centre stage.

Speaking at the launch of the piping competition, Legion Scotland Chief Executive Dr Claire Armstrong said:

“Over the past year we have held a number of very successful virtual commemorations to mark the 75th anniversary of VE and VJ Days, and the annual remembrance period last November.  But we are excited to be finally looking ahead to coming together in person once again. 

“We are delighted to have an esteemed judging panel comprised of the Senior Pipe Major for the British Army WO1 Peter Macgregor, together with Piper to the Sovereign, Pipe Major Richard Grisdale and Willie Armstrong, a Royal Navy veteran and a founding member of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. The interest we have had from the veterans and civilian piping community to take part in the Beating Retreat has been huge, and we’re hopeful of a large number of compositions being submitted to us.”

Age Scotland Veterans’ Team: Doug Anthoney (Lead), Linda McNeill (Assistant), Pam McLennan (Comradeship Circles)

Tel 0333 323 2400 Email

Age Scotland is the leading charity representing older people in Scotland and supporting their rights and interests.  If offers free advice guides for veterans on key later life topics, and can provide them with later life information and advice through the Age Scotland helpline 0800 12 44 222 / It also offers socially isolated older veterans group telephone camaraderie through its Comradeship Circles service. Age Scotland is coordinating partner in Unforgotten Forces, a consortium of leading charities working together to boost the health and wellbeing of veterans in Scotland age 65 and older.

New research highlights harmful dismissal process for Service personnel who tested positive for drugs ahead of conference on addiction and drug use in the Armed Forces 

A report into Early Service Leavers (ESLs) who were dismissed from the Armed Forces as a result of a positive Compulsory Drug Test (CDT) is the first of its kind in the UK to shed light on their experiences and outcomes. The results will be shared at The Veterans’ Mental Health Conference, held on Thursday by King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) at King’s College London, and funded by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT). The Conference will focus on a group of reports, also funded by FiMT, into addiction and substance misuse in the Armed Forces. The reports include a series of recommendations, particularly for the MOD and NHS, to improve support for current and former Service personnel with addiction and substance misuse issues and their families.

The report published today, Fall Out”: Substance misuse and service leavers: a qualitative investigation into the impact of a Compulsory Drug Test (CDT) discharge, was led by Galahad SMS and Anglia Ruskin University. The research states that between 600 and 770 serving personnel return a positive CDT result each year, with cocaine cited as the most commonly reported drug used. However, for the research participants there was little evidence of a clear protocol for referral onto pathways for treatment and support. Many experienced anxiety and uncertainty, and some reported harsh and humiliating treatment compounding feelings of vulnerability, isolation and shame. Very few participants received psychological, social or transition support, and two thirds perceived a decline in their mental health following discharge, whilst the majority continued using drugs and alcohol.

The report outlines some pre-Service indicators amongst the participants in the study such as mental health diagnoses, adverse childhood experiences and drug use prior to enrolling. Many participants saw the military as an opportunity to escape these environments however and distance themselves from substance misuse.

Following the completion of the study, the MOD has confirmed that personnel discharged as a result of a CDT will now be entitled to resettlement support.  Resettlement support was not available to participants of this research and it is hoped that this change in policy will better prepare CDT discharges in future for the transition into civilian life.  The report also highlighted opportunities for intervening earlier to help such individuals.

All participants spoke positively of their time in service, although there were also challenging circumstances which some had struggled with including bullying, poor treatment and not fitting in, which reportedly led to substance misuse. Participants also reported barriers to support, such as the stigmatization of mental health.

The report suggests that alcohol, which was perceived to be an integral part of service life, inadvertently encouraged other forms of intoxication, which is consistent with other research which will be presented at the conference. A study on mental health and treatment needs of veterans from King’s College London’s KCMHR and Liverpool University found that personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were more likely to report hazardous drinking than civilian personnel, while an additional study from the same researchers found that two thirds of serving and ex-Service personnel who self-reported an alcohol problem had not sought help.

“The army and alcohol go hand in hand. If you’re not working, you’re drinking.” – A participant in the “Fall Out” report.

Other research which will be discussed at the conference includes a study into the use of Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIEDs) and research into the experiences of families of veterans with substance use issues.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of FiMT, said:

“By recruiting people with pre-service vulnerabilities, the Armed Forces, and particularly the British Army, are taking on a moral duty to ensure such vulnerabilities are managed and overcome.  The offer of an escape from a life of deprivation is a key attraction in recruitment that spans centuries.  It is therefore reasonable in a modern society to expect the Armed Forces to prevent in-service triggers, and to provide better access to appropriate care.”

“The group of reports which will be discussed at the conference provide an evidence base to call on the government to ensure that veterans are no worse off than non-veterans, and that there are effective services available to them. Forces in Mind Trust recommends improving awareness of mental health and substance misuse problems, ensuring access to treatment and support, a change in the conversation about alcohol in the military context and more support for families of veterans with substance misuse problems. This report adds to the recommendations that those who have been discharged with positive CDT should be appropriately supported and clearly signposted to mental health and substance support services.”

Simon Bradley from Galahad SMS said:

“That the Forces have the right to discharge personnel who are in violation of policy is not in question; none of the participants would contest this fact either, although many in the study felt themselves to have been highly proficient in their military roles and felt that they were deserving of a second chance. The issue is how the discharge process is managed to minimise further harms and ensure that it does not exacerbate underlying problems.

“Having shared preliminary findings with the MOD at various stages of the research process we hope that our work has contributed in some way to recent policy updates and approaches (as outlined in JSP100 & JSP534v19) seeking to improve and broaden access to health, well being and transition support for service leavers.”

Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Email Email
Veterans Scotland Website Veterans Scotland Website
Our Mailing address is:
Veterans Scotland
New Haig House
Logie Green Road
Edinburgh, EH7 4HR

Veterans Scotland is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland.
Registered as a charity in Scotland, SC 033880.

Veterans Scotland are also members of the Cobseo Executive committee.


Copyright © 2017 Veterans Scotland, All rights reserved.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Veterans Scotland · New Haig House · Logie Green Road · Edinburgh, Scotland EH7 4HR · United Kingdom

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp