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19 February 2021 (Edition - Issue 7)

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


Ann updated copy of the information booklet as at 04 February 2021 is available via the link below:
Funding & Financial Support

New funding programmes opening in April 2021

We are pleased to announce new funding programmes for the 2021/22 financial year.

These programmes are designed to support veterans, Armed Forces families and serving personnel, to recover from some of the wider impacts of the Covid pandemic.

Sustaining Support for Armed Forces communities

The £6 million Sustaining Support for Armed Forces Communities programme will open in April.

This programme will provide funding for existing charitable projects that give help to Armed Forces communities, but which need short term support to continue, as a result of the impact of Covid on charitable income.

Armed Forces charities, and charities that have an existing track record of providing support for Armed Forces communities, will be able to apply for a grant of up to £100,000 for up to one year. Organisations applying for a grant will need to show us they provide support to people from Armed Forces communities, and that it would have a negative effect, particularly on veterans and Armed Forces families, if this work could not be continued. Support for core costs will be available for Armed Forces charities.

Melloney Poole, Chief Executive of the Trust, explains:

“We’re delighted to be sharing more information about the funding programmes that will open from April 2020, that will continue to provide support for Armed Forces communities and the charities that support them. The Covid pandemic has had such a profound impact on the lives of so many veterans, Armed Forces families and serving personnel. These programmes will enable us to support and contribute to the post Covid recovery work to address some of the challenges that Covid has brought to our communities – particularly through the £6 million Sustaining Support for Armed Forces communities programme.”

From April 2021, we’ll also be opening Round 2 of the NAAFI Fund: supporting projects within Armed Forces units that improve quality of life for serving personnel and their families.

There will also be further rounds of the Force for Change programme, which provides small grants for local projects supporting Armed Forces communities to become less isolated and engage more in their local area.

Two strategic programmes coming soon

In Summer 2021, we’ll bring two further strategic programmes.

The Supporting Veterans in Acute Hospital Settings programme will work with a small number of NHS hospitals to pilot a new approach of providing targeted support for veterans, which will help to connect veterans to a wider range of services in the charity and health sectors, joining up care. This programme will support work in all four nations and will benefit patients and staff in raising awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Strengthening Delivery of the Covenant programme will provide continuation grants to local authorities under Strengthening Delivery of the Covenant: Sustaining Impact, which builds on the work of local authorities through the earlier Strengthening Delivery of the Covenant programme, to ensure that the learning and the gains from this programme are not lost and that all local authorities have access to the eLearning and support they will need to draw on to deliver their commitments to the Covenant in a post-Covid world.

Find out more

We’ll have more information on all of these programmes in due course as they go live.

In the meantime, take a look at our programme overview below.



Additional information can be found on the website below:
New funding programmes opening in April 2021 : The Armed Forces Covenant Trust (covenantfund.org.uk)

Social Security Scotland




Looking for information on our benefits that you can share with your clients? Visit http://socialsecurity.gov.scot to get resources like factsheets and social media posts. Clients can also be signposted to http://mygov.scot/benefits

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: 
  • 26 February

  • 21 May

  • 27 August

  • 12 November


 
Housing

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

FIND OUT MORE

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.
                                      

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.

A link to the current Guides is available HERE
 

News and Other Updates

The RAF Benevolent Fund’s response to COVID-19

Since its formation in 1919, the RAF Benevolent Fund has stood side by side with the RAF Family during its toughest times and the coronavirus pandemic is no exception. The welfare of our beneficiaries and staff have been and will continue to be at the forefront of all we do. We have adjusted our working practices to ensure the Fund is ‘open for business’ for those members of the RAF Family who need our support.

For our beneficiaries, the Fund already has robust and effective strategies in place to support people who might be affected by social isolation. We want to ensure the most vulnerable RAF veterans, serving personnel and dependants are able to access the very best level of support we can provide in these challenging times.

Around three quarters of the RAF Family are aged over 65, many live at a distance from friends and family and are experiencing complex health and welfare challenges, often compounded by their age. Shielding and self-isolation is not making the situation any easier and is certainly increasing social isolation and loneliness.

The Veterans' Gateway app

The Veterans’ Gateway app helps veterans find support organisations in their area using their smartphone or tablet. The Veterans’ Gateway app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. Download by clicking on the links below:

Military Awards Commemorations

Guidance on the restoration of Military Medals to personnel discharged on the basis of their sexuality.

Background

Prior to 2000, a number of armed forces personnel were discharged from service on the basis of their sexuality. Some received convictions under specified legislation for homosexual behaviour that has now been de-criminalised, while others were discharged solely on the basis of their sexuality, without any conviction.

In the course of their discharge, some personnel either forfeited medals directly, or were prevented from continuing to serve and thus denied the ability to regain medals that might previously have been forfeited for unrelated reasons.

The MOD is committed to addressing this historical wrong and is introducing a policy which enables individuals to apply to have their medals restored. Applications for restoration will be considered on the basis of the facts available and submitted for approval to the Defence Council who will exercise the powers invested in them by the 1985 Royal Warrant on the Grant Forfeiture and Restoration of Medals.

Launchpad awarded in Defence Employer Recognition Scheme

 
Veterans’ charity Launchpad has received the bronze award from the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).
 
The scheme, which was launched in 2014, recognises and rewards UK employers for their support and commitment to the Armed Forces Community in alignment with the Armed Forces Covenant.
 
There are three tiers of award – Bronze, Silver and Gold – and Launchpad has just joined over 3,000 organisations in the bronze award category who have stated their intent to be supportive towards defence personnel and support those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families.
 
Although this has been 100% evident in all activity since inception, it is good to receive recognition. The charity now aims to progress to silver level which recognises employers who actively demonstrate support while the gold level recognises those employers who demonstrate and advocate support.
 
Bronze award holders promote an Armed Forces friendly position, and are open to employing Reservists and supporting their training and mobilisation commitments. Launchpad was founded by members of the armed forces community and staff across both houses are former serving personnel or reservists.
 
Nicholas Tubbs, Chair of Launchpad, said: “The charity was established by former serving personnel and some of our staff and trustees also have military backgrounds. We are delighted to receive this bronze award in recognition of our commitment and support to the armed forces – and the veterans we have supported as residents since inception. Veterans and reservists are a fundamental part of our expanding workforce.”
 
Launchpad provides accommodation and a wide range of support for up to 80 residents across two houses in Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne to help them make a successful transition to civilian life.
 
Since 2013, the charity has supported almost 500 veterans. 71% of residents successfully move on to settled accommodation and 42% (pre-pandemic figure) leave in paid employment.
 
– Ends –
For more information on this press release, please contact Craig Downs from Up North Communications on 0191 300 0810, 07811 287 922 or email craig@upnorthcommunications.co.uk
 

Cyber Scotland Week (22 - 28 Feb)

The Covid pandemic brought a rise in cyber crime in 2020, further increasing the cyber risk to charities. We worked with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) in 2020 to provide some short webinars to highlight the main threats to charity trustees and let them know there is help out there. You can find the Keeping you Charity Safe Online webinars on phishing and ransomware our YouTube channel.

In addition to that we are contributing to Cyber Scotland Week which runs from the 22nd – 28th of February. A number of partners are working together to provide a series of online events for charities, businesses and individuals. We will look at a recent high profile OSCR inquiry case. They will discuss what happened when a group of charity trustees found themselves in a crisis, the mistakes they made and what they could have done to better manage the situation. Find out more and register for the event here.

If you are responsible for running a charity but you are unsure why cyber security should be on your radar then this blog from Alison Stone at SCVO should help to explain.

 

You can find out more about Cyber Scotland on their website.

‘Grace Period’ coming to an end

 

This has been a very difficult 12 months for charities.

A specific concern raised with OSCR early on was that it might be difficult for charities to submit their annual reports and accounts to us on time. 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, charities had 9 months after their ‘year-end’ date to submit annual information to OSCR. To address concerns, OSCR allowed charities extra time to submit annual reports and accounts (referred to as a ‘grace period’). This grace period extended a charity’s annual return deadline by an additional 9 months when their deadline date fell between 01 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.

This means that charities with deadlines from 01 April 2021 onwards will no longer receive additional time, and so should again plan to submit within 9 months of a year-end date. If annual information is submitted to OSCR late, this is indicated on the Scottish Charity Register entry for the charity.

OSCR has carefully considered its decision to end the grace period. We have given charities time to make adjustments and we will continue to signpost those in need of help as best we can. However, public trust in charities is vital and regular reporting provides the level of transparency and accountability expected from the sector.

In the past year, significant amounts of charities have been able to use online methods to get accounts finalised and signed off. There are great examples demonstrating the effort, energy and creativity of charity trustees to make sure they can keep on top of their affairs and their commitments.

If your charity requires any support, please get in touch with us at info@oscr.org.uk

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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.

   

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