8 January 2021 (Edition - Issue 1)

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


Veterans Scotland Information Booklet

Having been made aware of several updates and changes, an updated copy of the information booklet is available via the link below:

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.

Covid Support Advice - 5 January 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19): stay at home guidance

Guidance on new stay at home regulations coming into effect on 5 January 2021.

Stay at Home

To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible.  By law, in a level 4 area, you can only leave your home (or garden) for an essential purpose.

There is a list of examples of reasonable excuses in the link below.  Although you can leave home for these purposes, you should stay as close to home as possible.  Shop on-line or use local shops and services wherever you can.   Travel no further than you need to reach to a safe, non-crowded place to exercise in a socially distanced way.  To minimise the risk of spread of Coronavirus it is crucial that we all avoid unnecessary travel.  Full details are available on the Scottish Government website via the link below:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): stay at home guidance - (

Coronavirus in Scotland

Stopping the spread starts with all of us.

You should:

  • wear a face covering
  • avoid crowded places
  • clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • stay 2m away from other people
  • self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms (new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste)

From Tuesday 5 January, mainland Scotland will move from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes. Some islands will remain at Level 3.

Coronavirus in Scotland - (

Advice from Scottish Government on Support Groups

Support groups and one-to-one support should be delivered remotely where possible, but support may be delivered in-person if remote delivery is not possible and they are essential for people’s wellbeing. Examples of support services include peer support groups, vulnerable persons’ or families’ support groups, talking therapy groups, day centres, respite care, one to one talking therapy and counselling. Support services do not include close contact retail services, such as massage, which are covered by separate guidance on this page.

An essential support service is one where the participant’s health (including their mental health) and wellbeing would be significantly impacted by non-attendance. If services must take place in-person, relevant guidance must be followed.

Offices, call centres and other workplaces

People are strongly advised to work from home wherever that is practicable.

Businesses which provide essential services can continue to operate, such as those in the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) sector, courts and tribunals. There are 13 designated CNI sectors including agriculture and food production, activity to maintain the food supply chain, energy and transport.

Not all CNI activity will be essential. Those operations which can be done effectively through home working should be adopted.

Outdoor workplaces, construction, manufacturing, veterinary services and film and TV production can also remain open. They should plan for the minimum number of people needed on site to operate safely and effectively.

Home visits by tradespeople should only be for essential services. 

Chancellor extends furlough and loan schemes

The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021 with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages – giving businesses and employees across the UK certainty into the New Year, the Chancellor announced

  • certainty for millions of jobs and businesses as furlough scheme extended until the end of April 2021

  • businesses struggling will have now until the end of March to access government generous loan schemes

  • Chancellor also confirmed that the Budget will be on the 3 March and set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs

In a move to ensure firms can access the support they need through continuing economic disruption, Rishi Sunak also confirmed he would be extending the government-guaranteed Covid-19 business loan schemes until the end of March.

Additional information is available on the website via the links below:

Chancellor extends furlough and loan schemes - GOV.UK (

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support - GOV.UK (

Work and financial support

Popular content

Education, Employment & Training Support

What We Do

A series of skills and economic strategies interlink to shape SDS's work, making sure that services and partnership activity are meeting the needs of customers and effectively contributing to economic growth ambitions for Scotland.

Across Scotland, we support individuals to build their career management, work-based and employability skills, throughout their career journey, from school, into further learning opportunities and employment.

We are able to use skills intelligence to help inform the decisions of people across Scotland, at all stages of their careers, so that they are well-placed to take up the opportunities arising within the economy.

We target delivery of this support to those who need it most, ensuring all individuals are enabled to achieve their full potential. We work with employers and employer groups on a national, sectoral, regional, local and individual basis; supporting them to recognise and articulate their current and future skills needs, and to engage with the skills system to help ensure it better meets those needs in the short, medium and longer term.

Find out more about the services available from SDS on their website HERE

The Construction Industry

Thursday 21st January 2021 10:00-11:50

This is likely to be of particular interest to those in the Armed Forces community who may be interested in Construction based employment opportunities in Highland/North of Scotland.
All other interested individuals/supporters welcome too.
For more information and to join us, please sign up through the following
Microsoft Forms Link:
Funding & Financial Support


The Veterans Foundation Grants

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:

If you have any queries, please contact us at

How to find out what benefits you can claim

If you're not sure what help you can get, find out what benefits you can claim or where you can get further support.


Benefits and grants

Includes information on benefits, funds and grants, including Child Benefit and tax credits. Benefits and grants -

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

Take our quick overview to explore the pages and create a personalised list to return to later

Money map | Citizens Advice Scotland

Health & Wellbeing

If you have any coronavirus symptoms:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

Get a test and stay at home

Get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus

You can have a swab test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) now.

Who can get a free test

You can only get a free NHS test if at least one of the following applies:

  • you have a high temperature
  • you have a new, continuous cough
  • you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
  • you’ve been asked to get a test by a local council
  • you’re taking part in a government pilot project
  • you’ve been asked to get a test to confirm a positive result

You can also get a test for someone you live with if they have symptoms.

If you’re going into hospital

You may need to get tested if you’re due to have surgery or a procedure.

The hospital will arrange this for you. Contact your hospital department if you have any questions. ​


With the ongoing situation of COVID-19, we are all facing really unusual and restrictive government measures that are intended to keep us, our families and our communities safe. It is vital that we adhere to these measures and in doing so, limit the spread of the disease and ensure that the NHS have the capacity to care for those who fall dangerously ill.

While these measures do protect us from the spread of the disease, it's important that we're aware of the potential impact that social distancing, social isolation and working from home may have on our mental health.

It's completely normal to experience a range of emotions right now. You may find yourself feeling low in mood, anxious, sad, confused and even angry – these are normal human responses to these uncertain and confusing times. Rest assured you share these feelings with the majority of the planet currently. Combat Stress want the veteran community to know that we're here for you.

Our skilled and experienced clinicians and our veteran representatives have been working hard to develop the following resources, which are aimed at keeping you in good mental and physical shape until the lockdown is lifted.

Mental health support to help you during COVID-19 | Combat Stress



Boost and protect your mental health during Coronavirus

Infectious disease outbreaks, like COVID-19 (Coronavirus), can be scary and can impact on our mental health. But there are many things we can do to support and manage our wellbeing during this extraordinary situation.

As experts in mental health, we wanted to share some help and advice to help everyone manage their mental health during this uncertain time. We hope this will help you take care of your mental health at a time when there feels to be so much threat to our physical health.

We’re going to share some help and advice to help boost and protect your mental health.


Information overload? In times like this it can be easy to fall into thinking traps and ruminations. Make sure you ‘switch off’ screens and limit the time you spend on social media otherwise you can feel overwhelmed. Keep up-to-date using only factual information from the World Heath Organisation (WHO) and Government websites. 

Keep connected. There are so many ways for us all to keep in contact now – phone, Skype, whatsapp, social media, email. Use this time as an opportunity to catch up with distant friends or family who you've been meaning to contact for a while.

Get fresh air. Make use of your windows and keep the curtains open in the day to let light in. You could even start to grow plants on your windowsill (sweet peas are good). If you have a garden, go out in it and if you don’t, you can go out once a day for a run, walk or cycle. This should be done alone or only with people you live with.

Further advice is available on the Combat Stress website Here                                                

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.

Eviction ban extended                                        

Extension to protect tenants.

A temporary ban on eviction orders will be extended until the end of March.

Regulations will be laid in the Scottish Parliament on 14 January to extend the current ban, which is in place at present until 22 January. The extended ban – will apply to all evictions in areas subject to level 3 or 4 restrictions, except cases of serious anti-social behaviour, including domestic abuse. Subject to review every three weeks to ensure it remains necessary to protect against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), it will remain in force until 31 March.

This will provide renters with safe homes during the pandemic. It will reduce the burden on local authorities, who have a duty to rehouse people made homeless through evictions, and will also make it easier for people to follow the guidelines during the current lockdown.

News and Other Updates

SSAFA’s Forcesline helping to combat isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Last year, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity were awarded a grant by the DCMS to help alleviate loneliness and isolation amongst the Armed Forces community during the Covid-19 outbreak and pandemic.

Part of this grant was dedicated to SSAFA’s Forcesline, a free and confidential telephone helpline, email and webchat service.

Forcesline is available to all members of the Armed Forces community, including serving personnel, veterans and their families.

The helpline acts as a ‘front’ door’ to the wider support services offered by the charity and beyond. Forcesline can be a telling indicator for the overall wellbeing of the military community currently serving (regulars and reserves), veterans and their families.

The service allows individuals the space and time to discuss their problems with an experienced advisor, who can offer an ear to listen, for as long as they need. Many callers contact Forcesline having not spoken to anyone about their issues or experiences, and the ability to talk to another person who listens to them can make a huge difference.

The support offered to those feeling lonely and isolated will vary and the individual will often be referred to a local SSAFA branch or signposted to another SSAFA service, or one of our partner organisations, to help with their specific needs.


Advice from SCVO - Coronavirus restrictions

SCVO have produce several guides to assist those organisations working in the voluntary sector to ensure the safety of your staff and those who you support.  It also looks at 

From Tuesday 5 January, mainland Scotland will move from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes. Some islands will remain at Level 3.

Supporting staff & volunteers

How to protect employee's rights, maintain wellbeing and access financial support like the furlough scheme
Find out more

Safe services

Key guidance for different types of face to face support
Find out more

Safe premises

How to assess risks and open premises safely
Find out more


For trustees and senior leaders considering strategic risks, opportunities and threats
Find out more

Finance, fundraising & trading

How to review income sources and plan for the future
Find out more

The digital version of the ABF FrontLine magazine is now available to view on the website:

The Autumn/Winter 2020 issue looks back at an extraordinary year, with stories from across the Army family. Featuring interviews with Chelsea Pensioner and Britain’s Got Talent winner, Colin Thackery and our ambassador Barney Gillespie, who discusses his work as a movement coach on the BBC’s Strike series.

Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub

SCVO provide information for charitable organisations who are looking for information and support on a wide range of subject that are being impacted by Coronavirus.  Follow the link below to find out more:

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Logie Green Road
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Registered as a charity in Scotland, SC 033880.

Veterans Scotland are also members of the Cobseo Executive committee.


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