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29 October 2021 (Edition - Issue 39)

Employment, Training & Transition Support

Scotland's Census 2022

We are recruiting people across Scotland to help us deliver the census in 2022. 

You can find out more and apply for open vacancies on our recruitment partner's website. Our current vacancies are:

You can also find out more about how we plan to deliver field operations during the census next year. 

National Careers Service

Skills assessment

Find out about careers that might be right for you by taking one of these assessments.

A skills assessment can be helpful at any stage of your career, like when you:

  • start your career
  • return to work
  • progress your career

Transferable skills are a set of skills that you’re good at. You can build them up over time, through work, volunteering, education and life. You can apply these skills to a range of jobs.

You may want to take an assessment to help you:

  • find out what interests and motivates you
  • identify your skills
  • find out what you can do with the skills you have
Find out more about these assements 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

Longer-Term Employment Outcomes of Ex-Service Personnel


Longer-Term-Employment-Outcomes_FINAL.pdf (pcdn.co)

The FiMT have release their latest report into the long term employment outcomes for ex-service personnel.  A copy of the report is available on their website or via the link above.
 

Our residential employability course, Advance to Work, will take place week commencing the 22nd of November in Stirling.  The course is fully funded to include accommodation, travel, and meals for the duration; providing up to 10 members of the Armed Forces Community the opportunity to focus on their employment goals, with limited distraction and the added value of peer support.
 
Clients attending the course can expect to leave with an increased awareness of:
•            Their own skills and abilities
•            Effective goal setting
•            Team dynamics
•            The job market and how to job search
•            Effective CV, cover letter and application writing
•            How and when to utilise the STAR method
•            How to be successful at interview
•            The wider employment and welfare support available
 
To help us deliver this new employment offering we will be working with several key partners including RFEA, SAMH and Skills Development Scotland.
 
Applications to the course can be made by completing and returning the attached form.
Applicants must be ready to focus on a change in career or return to employment, and fully committed to the completion of the course.
 
Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to get in touch.
 

From: Danielle Coll <D.Coll@poppyscotland.org.uk> 

Registration forms are available from Danielle Coll at Poppyscotland if required.
Funding & Financial Support

Scottish Veterans Fund 2022/23 Launch

This year’s Scottish Veterans Fund is now open for bids from projects that improve the lives of former service personnel or their families. The funding pot for this year has been increased to £500,000 and individual projects can bid up to a limit of £50,000 per year. This year the fund is particularly looking to support bids which promote collaboration and partnership from amongst and out with the veterans charitable sector, as well as bids which include support to early service leavers.

Since the fund’s inception in 2008 more than 180 projects have been supported receiving more than £1.7 million.

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.

Grant application Form

Application Guidance Document

Contact details and information on support for bids can be found on the Veterans Scotland website http://www.veteransscotland.co.uk and also within the application guidance document.

The closing date for applications is 12th November 2021. 
Applications will not be accepted after this date.

21 October 2021

Fair work support for women returners with fund of up to £2m

Up to 1,500 women preparing to return to the workforce will receive support from new funding worth up to £2million.

The Women Returners Programme has been developed to improve the confidence, networks and work-readiness of women aged 25 and over who have taken a career break of at least six months.

Support offered will be based on an individual’s existing skills, experience and barriers to employment and could include, but is not limited to, mentoring, CV building, IT skills, other learning provision or a work placement.

Funded by Scottish Government, the Programme aims to contribute towards reducing the gender pay gap, improving women’s economic position in the labour market and delivering fair and inclusive economic growth.

“As we look to deliver on our ambitions to build a fairer, greener, more sustainable economy, it is really important that we tackle workplace inequalities for women, including the motherhood penalty and discrimination such as age, ethnicity or disability. This is an important initiative that will benefit women and employers all over the country.”

Employment Minister, Richard Lochhead

Tailored support

Available now (October), the Women Returners Programme is funded until March 2022. It will be delivered by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with a range of organisations such as charities, or those specialising in digital skills or inclusive recruitment, who will offer a tailored support service for eligible participants.

Employment Minister, Richard Lochhead said: “We know there are long standing structural and societal barriers that can prevent women successfully returning to the workforce following a career break, made more difficult by the impacts of the pandemic. The Women’s Returners Programme aims to mitigate some of these barriers and help women to develop the confidence, skills, work experience and networks they may need to ease the transition back to work.

“As we look to deliver on our ambitions to build a fairer, greener, more sustainable economy, it is really important that we tackle workplace inequalities for women, including the motherhood penalty and discrimination such as age, ethnicity or disability. This is an important initiative that will benefit women and employers all over the country.”

Support for Funding

 

We’re here to help

We have a diverse range of funding programmes waiting to benefit communities across Scotland. With donors representing a broad spectrum of aims and wishes, the funds available range in size, intent and purpose.

Exploring the funding programmes

Some of our funds are available on a Scotland-wide basis, and others are aimed at specific geographical areas or themes. You’ll find grant size and criteria information on each fund’s page, together with any unique criteria. Also, every fund lists a deadline for applications, and there may be more than one round of funding each year. When searching, be sure to note all the key dates in the fund listing, so you don’t miss out.

Applying is simple; most of our funds can be applied for online. The most important thing is that you read the criteria carefully and submit the correct documents before the deadline.

https://www.foundationscotland.org.uk/apply-for-funding



Supporting the Armed Forces Covenant through funding real change


Discover the Knowledge Network

Our new, open access data repository: the Knowledge Network features impact and outcome based content from both the programmes the Trust delivers and the projects we support. A new place to access learning and best practice from the grant making of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.

GO TO THE KNOWLEDGE NETWORK
 

Grants from The Veterans' Foundation


The Veterans’ Foundation continues to provide grants to help veterans, qualified seafarers and dependants, who are in need.  The maximum grant is currently £30K, however, we also provide salary grants, which can amount 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 from now and through 2022 are as follows: 
  • 12 November
  • 28 February
  • 20 May
  • 26 Aug

Fundraising guidance for charity trustees

Summary

There are many aspects of fundraising which OSCR does not regulate and that we cannot provide guidance on.

This guidance covers the areas that we do regulate. 

Fundraising guidance for charity trustees

Additinal information and guidance is available on the OSCR website below:

OSCR | Fundraising guidance

Health

Samaritans launches app to support UK military veterans’ mental health


Military veterans are set to benefit from a dedicated new mental health app, launched today by Samaritans, to help them deal with the long-term emotional challenges of adjusting to life after the Forces.

The free Samaritans Veterans app comes on the back of joint research the leading suicide prevention charity carried out with the Royal British Legion, which found that veterans wanted to understand more about their emotional wellbeing and to hear from people with similar experiences. Those leaving the military and former Armed Forces personnel can access emotional health and wellbeing information, videos, exercises, podcasts, and create wellbeing to-do-lists in the app to help look after themselves and connect with the veteran community.

The new app is part of a programme at the charity that works with the Ministry of Defence and military charities to support serving personnel in the Armed Forces, veterans and their families, and is funded by a £3.5m LIBOR grant.

Navy veteran Liam (27), who used Samaritans for support when he was struggling with suicidal thoughts, believes the support could help veterans leaving the Armed Forces in the same way he is now.

“I left the navy in June, so I’m just getting to grips with the adjustment of a different pace of life.

“The support resources in the app are great and I like that you can do daily check ins to help manage your moods. Anything that can help you to get on with the everyday things is so useful when you have just left a familiar routine. I have used Samaritans service in the past and the volunteer I spoke to helped me out of a huge hole. To anyone feeling low, don’t be afraid to ask for help and confide. You don’t need to carry the weight of stress on your own, and your world will feel more manageable if you can take steps to look after your wellbeing and talk to others.”

Samaritans volunteers provide emotional support to the military community with concerns including mental health, isolation and loneliness, family and relationship problems, and most contacts are from veterans. In April 2020, the first full month of the pandemic lockdown, the charity saw the largest volume of military contacts since Samaritans began to record contacts from the military community in 2018 and 79% were veterans.

Samaritans Veterans App will support veterans to learn ways to manage their emotional responses to situations, deal with the new day-to-day reality and help to identify challenges and develop ways to overcome them. The app also has access to volunteering and peer support by connecting people to the wider veteran community.

JJ Chalmers, a veteran Lance Corporal in the Royal Marines and TV presenter, said:

 “Life in the Armed Forces can be very challenging, and people who have recently left active service are particularly likely to struggle after losing that structure, camaraderie and sense of purpose.

“We all have mental health, and we should actively choose to maintain it, rather than dealing with it as a last resort. Anything that helps provide support is invaluable. The Samaritans Veterans App is a great tool to help keep track of your wellbeing and includes useful resources if you are having a difficult time.”

Samaritans Military Programme Manager and former Army Officer Joseph Walcott said:

“Military veterans have proudly served their country but may find themselves in need of a helping hand once they have to readjust to civilian life.

“Leaving the military is a really big deal and veterans we have spoken to have told us that they would have benefited from additional support and guidance for their mental wellbeing during this period in their lives.

“With our data showing that veteran callers are almost twice as likely to report suicidal ideation compared to callers from the general population, we wanted to help. The new Samaritans Veterans app provides a practical way for those leaving the military and veterans to look after their own emotional health and that of their families, as well as support each other through a period of real upheaval in their lives.”

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Leo Docherty said:

The Samaritan’s Veteran App will help ensure that all those who have served can access mental health and wellbeing support if they need it.

“The app will allow veterans to manage everyday tasks through a range of tools. Regardless of when you served, I urge all veterans to download the app to support their day-to-day wellbeing.”

The Samaritans Veterans App is available to download (Samaritans Veterans) on your phone from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android) or use the desktop version here.

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.

Housing

Homeless Network Scotland


Members Event An opportunity to shape the @ScotGovFairer pathway to prevent and end homelessness for people leaving the armed forces. Kevin Gray, CEO @VHScotland and Dr Steve Rolfe @HousingStirUni will present the draft pathway.
Join us http://homelessnetwork.scot/event/veterans/ #WeAreAllin
 
Image


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.

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

NFF newsletter now live!

The October edition of the Naval Families Federation newsletter is now live.

Click here to download.

RAF Benevolent Fund supporters celebrated at annual awards ceremony

The RAF Benevolent Fund celebrated the generous work of its supporters at its annual awards ceremony on Thursday 21 November. The ceremony, held at Plaisterers’ Hall in London, was attended by hundreds of RAF personnel, veterans, and supporters of the Fund.

Now in its ninth year, the RAF Benevolent Fund Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of its fundraisers, volunteers, and partners. The title of RAF Station of the Year was won by RAF College Cranwell, which organised the RAF College Cranwell Virtual Challenge to celebrate its 100th anniversary while raising more than £10,000 for the Fund. Meanwhile, RAF Shawbury took home the RAF Stations Challenge Cup for raising the most money strictly through sporting events on a per-head basis.

No need to break the internet to take a break from the internet!

Stress Down Day is a bi-annual reminder reminding us that we need to take a break, something we should all be doing much more often. Life is back to moving at one hundred miles per hour and it seems as though there is always an excuse as to why we can’t slow down and take a breather; too many deadlines, not enough time and don’t forget the dire future of our planet.

Taking a break does not mean we are less productive or effective, anything but. We do not need to be on the verge of a mental breakdown to deserve a break. In fact, Psychology Today states that taking a break increases productivity and creativity.[1] Taking a short walk and getting out in nature are two of the simplest yet effective ways we can refresh our minds and prevent the build-up of stress.

“Stress is the biggest hidden epidemic affecting the health and safety of Britons today,” explains FirstLight Trust’s CEO and Founder, Dorinda Wolfe Murray.

“Through our Stress Down Day UK initiative on Friday 29 October we are encouraging people to take time out and relax; in doing so it helps put our lives and problems in perspective.”

This year, Stress Down Day lends a spotlight to reading and the benefits it has on our mental health and wellbeing. It’s not breaking news that the internet fuels anxiety, depression and isolation; why not challenge yourself to a screen free weekend and swap it for a page turner of a novel. Stretch your body before you get out of bed and before you go to sleep, you will be amazed at how small actions can amazingly increase your mental wellbeing, particularly if you’re ‘keeping up’ with these practices on a daily basis.

Share the book you choose to Stress Down with and tag us on Instagram @stressdownday with #StressDownDayUK.

For more information about Stress Down Day and how you can get involved visit the website https://stressdownday.uk/

[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers

  1. [1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers

VETERANS ACTIVITY CALENDAR OCTOBER 2021


If you are looking for information on veteran events and activities why not check out the calendar below:


 
Virtual launch of the Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland’s new report:

THE ARMED FORCES COVENANT: REFLECTIONS ON A DECADE OF THE NATION’S PROMISE



2 November | 12:00 – 13:00

 
This November, it will have been ten years since the Armed Forces Covenant was first enshrined in UK legislation. Having campaigned for the Covenant to be included in the Armed Forces Act 2011, and having championed its observance across society ever since, the Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland, will mark this significant anniversary with the launch of an independent report reflecting on the Covenant’s impact on the wellbeing of serving personnel, veterans, and their families. 
 
Our report celebrates the advancements in outcomes, understanding, funding and services for the Armed Forces community over the past decade, which have been overseen by government at all levels, as well as businesses and voluntary organisations. The report also makes recommendations for further strengthening delivery of the Covenant where appropriate, ensuring that it remains fit for purpose into the next decade.
 
We will be launching our report virtually on the 2 November, between 12:00 and 13:00, from the RBL’s Head Office in London. We are delighted to be joined by a panel of experts from across society and the UK, who will draw on their own insight and experience of working with the Covenant and the Armed Forces community to reflect on some of the key themes of our report.
 
You can view the panel discussion and report launch via the following link: www.rblarmedforcescovenant.com. The event is free to view, and you are welcome to share the link with others who you feel may be interested. The launch will be recorded and available to view later, should you be unable to attend the live stream.
We would love for you to join us for what promises to be a great event.
 

We are with you for the Armed Forces weekly web chat

We are with you for the Armed Forces are now offering a  dedicated web chat for Veterans every week from 1400 to 1600 every Tuesday.

This is open to all veterans and veteran family members for any support needed. Please click the following link to access: meet.google.com/iej-gprd-uqx

We are also offering a weekly veterans national online peer led veterans MAP group that any veteran or veteran family member can join the code is meet.google.com/iej-gprd-uqx

Friends of Dalry Cemetery Group


The Friends of Dalry Cemetery group has been working with Edinburgh council on commissioning a brass plaque to commemorate the 26 war dead interred there. If everything goes according to plan, an official unveiling will be held on Remembrance Day 11 Nov at 11AM. We would like to invite local veterans to this event and would be grateful if you could forward this message to anyone interested.
 
I have attached a simple map showing both entrances of the cemetery, the X marking the location of the plaque. Below are some links about our cemetery and efforts:

https://www.cwgc.org/visit-us/find-cemeteries-memorials/cemetery-details/47105/edinburgh-(dalry)-cemetery/
http://dalrycemetery.co.uk/index.php

https://en-gb.facebook.com/groups/167871277939302/

Charity Commission COVID-19 Survey 2021

The Charity Commission have published a report presenting the findings of independent research into the impact of COVID-19 on charities.

Executive summary

Nearly all charities (91%) in England and Wales have experienced some negative impact from Covid-19. The consequences have been wide-ranging and often severe, spanning service delivery, financial and staffing issues, as well as frustration and uncertainty.

  • Covid-19 has predominantly impacted charities’ services and delivery (85%), alongside their financial position (72%) and staffing and governance (66%)
  • work or events have been postponed and cancelled (57%) and many charities have lost income from fundraising (49%) or trading and other sources (35%)
  • operationally, there is frustration caused by the uncertainty around when charities will be able to return to ‘normality’
  • a majority have lost income from charitable activities (60%)
  • access to volunteers has decreased for a third of charities (32%)
  • few have encountered or suffered any significant impact from cyber harms

Many charities have actively tried to counter the impact of Covid-19, most commonly by adapting their services.

  • the most common action taken by charities is adapting their services in light of restrictions (45%), followed by using financial reserves (40%) and even pausing operations temporarily (32%). A fifth have furloughed staff (18%)
  • restrictions have resulted in less emphasis on in-person events and cash donations
  • whilst the pandemic has undoubtedly presented significant challenges, there have been some benefits from positive changes made. Half of charities (49%) have made better use of digital technology

Whilst many have actioned changes in light of Covid-19, there is some concern surrounding future viability.

  • a significant minority (34%) expect to generate less revenue from fundraising and donations in 2022
  • over half (62%) anticipate a threat to their charity’s financial viability in the next 12 months
  • however, a majority expect their charity to be in the same or better position overall

Some charities have already accessed funding support, but many would appreciate further clarity on where to find it.

  • 20% have accessed Local Authority funding, and 14% have used UK Government funding
  • half (50%) would find more information on financial support helpful, and often suggest the Charity Commission could do more to help charities find/access it

Read the full report here.

Funding announced for new research to understand the impact of serving within the UK Armed Forces for the Indian sub-continent and West Indian veterans and their families

Forces in Mind Trust has awarded £160,000 to the University of Chester for a new research project.

OSCR



When people raise concerns with us about charities, it's often caused by a lack of awareness and support or a failure in decision making. Our 'Good Governance' section provides useful information and support in one place, to help you get things right.


https://oscr.org.uk/managing-a-charity/trustee-duties/good-governance/…
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