November 2018 Issue
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Scotland welcomes UK-wide Veterans Strategy

First ever UK-wide strategy on the delivery of support for veterans published 

Produced jointly between the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments, and including the Northern Ireland Office, the Strategy for our Veterans outlines a new vision and principles to support those who served, as well as their families.

The strategy identifies six key areas where support is most needed over the next ten years: community and relationships, employment and skills, health and wellbeing, finance and debt, housing, and contact with the law.

It assesses the barriers and opportunities in these areas to providing support to each veteran, including improved collaboration between organisations, better co-ordination of services and more robust data on the veteran community.

It is published alongside a UK Government consultation paper that seeks views on how best to champion and deliver the needs of the ex-service community. It will inform how the strategy could be implemented across the UK, except for devolved matters in Scotland and Wales. The Scottish and Welsh Governments will engage separately on devolved issues such as housing and healthcare.

Informing Scotland Events Update

The last couple of months has seen several events take place as part of the Informing Scotland project, funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), a £35 million funding scheme run by the FiMT using an endowment awarded by the Big Lottery Fund.  Most recently, in Inverness we saw the Highland Gathering take place, with the Armed Forces Champion Cllr Roddy Balfour hosting a group of over 40 individuals representing the Armed Forces Community from organisations such as Highland Council, NHS, DWP, Legion Scotland, Poppyscotland, Citizens Advice Bureau and a number of Veterans Charities from across the region.

The event was an opportunity to share information and increase awareness on the Armed Forces Community, where they are and most importantly what services exist locally to support the small number who may face difficulties after they leave the Armed Forces.
Highland Council took the opportunity to re-sign the Armed Forces Covenant and further commit to supporting those who have left the Services and chosen to settle in the Highlands.

Highland Council Convener, Councillor Bill Lobban who signed the Covenant said: “Historically, the Highlands have a great tradition of supporting the Armed Forces.  Signing this Covenant confirms The Highland Council’s own commitment to its Armed Forces Community.   We have also reinforced our intention to work closely with our partners and the widest community to honour the Highland Armed Forces Community Covenant."

Special thanks to Jo Lenihan, Project Officer (Armed Forces Covenant) Highland and Moray, and Dot Ferguson, Highland Council for all of their support and assistance in making this a successful event that it is hoped will become an annual fixture.

(Left to right) standing: Shaun Cauvin Veterans Scotland; Major Alec Rose, 7 Scots; Jim Wilson, Veterans Scotland; Captain Peter Marshall, PSAO C Company 7 Scots; Roy McLellan, Regional Employment Engagement Director of Highland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association; Major MRM Gibson, Area Section North, Royal Regiment Scotland; and seated (left to right) Highland Council Convener Cllr Bill Lobban; Cllr Roddy Balfour Armed Forces and Veterans’ Champion

Veterans Scotland AGM - 14 November 2018

Veterans Scotland held its AGM at The Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh on the afternoon of 14th November. There were three guest speakers:  
Gen Sir John McColl, Chairman of Cobseo, who talked on the UK’s Strategy for Veterans that had been announced at Westminster and at Holyrood that morning. A UK wide consultation is taking place; if you wish to take part in this public consultation, over the next twelve weeks, you can do so at: . A key element of the Strategy will be to develop Collaboration across statutory and voluntary organisations providing support for veterans. It is also important that veterans charities promote a positive perspective of veterans and to retain the public’s trust; part of this could include organisations working together, sharing business processes and demonstrating increased cooperation. There is a real opportunity for veterans’ charities to set an example across the charity sector. 

Brig Fred Hargreaves, the MOD’s Deputy Director of the Invictus Games, provided an inspiring insight into the Games and the huge benefits that come not just for those selected to represent the UK, but also for those taking part in any part of the selection process. The wider benefit of being part of the ‘Invictus Family’ are very clear, demonstrating to the public great resilience and ability to overcome significant obstacles.

The third speaker was Graham Dey MSP, Minister for Veterans, who spoke about how the Strategy for Veterans will take place in Scotland. He reiterated his commitment to consult widely across Scotland as responsibility for many support services are devolved to the Scottish Government. Much research has already been carried out in Scotland, as evidenced by the Scottish Veterans Commissioner’s reports published over the last couple of years. Details of how consultation will take place in Scotland, and which VS are working with the Scottish Government on, will be forthcoming soon.

The AGM was attended by some 50 people, and it provided an excellent opportunity to consider matters affecting veterans and ways to work together for the benefit of our ex-Service community.

Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report and Summary

The 2018 Armed Forces and  Covenant Annual Report is now available to view.  Within it the document it sets out major achievements of the Armed Forces Covenant and highlights remaining challenges and new commitments.
The Report and Summary can be found on the below web link:

Evaluation of The Positive Futures Programme 2016-2018


Are you looking for events and activities to get involved with, well why not get along to some of the RBLS Livingstone events shown below:
  • The next Branch Meeting is at 7:30pm on Wednesday 28th November, at Lodge St Andrew, Nellburn Road, Deans, Livingston.  Existing, returning, new and visiting Members always welcome.
  • The Branch have a fund-raising bag pack at Morrisons, Dedridge on Sunday 2nd December, from 10am-2pm – pop along and say hi and put a donation in our tins!  We’ll likely meet for breakfast at 9am in the store café.
  • The Branch AGM is at 7:30pm on Wednesday 12th December, at Lodge St Andrew, Nellburn Road, Deans, Livingston.  Existing, returning, new and visiting Members welcome.  This will also be our Christmas Social (we have a buffet and karaoke planned) – tickets are £2 each for RBLS Members and £5 for non-Members – bookable via Branch Secretary (E:
  • The Branch annual Christmas Carol Service is at 7pm on Monday 17th December 2018, the Livingston Free Church, Jackson Place, Eliburn, Livingston.  All Welcome.

New Guidance on making changes to your charity

The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has this month launched updated guidance on:

The new guidance updates and simplifies previous OSCR guidance on how to seek consent to change a charity’s name, purposes and how to wind up or dissolve a charity.

Read all the latest news from Poppyscotland on the 1918 Poppy Pledge and much more via their website.


Unforgotten Forces


Upcoming Events & Activities


If you are looking to hold any Comradeship or Remembrance events in your local area, let us know about them so they can be included here.
Register your Event Here

Cross Party Group on the Armed Forces and Veterans Community

The next Cross Party Group on the Armed Forces and Veterans Community will take place at Holyrood on 9th January, 6:00 – 8:00pm. The focus for discussion will be ‘Education’

Minutes of previous meetings and further information is available on the Scottish Parliament website here

PLEASE SHARE OUR SURVEY. We're looking to find out about the experiences of children and young people aged 12-24 living in Scotland who have a parent who is serving or has served in the Armed Forces: 



The next Breakfast Club is on Saturday 8th December, 10:30 for 10:45am, at the Saltire, Carmondean Centre, Livingston.  All welcome, but we’d ask that those planning to attend notify via our Facebook page (for catering purposes).


This guide outlines 6 steps to successful charity trustee recruitment. Having a diverse board can help to make your charity more effective. The right mix of skills and experience will boost your charity’s ability to meet its aims.

Cobseo, as the Confederation of Service Charities, provides a single point of contact for interaction with Government, including local government and the Devolved Administrations; with the Royal Household; with the Private Sector; and, of course, with other members of the Armed Forces Community. This allows Cobseo members to interact with all interested parties and especially to cooperate and collaborate with others in order to provide the best possible level of support to beneficiaries.


In June this year, our first cohort from the Cobseo Emerging Leaders programme graduated at an event that our Chairman, Sir John McColl, described as “a memorable and uplifting evening which highlighted the commonality of ethos within the sector and the importance of leadership”.Robert Thorburn, Clore Fellow


  • RNA Scottish Area Festive Social is on the evening of Friday 7th December at the RBLS Club, Grangemouth, hosted by the RNA Forth Valley Branch.  Please contact the Club or RNA Forth Valley Branch for tickets.
  • The RNA Scottish Area 4th Quarterly Meeting is on Saturday 8th December at 11am at the RBLS Club, Grangemouth.  RNA Members (existing, returning, new) welcome.
Find out more on the RNA website:


FiMT funds King’s College London follow up study

The Forces in Mind Trust has awarded funds of £78,216 to King’s College London for a seven-month follow on study into the types of mental health problems that UK ex-Service personnel present with to secondary mental health services and their pathways through treatment.

The findings will be contrasted with non-veterans accessing the same services. The researchers will also develop a tool that will enable the automatic identification of veterans’ mental health services records, as at the moment no indicator is present related to past military service. This means that the sample size can be increased substantially, and additional variables related to treatment pathways can be explored.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said:

“The extension of this project, undertaken by King’s College London, will enable policy makers and service providers to make informed decisions and deliver the help that a small cohort of ex-Service personnel require on their transition pathway.”

Dr Sharon Stevelink, King’s College London, said:

“We are excited to undertake the next stage of this unique project. We have shown that it is feasible to manually identify whether patients who accessed secondary mental health care services have served in the military, and this next stage will enable us to automate this process, meaning that it will be quicker and easier to identify veterans for research purposes”.

The Naval Families Federation’s November newsletter is now out

In this month’s issue, find out why they are carrying out a housing survey, read about recent reports concerning transition and Armed Forces pay, learn more about NFF’s involvement with the Armed Forces Covenant, and more.

Read about these important updates and news concerning Naval Service personnel and their family members here.

Veterans' war memories given life in 'virtual' tour

The memories and voices of war veterans have been brought to life using virtual reality technology.

Poppyscotland has teamed up with games developers at Abertay University on the unusual Remembrance project.

Headsets take users on a simulated tour of the Lady Haig poppy factory in Edinburgh where objects trigger a series of personal stories.

Seven veterans provided the soundtrack, sharing their reasons for signing up, stories of battle and friendship.

Called Their Memory, the innovative project aims to share poignant, humorous and harrowing accounts with new audiences.

Read More


Transition: Individual Planning and Personal Development is the offer of support, advice and education that will increase personal knowledge and awareness and supports soldiers’ personal development and long-term planning. It is mandated by Commander Land Forces and directed in Land Forces Standing Order 3221.

Transition IPPD should be undertaken throughout your military career in order to enhance your professional portfolio and career prospects as well as prepare you for your inevitable transition to civilian life.


Get help with reading, writing and using numbers

If you have difficulty with reading, writing and numbers, support is available through the Big Plus.

The free service, supported by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), puts individuals in touch with a local tutor, with a range of courses available – which can really boost your employment prospects when it comes to transitioning to Civvy Street.

Classes take place in a range of different places across Scotland, like libraries, community centres and colleges.

You can call the helpline on 0800 917 8000 for more information, or follow this link.

Find out more about support for the Armed Forces community from SDS at

Angela Paton, Hearing Forces Project Officer with Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, ran the service’s first drop-in support session in Aberdeen on Friday 19 October 2018 at the Gordon Highlanders Museum.  The event was well promoted on the Hearing Forces social media, the Museum’s website and social media and with the Unforgotten Forces partners in the area. 

Local MSP Maureen Watt MSP was invited along on the day to see the service in action.  The event was very successful with 5 new veterans attending and registering with the service. 

As is always the case, everyone turned up at the same time requiring Maureen Watt MSP to kindly assist with the completion of registration paperwork and help with the teas and coffees – thank you Maureen!

This however was not the biggest story of the event.  It transpired that two of the veterans had not seen each other for 75 years - since 1943!  Ronald Coull was one of two veterans brought along by Ingrid Penny of Scottish War Blinded whilst James Glennie came along with his son and daughter-in-law.  As well as getting their hearing aids maintained and support with their hearing loss, Ronnie and James were able to catch up and reminisce about their days serving!

Maureen Watt MSP was so impressed with what she seen on the day, she took the time to lodge a parliamentary motion about her visit, which was supported by 14 other MSPs.

To find out more about Hearing Forces: telephone: 07388 227407 or email:

Action on Hearing Loss Scotland are  (Members of Veterans Scotland)

Advocacy & Pensions

The past year has seen sustained activity for a department that daily works in partnership to support beneficiaries in their handling of a wide variety of cases from the War Disablement Pension Scheme to the Armed forces Compensation Scheme including:-

  • War Widows Pensions
  • Supplementary Allowances
  • Worsening of an already accepted condition
  • Further condition claims
2018 saw 226 appeals listed for hearing where representation was carried out by Legion Scotland. Of these, 129 have had final decisions made with a success in 65 which equates to an estimated financial benefit to Veterans of £773,334. New claims for which results were received from the Ministry of Defence achieved an estimated benefit to veterans of £107,748; the total number of telephone enquiries received exceeded 3000 (3249 Nov 2018).
There are many success stories associated with the service and they include: -
  1. ‘I just received a letter about my War Widows Pension. The award is £235.00 per week and they are paying me £19,000.00 arrears into my bank.  How can I ever thank you enough for giving me so much support and good advice? (25.10.2018)
  1. ‘Thanks very much for your letter dated 6th of September 2018 and for all of the support and assistance that you provided throughout my pension review appeal. As you quite rightly point out I was notified by the Chairman of the Appeal Tribunal that my assessment of my war disablement has been increased to 40%, which was great news.’ (09.09.2018)

Comradeship and Remembrance Update


2018 saw continued successful activity around Remembrance and Commemorative events with Legion Scotland working in partnership or as lead agency to deliver a catalogue of successful events. The Best Kept War Memorial Campaign again saw an increase in entries with 102 war memorials being entered into the annual competition. A break from the norm saw a supporting role in planning and coordinating activity north of the border in relation to the Great Pilgrimage 90 which saw thousands of Legionnaires from across the country take part in a number of events in Ypres in August, we were also involved of the successful delivery of the Far Far From Ypres production that toured the country from August to November.
Demand around Armistice 100 saw increased activity throughout the year with direct management of the planning and delivery of the dedication of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Gardens of Remembrance; the National Remembrance Sunday Service; the City of Edinburgh’s Thank You Procession; and the Service of Commemoration at the Scottish National War Memorial on 11 November.
Events for 2019 will include: -
  • Iolaire 100 – January
  • ANZAC Day – April
  •     Scottish American Memorial Day – May
  •     Best Kept War Memorial April – September
  •     Founders Day – June
  •     National Standard Bearer Competition – June 
  •     75th anniversary of D-Day Landings – June           
  •     50th anniversary of start of Operation Banner (Northern Ireland) – August
  •     National Sports August – September
  •     Capital City Remembrance – November

Comradeship continues to be at the fore of veteran and association activity with the emphasis continuing to be on partnership delivery.
Groups and individuals have been supported to attend battlefield tours, reunions, excursions, pilgrimages and joint activity centred on the positive relationships established through the Legion Scotland Veterans’ Groups.
Members of the veterans groups have attended or been involved in the delivery of all events highlighted under Remembrance and it should be noted that they have added value and ensured success.

 Legion Scotland are  (Members of Veterans Scotland)

Veterans Community Support Service

The Unforgotten Forces project is a collaboration of 15 leading organisations that has been awarded funding from the Aged Veterans Fund to undertake an ambitious programme of work for three years. The consortium will deliver a range of new services and enhancements in areas including advice, access to healthcare, social isolation, respite, along with creative activities and events for those in care homes.
Although the service is delivered to veterans of all ages the Unforgotten Forces project deals specifically with those over the age of 65.
In the past year five coordinators were recruited to manage and deliver the service geographically; their main focus has been to:
  • Recruit, assess, retain and coordinate volunteers
  • Support veterans
  • Engage with other service providers and local authorities
  • Allocate and assess referrals
  • Proactively follow up on referrals
  • Promote the work of Legion Scotland and its consortium partners
The coordinators have been involved in engaging and recruiting Support Volunteers within their respective areas and are responsible for ensuring that veterans are guided and supported throughout the full process. Coordinators are managed and supported by the Veterans Community Support Manager (VCS Manager) who has overall responsibility for delivering the service across the country. Coordinators have attended a number of courses and training days, including accredited courses in Managing Volunteers and Mental Health First Aid which ensure that they are both able to support volunteers and in turn support veterans.
Outcomes February 2018 – November 2018
Aberdeen, Banff
& Kincardine
12 61 106
Angus, Perthsire
& Fife
10 100 101
Edinburgh, Lothians
& Borders
21 78 149
Glasgow, Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway 26 112 260
& Islands
12 63 205
Total 81 414 821
Comradeship activity has proven to break down barriers and address the issues of loneliness and isolation and success has seen organised befriending leading to organised activity including attendance at the ever popular breakfast clubs across the country. The VCS Manager planned a pilgrimage to the National Memorial Arboretum in October for 30 Veterans who had a combined age in excess of 2,000 years and hailed from all corners of Scotland and all branches of our Armed Forces. Planned activity such as this will be repeated if demand dictates.
Legion Scotland are  (Members of Veterans Scotland)
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.


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Veterans Scotland · New Haig House · Logie Green Road · Edinburgh, Scotland EH7 4HR · United Kingdom

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