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16 December 2021 (Edition - Issue 46)

General Secretary Update


Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
This is the last Veterans Scotland Newsletter of 2021 and I am grateful to all of you for helping by providing articles and information for it over the last 12 months. Our readership has increased and we now routinely get feedback on the value of the information that we collate and distribute. Please keep the articles coming!
 
Readers will be keen to hear about two important matters that have now taken place:
 
  1. On 15th December, The Armed Forces Bill 2021 gained Royal Assent in Parliament yesterday. This Act introduces a statutory duty on certain public bodies to pay due regard to the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant when carrying out specific functions in the areas of housing, healthcare and education. The new duty does not come into force straight away – UK Government are planning for it to stand up in mid-2022. In the meantime, they will continue to work on developing the statutory guidance that will accompany the duty; Veterans Scotland intend to use our ‘Informing Scotland’ briefings to assist local authorities and other statutory organisations in interpreting the guidance and seeing it implemented across Scotland.
 You can read the press release on the passage of the Bill here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-armed-forces-bill-passed-in-parliament.
 
  1. The UK Government has also published its Armed Forces Covenant and Veterans Annual Report 2021. The report, published jointly by the MOD and the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, sets out the progress the UK Government has made this year in delivering the Covenant and the Strategy for our Veterans.
 
You can find the full report here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/armed-forces-covenant-and-veterans-annual-report-2021. I’m also attaching to this e-mail our shorter summary booklet, as well as this year’s ‘Covenant on a page’ graphic. Please do share both widely across your networks.
 
Finally, a huge thank you to all of you for all that you have done this year in support of the Armed Forces and Veterans Community; all of the support, collaboration and co-operation that you have given over the last year has enhanced the lives of so many in the Armed Forces and Veterans Community. We look forward to continuing to work closely with everyone during 2022, I wish everyone a happy and relaxed Christmas and New Year period.
 
Merry Christmas,
 
Jim Wilson
General Secretary
Veterans Scotland
 

Covenant on a Page Document                Covenant Annual Report Summary Booklet


Resources

Veterans Assist Scotland

Welcome to Veterans-Assist Scotland

We recognise that for many Veterans and their families, some aspects of life after leaving the Services can be challenging.  With numerous Veterans’ organisations in Scotland, we understand that it can be frustrating to find just the right person to help with a problem.  And we know that whether you have been “in” for 3 years or 30 years, or “out” for 6 weeks or 6 years, problems will arise that could use some help.

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.
 

Veterans Scotland Information Booklet


The latest copy of the information booklet is available via the link below:
 

 

Veterans Gateway

If you are need of information or support as a veteran or family member, you may find the answer here.
 
Scottish Veterans Fund Update

Erskine’s Scottish Veterans Fund Grant update

The Scottish Veterans Fund continue their support of Erskine through funding a newly appointed Financial Inclusion Officer at their Veterans Activities Centre in Bishopton, Renfrewshire.


The Scottish Veterans Fund, administered by Veterans Scotland, awarded the Centre an incredible grant of £25,900 over a two-year period. The donation is enabling the Centre to run a financial One-Stop-Shop, giving veterans access to advice, guidance and support across a wide range of financial topics. The majority of members at the Activities Centre left the Forces at a time where there was little to no transitional support available to them, and many are still unaware of the full catalogue of support on offer. Projects like the One-Stop-Shop make sure veterans are receiving the support they deserve and are entitled to, and know where to find help if they need it.

Within the first six months the project was already showing incredible results; 44 veterans and 12 spouses had made use of the new service, attending 211 appointments between them. Each time receiving a tailored service, bespoke to their individual circumstances. Since the project began, the beneficiaries have accumulated a total financial gain figure of almost £60,000. The service is, without doubt, improving quality of life to veterans, spouses and carers within the community.

Centre Manager Debs Dickson has said:

We are incredibly grateful of the support from the Scottish Veterans Fund. To be able to offer this service in-house provides a key enhancement to the first class service we provide for our veterans’.

 

                         

 

Comradeship & Support

Comradeship 

Comradeship is a vital part of the identity of Legion Scotland, it is just one of the ways we can make a positive difference to the wellbeing of veterans.

Our activities re-create that sense of protection that can only be found from being surrounded by like-minded individuals who only have the best interests of each other at heart. They are a way for ex-service men and women and their families to meet new people, talk and share experiences and ultimately make friends.

Further information is available on our website here


Annual Events Programme 2022


Listed below is a copy of the Legion Scotland events forcast for 2022, additional information and updates for these events can be found on the Legion Scotland website here.
  1. Beating Retreat Dundee City Square – 1800 Saturday 02 Apr
  2. ANZAC Day, Scottish National War Memorial – 1100 Monday 25th Apr
  3. Silver Poppy Golf, St Andrews – 0900 Friday 29th Apr
  4. Annual Conference, Perth – 20th & 21st May
  5. The Scottish American Memorial Day, Princes St Gardens– 1300 Monday 30th May
  6. Falklands 40th (Edinburgh) – Saturday 18th Jun
  7. Earl Haig statue rededication France – 17-19th Jun
  8. Armed Forces Day Flag Raising – 1100 Monday 20th Jun
  9. Armed Forces Day – 1000 Saturday 25th Jun
  10. Founders Day Dryburgh Abbey – 1500 Sunday 26th Jun
  11. Unity Conference, Dewars Centre Perth – 1030 Saturday 24th Sept
  12. Dedication of Inverness Garden of Remembrance – 1100 Friday 21st Oct
  13. Dedication Edinburgh Garden of Remembrance – 1100 Monday 24th Oct
  14. Dedication Glasgow Garden of Remembrance – 1100 Tuesday 25th Oct
  15. Dundee Festival of Remembrance, Caird Hall – 1930 Saturday 5th Nov
  16. Armistice Day Service, Princes Street – 1100 Friday 11th Nov
  17. Remembrance Sunday, National Service – 1100 Sunday 13th Nov
  18. LS Carol Service, Canongate Kirk – 1600 Sunday 11th Dec
 
In addition:
  • Best Kept War Memorial Competition (run within Areas with Head Office Support)
  • National Sports (run within Areas with Head Office Support)
  • National Standard Bearing (Friday 20th May, Dewars Centre Perth)
  • Royal Garden Party (Date TBC)
  • Albert Hall/Cenotaph (Head Office manage ticket allocation with Areas)

Volunteer

We are always looking for people to actively get involved to help further the work of Legion Scotland. Not only can this be very rewarding but you can also learn new skills, make friends, and become an integral part of the Legion Scotland family.

Volunteering opportunities include:

  • Helping to run a branch or a club
  • Become a Veteran Community Support Volunteer
  • Organising remembrance or ceremonial events
  • Organising sporting, music or comradeship events
  • Fundraising

Get in touch to find out more about upcoming volunteer opportunities we have. 

Royal British Legion Scotland (Legion Scotland) make a difference every day to the lives of Scotland's veterans through providing community, friendship and practical advice, whether they left military service yesterday or 50 plus years ago.

Our membership is open to the ex-service community and their dependants, those still serving and all those who support the aims and objectives of the organisation.

By joining, you are showing your support and helping to make life better for the ex-service community.

Find out more here

 

Centenary Fundraising Initiative to raise money for Legion Scotland & Poppyscotland

On the 18th of June 2021, we officially launched our centenary period.  As part of the celebrations and commemorations planned for the period up to June 2022 we have commissioned a special Centenary Fundraising Coin.

During the centenary year (in collaboration with Poppyscotland) we want to encourage everyone, young and old, members or not, ex-service or non ex-service to get involved in marking our hundredth birthday by fundraising for both organisations.

Fundraising is a vital source of income for both organisations and more so now than ever before.  Every £1 raised will help us continue into our next hundred years and to provide comradeship and welfare support for veterans across Scotland.





www.legionscotland.org.uk

Employment, Training & Transition Support

Take control of your career


 

We’re here to support Scotland’s adults in the world of work. We can help you plan and manage all aspects of your career – from finding and applying for a job, to reskilling and changing your career path completely. No matter where you are in your journey, we’re here for you.

Take control of your career | My World of Work

Scottish women set to benefit from new unemployment programme

 
A new service offering free support for women looking to return to work, or improve their work skills, has launched across Scotland.


 
The Review: Refresh: Return programme offers tailor-made services for women aged 25 and over who have been unemployed for six months or more. Support is provided in one-to-one or group sessions, online and in person, helping women to determine their next step back to employment and taking it.
 
Support is provided by specialist advisors from Triage; a Scottish-based employment and skills organisation operating across the country. Services are free to participants, fully-funded by Skills Development Scotland as part of its country-wide Women Returners Programme.
 
Emphasis is placed on navigating caring responsibilities and back-to-work anxiety, while facilitating women to return to responsible, good work, or move further towards it.
 
Activities include reviewing skills and work experience; refreshing CVs, interview technique, industry and IT knowledge; and exploring opportunities to return to work or access further education.
 
Sarah Sanderson, Triage Operations Director said: “Many women find themselves in a position of compromise when it comes to returning to the workplace. The Women Returners programme addresses that gender inequality, by breaking down barriers to women returning to career positions, or exploring new avenues.
 
“Our programme helps identify what the ultimate ambition is, be it large or small, and builds the skills and confidence to reach it. There are no prescribed activities, no push toward a particular outcome. Review: Refresh: Return helps women think afresh about their work aspirations and gives practical support to achieve it.”
 
The service works with women at all different stages of their working lives. Triage is particularly interested in contact from women with disabilities or health conditions; from minority backgrounds; aged over 50; lone parents; from veteran families; those experiencing conflict at home; and women living in rural areas struggling to access employment.
 
At-home women interested in navigating their next steps back to work should contact Triage on is 01786 451513; https://triagecentral.co.uk/What-we-do/review-refresh-return
 
 
 
Funding & Financial Support

Afghanistan Veterans’ Fund open for applications


Closing date 17th January 2022


The Afghanistan Veterans’ Fund aims to increase capacity in services and initiatives that offer supportive comradeship, engagement and wellbeing efforts for those in the Armed Forces community impacted by events in Afghanistan, and the wider veterans community.

The Office for Veterans Affairs has asked the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (the Trust) to run programmes that will award grants to improve wellbeing, resilience and promote good mental health, responding to increased needs in veterans who have served in Afghanistan and other recent conflicts and the wider veterans community.

The four Funding Strands

The Afghanistan Veterans Fund will support projects that improve wellbeing, resilience and promote good mental health, responding to increased needs in veterans who have served in Afghanistan and other recent conflicts and the wider veterans community.

 


Further information is available via the link here

Suicide Prevention Fund 2021 to 2022

Applications are open until 16 January 2022 for grants from the £4 million fund to support suicide prevention voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations in 2021 to 2022.

Find out more here.

Grant applications are open until 16 January 2022.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has made available £4 million for a grant fund to support suicide prevention VCSE organisations across 2021 to 2022. A portion of the grant fund will be ring-fenced specifically to help support small community-led and user-led groups and organisations.

Application process

The application portal for the grant fund opened on 2 December 2021 and will close at 5pm on 16 January 2022.

Apply for the fund here.

 

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: 
  • 28 February
  • 20 May
  • 26 Aug
 

Latest news

 
 
Supporting birth parents whose child(ren) have been permanently removed from their care
Managed by the Corra Foundation, this Scottish Government fund aims to improve support for birth parents who no longer have care of their children on a permanent basis as a result of child protection processes. Funding will be awarded to organisations that are already working directly with birth parents who are or have been subject …Continue reading“Supporting birth parents whose child(ren) have been permanently removed from their care”
Read full post
 
 
The Women & Girls Match Fund
Applications for the Big Give’s new match funding campaign, The Women and Girl’s Match Fund, are open from Monday 13th December to Tuesday 11th January. The Women & Girls Match Fund is a week-long match funding campaign which will launch on International Women’s Day 2022, Tuesday 8th March. Up to £25,000 of match funding is …Continue reading“The Women & Girls Match Fund”
Read full post
 
 

New and recently opened funds

 
The Big Give - The Women & Girls Match Fund
Organisation: The Big Give Trust
Status: Open
Summary: The Women & Girls Match Fund is a match funding campaign for charities that are working to improve the lives of vulnerable, disadvantaged or underrepresented women and girls in England and Scotland. All public donations made to participating charities via theBigGive.org.uk during the week of the campaign (8 - 15 March 2022) will be matched by DCMS’ Tampon Tax Fund until each organisation’s ring-fenced match funding award of either £2,500, £10,000 or £25,000 is used up. Participating charities will access: - Up to £25,000 worth of match funding, provided by the DCMS’ Tampon Tax Fund - I.G. Advisors’ digital fundraising expertise and support for match funding success - A £375 grant to spend on digital capacity building for your organisation - The power of a collaborative fundraising campaign, bringing renewed public attention to the issues your organisation works to address.
Date re-opened: 13th December 2021
Next deadline: 11th January 2022
Find out more >
 
 
Dumfries and Galloway - Major Events Strategic Fund
Organisation: Dumfries & Galloway Council
Status: Open
Summary: Dumfries & Galloway Major Events Strategic Fund has been introduced in recognition of the vibrant role festivals and events play in our regional quality of life and their value in the promotion of tourism and economic regeneration. The aim of the Fund is to enhance and develop festivals and events across Dumfries and Galloway that are eligible for support via the Dumfries and Galloway Major Festivals and Events Strategy. Eligible festivals and events projects that are to take place between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023 will be considered for funding.
Date re-opened: 9th December 2021
Next deadline: 28th January 2022
Find out more >
 
 
Dumfries and Galloway - Community Events Fund
Organisation: Dumfries & Galloway Council
Status: Open
Summary: The Community Events Fund provides an opportunity for the grant-supported festivals and events projects of 2021/2022 to apply for follow up funding, if these projects are to continue. The Fund will also seek to support new and one-off events that provide one means of support for communities to come together to enjoy sport for health and wellbeing, arts and culture or locally important heritage. Eligible festivals and events projects that are to take place between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023 will be considered for funding.
Date re-opened: 9th December 2021
Next deadline: 28th January 2022
Find out more >
 
 
Scottish Government - Support Birth Parents
Organisation: Corra Foundation
Status: Open
Summary: This Scottish Government fund aims to improve support for birth parents who no longer have care of their children on a permanent basis as a result of child protection processes. It is focused on community-based organisations with significant experience in supporting parents affected by child protection proceedings and which deliver frontline services. Projects applying to this fund must be able to demonstrate that they will take a relational, trauma responsive approach which is unconditional and reflective of the unique and complex needs birth parents may have. The fund is divided into two strands: 1. Diagnostic route: Enables organisations to scope the issues and barriers that affect how birth parents are supported during child protection proceedings; Co-produce ideas with parents who have experience of the child protection system; Identify needs and gaps; and Conduct small tests of change. 2. Action route: Upscaling, securing or implementation of service provision; Delivery of new bespoke intensive support services; Implementation of a systems change projects supporting parents; and Throughcare for parents leaving custody/prison settings.
Date re-opened: 8th December 2021
Next deadline: 27th January 2022
Find out more >
 
 
Wallace & Gromit's Children's Charity
Organisation: Wallace & Gromit's Children's Foundation
Status: Open
Summary: The Charity provides grants to enrich and improve the quality of life of sick children in hospitals or hospices in any area in the UK. Preference is given to projects conceived by, and developed in children’s hospitals and hospices. Examples of eligible projects are: - Arts, music, play and leisure programmes in a hospital or hospice setting. - Facilities to support families of children treated in hospitals or hospices. - Welcoming and accessible environments. - Care and facilities in hospices. - Promoting education and information programmes. - Supporting children with physical and emotional difficulties. - Medical equipment (when it can be shown that funding is not available from statutory sources).
Date re-opened: 8th December 2021
Next deadline: 11th February 2022
Find out more >
 
 

Opening soon

 
Ufi Charitable Trust - VocTech Seed
Organisation: Ufi Charitable Trust
Status: Currently closed, re-opens in 1 month
Summary: The VocTech Seed fund helps create a pipeline of new learning solutions by supporting innovative and creative projects at an early stage of development, enabling new ideas to reach a point where they can demonstrate their potential to customers or funders and reach the market. Funding is to support the development of early stage ideas, small scale testing, proof of concept work and the development of strategies to scale once Ufi funding has ended. This call will support projects that show the potential to have a real impact in the world of vocational learning, and to ultimately make a difference to how people learn and to the number of people gaining new skills. Projects must aim to improve outcomes for learners and improve the quality of vocational teaching and training.
Date re-opened: 21st January 2021
Next deadline: 9th February 2022
Find out more >
 
 
 

Housing


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.


Veterans Housing Scotland


Let’s try to help our veterans find their new roots, a new home!  To get in touch you can contact us at supportmanager@vhscot.org.uk for any property inquires! #Scotland #Veterans #uk #UKhousing #scottish
 
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Help to prevent homelessness this Christmas

Be part of the change in preventing homelessness and keeping people safe this Christmas. Donate to FirstLight Trust and help to actively end the cycle of homelessness.

Throughout the winter months of December to March, FirstLight Trust is running an appeal to raise money to prevent veterans and their families becoming homeless. The appeal starts off with a Christmas baking event at our Café Hubs on Wednesday 15th December 2021. It will be a day filled with festivities and indulgent over the top baking, giving visitors and regulars the opportunity to get involved and vote for their favourite cake! This event celebrates the FirstLight Trust Café Hubs and their very vital place in their communities.

Dorinda Wolfe Murray, CEO of FirstLight Trust has an important message to share.

“Homelessness is never about having a roof over your head it is to do with everything else. Think about it – it is the what, the how, the why. Sofa surfing, camping, living in woods, sleeping rough because that is all you can manage. All these issues have causes that are rooted in hopelessness, anxiety, depression, addictions, physical and mental inabilities to deal with what life throws our way. It takes time, understanding and most of all compassion to look at and support a person into having a home as well as a significant amount of common sense. It needs to be the right kind of support and the right kind of accommodation – one size does not fit all and never has done.  And why do we at FirstLight Trust make such an impact? Because we take the time to listen, understand and then support individuals. It can take two or more years of ongoing support to help those who have been homeless to feel safe and secure in a home. Perhaps we should call it homing rather than housing.”

Please help FirstLight Trust by making a contribution no matter how small. All money raised will go direct to their work in preventing homelessness because with your support so much more can be done. Please donate now to prevent homelessness this winter: https://www.firstlighttrust.co.uk/donate-to-prevent-homelessness/

Follow FirstLight on social media for more fun-filled initiatives to get us all through the dark and gloomy winter months. Coming together to support those in need within our communities is incredibly worthwhile and perhaps the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and others this Christmas.

Local Authority Support

The Armed Forces and Veteran Community


Examples of support and assistance available from your local authorities can be found in the links below.  The majority of Scottish Local Authorities have dedicated information available on their own websites to support the Armed Forces Covenant.
 
           

Information to help you settle into your new life within each of these local authority areas is available on their websites.
 

News and Other Updates

Providing holiday breaks for lonely disabled veterans affected by the pandemic

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity are pleased to award a £30,000 grant to the charity Revitalise Respite Holidays to fund respite breaks for disabled Army veterans and their carers.

Many disabled veterans across the UK have struggled with mental health problems during the Covid pandemic. Our donation will help to fund up to 54 holiday breaks for disabled veterans who have been left feeling stressed, lonely and – at times during the lockdowns – physically isolated from their families and wider society too.

Revitalise Respite Holidays runs three Care Quality Commission registered holiday break centres. One is located near Epping Forest in Essex, another has spectacular views of Southampton Water and a third is situated beside a pleasant marine lake in Southport. All three centres offer 24-hour care, personal support and a wide choice of entertainment activities and excursions.

Andrea McCarron, Fundraising Manager at Revitalise Respite Holidays, said:

“We are truly proud to be offering breaks to army veterans and their families, thanks to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity’s generous support. The grant offers a chance to enjoy a break in a relaxed, holiday-style environment, away from the stresses and strains of everyday life. The last 20 months have been difficult for us all, but many disabled people and their families have been left isolated, with their usual support networks reduced or completely removed. At our centres, guests can benefit from a change of scenery and a chance to recharge their batteries, ready for the year ahead.”

Brigadier (Ret’d) Peter Monteith, Chief of Staff at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, added:

“The Covid pandemic has affected the mental health of many army veterans and their families in different ways, especially those who are seriously disabled and need constant physical care and support. The team at Revitalise Respite Holidays provide a kind-hearted service helping those who are feeling lonely and isolated, and want to enjoy some human social contact and friendship. So we are proud to support them with this donation from our charity.”

To find out more about Revitalise, visit their website here.

December's edition of TFN

 
 
 
 
 

TFN's December edition is out now - read it here!

TFN's December edition is out now - read it here!
Last mag of the year looks at some important voluntary sector research
This month we look at some important pieces or research that have been conducted into how the voluntary sector is coping with the seemingly never-ending pandemic and how it might fare in the year to come. We also look back on the year’s news, as covered on the TFN website.
All that and our usual brilliant line up of columnists and regular features.
Read the magazine here.

And don’t forget - if you work for a member or supporter organisation, why not set up an account so you can access members only content such as the full archive, TFN app and exclusive content.
You can read it all now - and feel free to share the link for others to read and enjoy!​​​​​​
 
 
 

Falklands 40th commemorated in Scotland

 
 
Legion Scotland are currently gathering information on all proposed or planned events in Scotland for 2022 to mark the Falklands 40th Anniversary.  This will allow us to create an overview of activities between April to June which can be used as a directory for those who want to attend events in their local area. This is also an opportunity to bring key stakeholders together for the delivery of a national event if there was sufficient interest and support.
 
If you have information to share or wish to be involved the planning of a national event to commemorate the anniversary, please contact us on events@legionscotland.org.uk

The Falklands 40th Anniversary Events


The South Atlantic Medal (1982) is the official name of the medal awarded to almost 30,000 service men and women – and civilians – who took part in the campaign to liberate the Falkland Islands in 1982.
 
Further information about SAMA82 is available on their website  https://sama82.org.uk/40th-anniversary-overview/

Additional information in relation to the various events that are being planned for the 40th Anniversary are also available on the SAMA82 website here.

Maritime charities extend Redundancy and Retraining Fund

The Maritime Charities Group (MCG) Covid-19 Redundancy and Retraining Bursary Fund has been extended for a further 3 months to the end of March 2022 in response to continued concern about the plight of seafarers who are unable to get work in the sector.

The fund, which is administered by the Marine Society on behalf of MCG, provides extra cash for training and refresher courses and is aimed at merchant seafarers who’ve lost work due to Covid-19 and want to stay in the industry. Applicants can claim up to £500 towards training or qualifications of their choice.

Chair of MCG, Commander Graham Hockley LVO RN said:

“We know that the jobs market is still precarious and we want to help where we can. By providing grants for training and refresher courses we are helping seafarers get new jobs in the industry. 76 seafarers have benefited from the fund since it opened just over a year ago and many of them are now working again. So it really does make a difference.”

The fund was set up by MCG in November 2020 with contributions from Trinity House, Nautilus Slater Fund and the Merchant Navy Welfare Board. So far they have awarded over £35k towards the cost of a wide range of training courses including certificate renewal and retraining for offshore and wind farms.

Commander Hockley continued:

“In the run-up to Christmas when budgets are likely to be stretched, if you don’t have a job and can’t afford to retrain or refresh your qualifications, life can look pretty grim. Our Covid-19 bursary fund is for seafarers just like you. If you’re based in the UK and have lost work due to the pandemic, the MCG bursary could help you get back into employment or retrain for a new role in the industry. It covers everything from certificate renewal to writing job applications, from retraining to interviewing skills. Just go to the Marine Society website and apply today. And don’t forget: tell your crew, tell your colleagues, tell your mates!”

To find out more about the MCG Redundancy and Retraining Bursary Fund and how to apply go to https://www.marine-society.org/redundancy-fund 

BACK TO THE BALLROOM FOR POPPYSCOTLAND

With the star-studded final of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing hitting our screens this weekend, a group of charity supporters are investing hours at an Inverness studio ahead of their own ballroom bonanza.

Following a 2-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Come Dancing With Poppyscotland in Association with Toe 2 Toe Dance will return bigger and better in early 2022 and the upcoming festive period offers no let up for the dancers in their preparations. Due to its growing popularity next year’s event will over two nights, Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd April, at Drumossie House Hotel in Inverness with tickets going on sale to the public from today.

The charity competition sees novices matched with more experienced dancers from local dance school Toe2Toe and eight couples have been under their expert tutelage for several weeks now. Catherine Musgrave, from Lochardil in Inverness, has been paired with reigning champion Neil MacKenzie.

Catherine said: “We’ve been in training since September, and it’s been an absolute joy.  I’d never done any dancing before this and am doing around 6 sessions per week now. I think I’m hooked for life!  The event will be here before we know it so I’m trying to get in as much training as I can. We will be performing two dances: the Tango and the Rumba. I can’t wait.”

She added: “Neil has been amazing to work with, we just clicked straight away. Although I’ll be nervous on the night, I’ll have my husband, my kids, other family members, friend and even work clients there cheering me on. It’s all for such a worthwhile cause and I really hope lots more people buy tickets and come along for two amazing nights.”

Along with his previous dance partner Sam Brock, Neil lifted the famous glitterball trophy last time the event was held in March 2020. Although Neil has an eye on more silverware in 2022, supporting the novice dancers is his main focus.  He said: “This has become such a popular event and I just love being part of it. Each year the new dancers put so much work in. To take on a major competition like this having never danced before is massive so I just try to offer whatever support I can.”

Overseeing the training are Tristian and Jen Hill from Toe2Toe Dance, who have partnered with Poppyscotland since the event’s inception in 2016. Tristian said: “We’ve got another great group, both our own experience dancer and our newcomers. We have thrown a lot at them in the first few weeks of training, but they are picking it all up and getting better every week.”

Poppyscotland’s Head of Fundraising and Learning, Gordon Michie, said: “We are delighted that we can finally stage Come Dancing With Poppyscotland in Association with Toe 2 Toe Dance after a two-year enforced break because of the pandemic. This event has raised over £70,000 to support Poppyscotland’s vital, life-changing services for our Armed Forces community and support is needed now more than ever.

“Due to the growing popularity, we have spread the event over two nights with the first night having a family theme. It has become the largest event of its kind in the North of Scotland and we really hope the public will get their sequins and bow ties looked out and join us for a great couple of nights.”

Tickets for Come Dancing with Poppyscotland are available from www.poppyscotland.org.uk/come-dancing.

The UK Veterans Family Study

 
How can your organisation help?
 
We would appreciate your help in driving recruitment for this study. Organisations like yours who work for the betterment of the community have been vital in helping previous Veteran research to be successful. Attached are digital recruitment resources for you to distribute to your service users/membership, with physical resources such as cards or flyers available on request.
 
Spreading the word through social media would be invaluable and please do tag us! You can also support the study by liking/sharing posts on Facebook (UK Veterans Family Study) and liking/retweeting on Twitter (@Vet_Families). 
 
Thank you!
 
 
Study Details 
We are carrying out this survey to understand the emotional wellbeing and support needs of the families of those who have served in the UK Armed Forces. This study has been reviewed by the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Ethics Committee and approved under EPS19_287.
 
We are looking for people who:
 
  • Are either a spouse/intimate partner, or now adult (18+ years) child of a Veteran who has served at least one day in any branch of the UK Armed Forces/Reserves, but no longer serves
  • OR
  • Are a Veteran who has served at least one day in any branch of the UK Armed Forces/Reserves and have since left regular service.
  • All participants must be 18 years old and currently live in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, or Wales.
 
Participants will be asked to sign a consent form and complete a survey which should take approximately 60-90 minutes. Participants may withdraw from the study at any time without giving a reason and they will have the option to provide their email address to participant in a prize draw. Under the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (2018), all information provided through the questionnaires will be kept confidential.
 
We will be asking about physical health, psychological health and wellbeing, and other issues such as social support and personal experiences. Some of the areas covered in the survey are sensitive in nature, e.g. exposure to traumatic events and childhood trauma, experiences of stressful life events and/or stressful family situations, experiences of chronic pain, feelings relating to the Afghanistan withdrawal, security concerns, violence from and against partners, and thoughts about suicide. It is important for participants to know that their responses to the questions CANNOT be used to diagnose a mental health illness as this can only be done by a qualified mental health professional. Access to support resources are available through the survey, both immediate support and long-term support, and we encourage participants to use them if the need arises.
 
The data will be analysed and the results of the survey will be published in academic reports, peer-reviewed journal articles and presented at academic conferences. These reports and publications will be available via our study website https://www.ukvetfamilystudy.org, with regular updates available on Twitter @Vet_Families.
 
 
 
Any queries or questions please get in touch:
 
Email: UKVetFamilyStudy@qub.ac.uk
Twitter: @Vet_Families
Facebook: UK Veterans Family Study
 
UK Veterans Family Study                  
School of Psychology, David Keir Building, Queens University (QUB), Belfast, BT7 1NN 
 
 

 



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