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03 September 2021 (Edition - Issue 32)

Employment, Training & Transition Support

Trustees for the Veterans' Foundation


The Veterans' Foundation was formed in mid-2016 and has awarded £7.1M in grants to over 260 charities and charitable organisations that are helping people in need from the armed forces' and operational qualified seafarers’ communities.  Such is its growth that the Veterans’ Foundation expects to be able to award a further £4.5M in grants in the coming year and more in future years.

We wish to recruit two additional Trustees who will share our passion and commitment to provide grants to help members of the armed forces who are in need.  Successful applicants will provide appropriate oversight of the governance of the Veterans’ Foundation, and, in addition to the general requirements of the role, the successful candidate will most likely be an experienced charity lawyer, or have experience of fundraising, or be experienced and successful in business.  Applicants may wish to be part of the Grants or Finance Sub-committees too.

The Veterans’ Foundation recognises the importance of board diversity and inclusivity and, in seeking to attract the best talent and expertise, continues to achieve diverse membership of its Board.  We encourage applications from people from all relevant backgrounds. 

The Board meets on a quarterly basis virtually or in Edinburgh and the time commitment is likely to average 1-2 days a month.

The position is voluntary but reasonable expenses can be reimbursed. 
Further details can be found on the Veterans’ Foundation’s website and specifically here:  
https://www.veteransfoundation.org.uk/media/grbjbfk3/20210823-vf-s-generic-trustees-job-description-f.pdf

To apply please submit your CV and a covering letter to secretary@veteransfoundation.org.uk .
The closing date for applications is 18 Sep 21."
 



Do you have what it takes to be part of the Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) team? We have an opportunity for a detail focused and enthusiastic individual to enhance and expand our small but dedicated team into Scotland.

Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) supports disadvantaged veterans who have served in the Armed Forces and their families. OP-REGEN is WWTW’s volunteering programme that offers a platform for ex-military personnel to recognise their inherent skills and empowers them to demonstrate these skills to the wider community.  

The project aims to support individuals and their families who have landed on hard times to reintegrate back into society through the provision of a meaningful and positive impact on the environment in which they reside; additionally, for those not in employment the programme aims to assist in their journey back into the workplace; empowering ex-service personnel to regain their independence, thrive and contribute to our communities.

Although focused on ex-military, more generally the programme is supported by volunteers from all backgrounds including Corporate UK and encourages these individuals to work together, leading to a greater increase in community cohesion and safer neighbourhoods. 

OP-REGEN embodies the ambitions of WWTW; to support ex-military seeking support and to find those that require support but are not seeking it.

As Project Officer your primary focus will be to assist the Project Manager in the planning, promotion, co-ordination, and delivery of OP-REGEN and will be integral to the development and success of OP-REGEN in Scotland; maintaining our database of volunteer information and skills will be paramount to the success of the project, matching volunteers to opportunities to suit their skills, keeping them informed and conveying WWTW’s purpose to the public.

Find out more about this opertunity 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

FREE ONLINE TRAINING

Get access to 1000s of accredited IBM online training courses today.

SaluteMyJob provides Serving and former military personnel and their families with free education and training opportunities through IBM’s online training platform, Skillsbuild. The Armed Forces Community can gain exclusive access to a variety of free courses in areas including Cyber Security, Data Analysis, Marketing, Project Management and many more. Skillsbuild enables you to develop the professional skills and qualifications you need to achieve your career goals.

                             Job Advertisement – Officers Association Scotland



Job title:               Head of Employment Services
Location:              Edinburgh – with travel across Scotland
Hours:                   35 hours per week
Salary:                   £32 - £35k
Benefits:              Contributory pension scheme after 3 months’ satisfactory service.

About Officers Association Scotland
Officers Association Scotland is a military charity, established in 1920, to provide support to serving or former military officers and their dependents. While originally a welfare charity, OA Scotland has developed, so that it now provides a comprehensive employment advice service along with welfare and financial support to individuals and grants to other charities.

Purpose of the Role
The primary responsibility of the Head of Employment Services is to develop, manage and deliver a high quality, individually tailored employment service to transitioning military personnel. They will also establish and nurture relationships with a wide range of employers, head-hunters and recruitment consultants across Scotland to recognise the value of military personnel in the commercial world. You will have a clear vision for our employment strategy and will bring creativity, passion and dedication to find a better way in how we deliver our services. You must be creative, forward thinking and want to challenge the traditional way to enjoy this role and our culture
 
Applications
By CV and covering letter to Heather McVeigh, Chief Executive, OA Scotland
H.mcveigh@oascotland.org.uk

Closing date:  Friday 17th September 2021

Interviews:     Week commencing 27th September
Informal enquiries about the post can be addressed to Heather McVeigh, Chief Executive, Officers Association Scotland Tel: 0131 550 1575.


A link to the OAS website is included here
Funding & Financial Support

Grants from The Veterans' Foundation


The Veterans’ Foundation continues to provide grants to cover pandemic-induced need and other ‘normal’ grants.  The former may be considered out-of-committee and decided upon within a week. The maximum grant in both circumstances is £30K, however, we have also introduced a few salary grants, which can provide up to £40K spread over two years for salaries, only salaries, to help small and medium-wealth organisations.  The application process for all grants is online here: https://www.veteransfoundation.org.uk/grant-application/. If you have any queries, please contact grants@veteransfoundation.org.uk.

Deadlines for submission through 2021 are as follows: 
  • 27 August

  • 12 November

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

Health

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.

The complete guide to insomnia

How to sleep have produce several guides to assist individuals who may have sleep issues.  A recent addition is the complete guide to insomnia which may help you understand some of the causes and methods to deal with this.  A link to their website is included below if you wish to find out more:

The Complete Guide to Managing Insomnia (howtosleep.co.uk)
 

  

Forces of Nature

Founded 50 years ago, Sacro works independently and collaboratively within Scotland’s communities to provide support, prevent conflict and challenge offending behaviour wherever the need arises. As a Scotland-wide voluntary organisation, we are committed to providing services that contribute to positive transformational changes in the lives of beneficiaries.

There is growing evidence that gardening can benefit mental and physical health. Gardening has been shown to reduce stress, PTSD and depression, boost self-esteem and reduce social isolation. Sacro have developed a unique project, Forces of Nature, which combines the skills of horticulturists and project workers who are trained in supporting participants to address and overcome barriers which may be preventing them from fully integrating into civilian life. Our staff have a combined total of more than 43 years military service and use this experience to encourage participants to address and overcome challenges.

Forces of Nature received funding from The Covenant Fund which allows us to deliver a flexible programme which combines online tutorials and practical sessions. Our vision is for accessible and meaningful veteran involvement and partnership working that benefits both the participant and the community. The project provides a safe and nurturing environment for veterans and their families to work with the wider community to improve physical health and mental wellbeing. The service offers bespoke support which allows everyone to participate, while adapting activities to suit individual needs.

Our practical sessions, based at Tollcross Allotments and Bellahouston Demonstration Gardens in Glasgow are led by educational gardeners who provide specialist tuition in small groups for participants from a range of backgrounds. Veterans work alongside civilians to cultivate produce in the gardens. This is available for participants to take home and excess is donated to local organisations through our partnership with Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership’s Health Improvements Team.

Our outdoor group activities have a focus on conservation and wildlife and encourage socialising, enabling veterans to interact with others from the wider community. We offer regular health walks which are led by our trained staff.

The digital programme provides continuity of learning when participants are unable to attend practical horticulture sessions for any reason. We can provide families with a basic horticulture kits to allow them to grow plants and vegetables at home. Kits include soil, tools, raised beds or planters, seeds and a tablet or similar device if required.

The gardens at Tollcross and Bellahouston parks are used by other community groups including Police Scotland Youth Volunteers, Glasgow Association for Mental Health, Macmillan Cancer Support, local primary schools and Alzheimer’s Scotland. Being part of a diverse growing community allows our participants to grow in confidence through learning new skills and meeting new people. Forces of Nature work closely with other Sacro services, Glasgow City Council, Fares 4 Free, Scottish Veterans Residences and many others.  This collaborative approach ensures that the service has a wider reach and that veterans can access specialist support where required.

Referrals can be made to the project by any agency or by self-referral. If people have the ability to travel to our sites in Glasgow, we will happily accept referrals from any locality. Eventually we would like to offer similar projects in other areas to allow more veterans the opportunity to participate.

If you have an interest in outdoor activities and would like to join your veteran’s family or just find out more about the service, please contact us at: infoforcesofnature@sacro.org.uk

 


 
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    So you feel confident adapting and carrying out activities with your clients. 

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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.

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


 
Are you claiming Working Age Disability Living Allowance?
 
What’s happening?
 
Processes are being created to transfer existing DWP clients over to the new Scottish social security system, called Social Security Scotland. Some people who currently claim Working Age Disability Living Allowance (WA DLA) may transfer from DWP to Social Security Scotland in the next two years. Social Security Scotland want to make sure that these client’s needs are accommodated when this happens.
 
What’s involved?
 
Social Security Scotland want to speak to people who currently claim WA DLA in one-to-one conversations , either over the phone or by video call. The conversation should take no more than one hour and all views would be treated as confidential and anonymous.
 
They will use the information provided to develop processes for WA DLA in Social Security Scotland.
 
They want to reassure anyone interested in taking part that this will not affect any existing WA DLA Award status and will NOT have any impact on individuals personally. They stress that this has nothing to do with moving people to another payment PIP (Personal Independence Payment). They know that there are only a small number of clients claiming WA DLA and are keen to talk to as many people as they can to ensure that everyone’s needs are well represented in the new process.
 
Are you claiming Working Age Disability Living Allowance (WA DLA)?
 
If the answer to most – or all – of the following statements is ‘yes’ then there is a good chance you are on WA DLA. If so, Social Security Scotland would like to hear from you.
 
  • I am aged between 25 and 73 years old.
  • I live in Scotland.
  • I am able to work but it depends if I am well enough at the time or if I can find a suitable job.
  • I have been receiving my disability living allowance benefit from DWP, for my disability for over 10 years.
  • I have not had a review about my benefit for a very long time.
  • My condition has got worse and when I told DWP about this change they suggested I apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.
  • I get letters from DWP telling me that I will likely be transferred to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead of the benefit I am on.
  • I know people who have moved onto Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and I am worried I will be moved as well.
  • I do not want to have to go through a DWP face-to-face assessment.
  • I may also be on a benefit called Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
  • I am entitled to a mobility vehicle if I need one.
 
Who to contact
 
If you would like more information or to get involved, contact Geraldine O’Riordan at Social Security Scotland. She is a senior user researcher working on the set up of the new system. Her email address is geraldine.o'riordan@gov.scot

Veterans First Point Scotland


Veterans First Point have very kindly shared their veterans calendar for the month of September.  Click on the link below to find out more about services that are available and how to access them:

Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs
 


Welcome to the Official Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs! Our purpose is to to facilitate veterans and serving Armed forces personnel to meet face to face in a relaxed, safe, social environment to enjoy breakfast and banter, to combat loneliness and allow veterans to ‘return to the tribe’. With over 370 clubs in 14 Countries, and approximately 150,000 members worldwide, you can use our ‘find a club’ option to find a club near you.

If you want to find out more about the various breakfast clubs follow the link below to their website to locate your local events. 

Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Clubs – We Are The Only Official Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Clubs (afvbc.net)
 

Invitation to attend – the experiences of unpaid carers in the Armed Forces community

 
It is with great pleasure that we write to invite you to attend The Royal British Legion’s forthcoming symposium exploring the unique profile, needs and experiences of members of the Armed Forces community who have unpaid caring responsibilities. This report begins to explore the needs of this under-researched section of the Armed Forces community and the impact of their caring responsibilities.
 
We would be delighted if you, or a member of your team, could join us as we launch this important report via a virtual event, which will take place on Microsoft Teams on Tuesday 14 September 2021 from 10am to 11am. The event can be accessed here and shared with others who may be interested to attend.
 
The symposium, like the report itself, will focus on raising awareness of the experiences of those providing unpaid care in the Armed Forces community and identifying key areas for improvement and potential solutions. Carers from across the UK participated in this research, but recommendations are primarily focused on health and care in England. Areas explored include carer health and wellbeing, complex veteran needs, caring while serving, and access to support.
 
There will be the opportunity to hear from:
  • James Sunderland MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Groups for Veterans and the Armed Forces Covenant
  • Charles Byrne, Director General of the Royal British Legion
  • The author of the report
  • An unpaid carer
I do hope you will be interested in joining us. If you have any questions about either our forthcoming report or the launch event, please contact publicaffairs@britishlegion.org.uk.
 

Experiences of Transition to Civilian Life in Scotland


The research team at Edinburgh Napier University in partnership with the University of Edinburgh  undertaking research into the experiences of resettlement/transition from military to civilian life in Scotland. The research seeks to understand Service Leavers’ aspirations, concerns and support needs when leaving the Armed Forces. This research is supported by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT). At this point we are seeking veterans who have transitioned within the last 10 years and have settled or are thinking of settling in Scotland. We hope that our research will provide important information for Government, policy makers and service providers, with a view to helping make a positive difference to the lives of veterans and their families.

Below is a copy of the information leaftlet along with a link to the survey for those who wish to complete it.
 

Below is a QR code which will also take you to the survey.
 

The Padre was a Hooker

 
 
 
 “You should write a book”
 
It is many years since the first person spoke those famous five words to me ….. and at last I have responded !
 
Today, 31st August 2021,  is Publication Day
 
The book is available in Kindle, Paperback and Hardback from Austin Macauley Publishers, Waterstones Booksellers and Amazon Books … and elsewhere I am sure.
 
I hope you will consider reading it … and also that you will help the distribution process by telling others.
 
Even forwarding this email to your various contacts would be a wonderful help.
 
Thank you …. enjoy the read
 
Yours aye
 
Stephen
 
PS Apologies of you receive this more than once.  Trying to avoid that happening!!
 
Rev Stephen A Blakey
The Isla Parishes
(Church of Scotland)
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Veterans Scotland
New Haig House
Logie Green Road
Edinburgh, EH7 4HR

 
Veterans Scotland is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland, SC239808.
Registered as a charity in Scotland, SC033880.


Veterans Scotland are also members of the Cobseo Executive committee.

   

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