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19 March 2021 (Edition - Issue 11)

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: 
  • 21 May

  • 27 August

  • 12 November

Health

I am the lead researcher on a project looking at the effectiveness of a drinking app for the Armed Forces Community. I am reaching out to you, as your organisation is supporting the veteran community to inquire if you’d be able to support our recruitment effort. The study explores the use of a smartphone app (Drinks:Ration) to help veterans understand more about their drinking and reduce the amount they drink.  
 
The app also provides advice and support for those who want to cut down their alcohol use. We recognise that our app isn’t perfect, and we’re continuously improving its functionality and usability, but any input and support from the veteran community on 1) it’s effectiveness, 2) how we can improve/modify the app are most welcome.  
 
This study is being conducted by the King’s Centre of Military Health Research based at King’s College London in collaboration with the University of Liverpool and Combat Stress and is funded by the Forces in Mind Trust. We have obtained research ethical clearance from the King’s College London Research Ethics Committee.  
 
It would be great if you are able share some information to help us to promote the study and to recruit new participants. I am happy to send through some materials for this if needed. Alternatively, there is some information on our study website https://drinksration.app/.  
Housing

A Scottish Housing Guide for people leaving the Armed Forces & Ex-service personnel


An updated copy of the Scottish Governments "A Scottish housing guide for people leaving the Armed Forces & ex-Service personnel" has now been published.  
 

Helping disabled people, older people and members of the armed forces community to find the right home in the right place

FIND OUT MORE

If you are a member of the Armed Forces, a veteran or still serving, finding a suitable home on civvy street can be one of the hardest things you will do, especially if you are an older person or have a disability.
                                      

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.

A link to the current Guides is available HERE
 

Erskine Accommodation



Erskine have a range of accommodation options available to Veterans from five Assisted Living flats and 44 cottages to four care home facilities. New to the portfolio is the Erskine Transitional Supported Accommodation (David Boyle Court), which supports Service leavers and Veterans whose life or transition plans had been disrupted.

We are offering accommodation in the David Boyle Court and wraparound support, so that Veterans have a mutual support base in which to reflect, reorientate and retrain before relocating to the region and employment of their choice – giving back to their community in the way we know they can.

This supported accommodation aims to provide a transition into long term housing and employment for service-leavers transferring from the military to civvy street, Veterans who have encountered difficulties shortly after leaving the military and Veterans who may be going through another transitional period of their post service life.

For transitioning Veterans living in the David Boyle Court, who need help to begin the next chapter of their lives, Erskine offers social, recreation and training facilities at the Erskine Reid Macewen Activity Centre (ERMAC).  They will also be offered a bespoke personal employability package tailored to suit their needs to help them move onto full-time employment and long-term suitable accommodation.

David Boyle Court is within a Veterans Village setting supporting Veterans of all ages.

Find out more here

 

Scottish Government - Housing to 2040


Housing to 2040 sets out a vision for housing in Scotland to 2040 and a route map to get there. It aims to deliver our ambition for everyone to have a safe, good quality and affordable home that meets their needs in the place they want to be.

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


Ann updated copy of the information booklet as at 15 March 2021 is available via the link below:

News and Other Updates

Poppyscotland and the Royal British Legion carers research survey – We want to hear from you

 
Poppyscotland and The Royal British Legion are carrying out some research to better understand what it is like to be an unpaid carer in the UK Armed Forces community. For those in both the Serving and ex-Service community, we want to find out about your experiences of being a carer and the impact it has on your life. Our research to date has shown that members of the ex-Service community are almost twice as likely to have a caring responsibility for a family member, friend or neighbour when compared to the adult population.
Our aim is to publish the conclusions of our research to coincide with UK carers week this year which runs June 8th – 13th.
We have put together a short survey that should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Your views will be vital in informing our policy and campaigns work, helping us tell Government Ministers, civil servants, and politicians in both the UK and Scottish Governments about your experience and how they can improve the support you receive. Your answers will be used anonymously. This survey closes on Monday 5 April
You can take part in the survey using this link: Carers in the UK Armed Forces community Survey (surveymonkey.co.uk)

Please feel free to ask for help from a friend or family member to complete this survey if you need to. If you would like the survey in a different format, have any further questions, or would like to tell us more about your experiences please email us on r.thomson@poppyscotland.org.uk


If you would like to find out more about Poppyscotland or need support with your caring responsibilities, please visit our website at
https://www.poppyscotland.org.uk


The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and the Directory of Social Change have published an evaluation report exploring the impact of just under £11.5M of grant funds that the Trust has awarded through the Covenant Fund to support Armed Forces families that were experiencing difficult challenges.

The Trust awarded these grants under two different funding programmes: the £4.35M Families in Stress programme and the £7.12M Removing Barriers to Family Life programme.


Veterans UK Customer Satisfaction Survey 2021

Veterans UK are always trying to improve the services we deliver to our customers and one of the best ways to understand how we can make improvements is to ask the people who use our services.

The survey is open now and until midnight on Tuesday 6 April at 11.59pm.

If you would like to tell us about your experiences of using our Veterans UK services, please complete our Customer Satisfaction Survey 2021.

At Veterans UK (part of Defence Business Services) we are always trying to improve the services we deliver to our customers. One of the best ways to understand how we can make improvements is to ask the people who use our services how we can do better. We will use your responses, along with our Customer Service Excellence (CSE) and complaints feedback to shape our customer satisfaction action plan and build on our Vision “to support UK Defence customers with outstanding service every time”.

The survey will take no more than 10 minutes to complete, your responses will be completely confidential, and all data is handled in line with Ministry of Defence policy.

Consultation – publication of figures on service leavers by geographical location

The MOD are conducting a public consultation to assess the need for published information on UK armed forces service leavers by geographic location.

This consultation closes at 11:59pm on 10 April 2021

Find out more and take part here.

Consultation description

We are currently assessing the requirement for summary figures showing the number of UK armed forces service leavers by geographical location (for example; local authority, parliamentary constituency) to be published. The figures would be based on the address given upon exit from the UK armed forces and would therefore give an indication of the number of new service leavers going into each area in each year.

We have put together several questions to help us understand whether there is a need for this information and, if so, what it would be used for. Provide as much detail as you can to support your response to ensure we are able to fully consider your view in our evaluation.

Academics are looking for military widow(er)s to take part in a survey on loneliness and social isolation

Academics from Northumbria University are looking for individuals whose partners have died in the UK Armed Forces or after their service, to take part in new research into loneliness and social isolation.

The project, developed by Northumbria University in collaboration with the War Widows’ Association, aims to understand military widows’ experiences of social isolation and loneliness, identify the services available to military widows, and examine their unmet needs.

There are almost 15,000 military widows and widowers in the UK today. This study will inform national debate and lead to the development of policy recommendations and guidance for improved service provision.

Mary Moreland, Chair of the War Widows’ Association, lost her husband, a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment, when he was killed on his way to work by members of the IRA in 1988. She said:

“When there is no longer a serving person in the family unit those left behind are very frequently forgotten. Bereavement can add to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness, however as military widows no longer belong to the armed forces community, these feeling may be magnified. On behalf of the Association I am delighted to be working in collaboration with Northumbria University and Forces in Mind Trust on this project.”

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, funders of the research, said

This research is both relevant and timely and will provide us with the necessary insights to produce a powerful set of recommendations that will improve the support available for our military widows and widowers.”

The research team is seeking up to 400 people to participate in the research. The survey will run from 1 March to 14 May 2021 and you can take part here:

https://nupsych.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9vlINOpVFsSculU

Dr Gemma Wilson said

Your thoughts matter to the research team and could lead to improved well-being of a group of the armed forces community who are often forgotten’.

For more information please contact Gemma on gemma.wilson@northumbria.ac.uk

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