January 2020 Edition  - Issue 16

Strategy for our veterans: UK government consultation paper

Strategy for our Veterans – UK Government Consultation Response

Detail of outcome

We are grateful to everyone who responded to the Strategy for our Veterans UK Government consultation paper. The UK Government’s response outlines:

  • a summary of the responses received
  • a summary of what UK Government already does to support veterans
  • the government’s plans in response to the consultation
Detail of feedback received

We were pleased to receive a large volume of responses to this consultation, from both individuals and organisations. We have just finished the thorough analysis of the data and expect to publish a government response later in the year.

Support for veterans: strategy

How we will take forward the Strategy for our Veterans and achieve the best possible outcomes for our veterans and their families now and in the future.

The launch of the Veterans Strategy in November 2018 acknowledged the importance of supporting and empowering those who have served us in our Armed Forces. Veterans, young and old, offer a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge that are vital for civil society and it is important that the contribution of their families is recognised too.

By committing to this Strategy along with the other governments of the United Kingdom, the Scottish Government has pledged to achieve a shared Vision and Principles and the best possible outcomes for our veterans and their families in the future. Implementing the Strategy, however, will be tailored to the needs of our veterans population and the distinctive mechanisms for delivery in Scotland. 

Taking forward our consultation in Scotland, we have been clear to emphasise the message that, first and foremost, veterans are assets to our society. And for the small proportion who find the transition to civilian life more of a challenge, we owe them all the support that we can to ensure that, regardless of their difficulties, they too are able to realise their potential and live full and successful lives after their military service.

We have focused on strengthening the excellent work being done every day by organisations across the public, private and charitable sectors to support and empower veterans. Our response to the Strategy builds on this work and recognises that the needs of our veterans are changing, both in terms of the reducing numbers and also with regard to the types of support that help them to integrate successfully into civilian society. Where veterans require help, their issues can be multiple and complex, emphasising the importance of effective collaboration and co-ordination by the many agencies that are available to support them.

Looking ahead, this document sets out how we intend to respond to these changes, across all of the services that impact on the lives of veterans and families of the Armed Forces community in Scotland.

Employment & Training


Dates: 2nd March - 23rd April 2020

Times: 10-4pm, every Wednesday + 20 hours self-study per week

Location: Abertay University, Dundee/ work from home (except for each Weds when attendance is required at the university labs)

Exciting news. SaluteMyJob is looking for people from the Armed Forces Community (Service leavers, veterans, reservists, spouses or cadets) with a keen interest in securing employment in Cyber Security to pilot our FREE 8 week penetration testing course and acquire the skills and experience to become an Ethical Hacker or Penetration Tester. 

The course will provide:

  • Access to preparatory online learning modules for those needing to acquire or revise their technical skills
  • If required, a place on our 3 day Introduction to Cyber with Resilient training course, 11 -13 February at Abertay University
  • A place on our 8 week Penetration Testing Course starting in March, to gain the skills needed to become an Ethical Hacker or Penetration Tester
  • Workplace experience opportunities provided by employer partners

So, if you or anyone you know, within the Armed Forces Community, is interested in acquiring the skills to become a cyber security professional or penetration tester then, apply now.

For more information and to apply, click here:

In Partnership with 

Take the next step in your career

Leaving the Armed Forces is a big life change - for you or your family. As you consider your future, it's important to look at all your options to find the career that's right for you.


Our Community - Our Covenant

Improving the delivery of local Covenant pledges

The Forces in Mind Trust and the Local Government Association commissioned Shared Intelligence to carry out research into ways of improving the local delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant. The research, which was supported by the Ministry of Defence, was commissioned in the context of concerns nationally that implementation of the Covenant locally was inconsistent.

There are numerous organisations able to provide a range of advice and support to members of the veteran community in Scotland.  If you need information or assistance you may be able to find what you are looking for on our website.  Links are below:

Charity Governance and Governance Support

A range of information and support is available on the OSCR website for charities who are based in Scotland or operate within Scotland.  We recommend that charities and trusties are familiar with the guidance that has been provided to ensure that they are fully compliant.  Further information is available on the OSCR website here


Craig Fulton will deliver a TRUSTEE TRAINING DAY on Saturday April 18th 2020, stating at 8.45 for registration and looking to finish around 4.30pm. (In Glasgow, venue tbc dependant on numbers)

Cost £100 per person inclusive of lunch and refreshments. 

There is a great deal of information available on the OSCR website and from Veterans Scotland and Cobseo, however it can be overwhelming, and sometimes difficult to find the exact answer to a concern or matter of interest. 

At BRAVEHOUND we wanted to give our own current and potential trustees an opportunity to find out more about being a trustee for a military charity in Scotland and are hosting the event. 

We thought that it would also provide a great opportunity for trustees of member charities to get together. 

To register interest, find out more or book places please contact Fiona MacDonald 0141 739 8940


News Updates
Check out the various updates from the wider Veterans Scotland membership and other partners that we work with:

  RNRMC News updates

ABF The Soldiers' Charity News


Poppyscotland News feeds

Blesma News

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.  A PDF copy of the guide is available here.

Housing in Scotland Guide

Poppyscotland have recently produced an information guide for their Housing in Scotland booklet.


Housing Benefit

You may get help with all or part of your rent. There’s no set amount of Housing Benefit and what you get will depend on whether you rent privately or from a council.

Use a benefits calculator to work out what you could get or check what extra help is available.


Local Authority Guides

Several Local Authorities across Scotland have now produce their own Service Leavers and Veterans Guides.  Copies of the guides are available on the Veterans Assist website under the resources tab or directly from your Local Authority.

Veterans Scotland Information Booklet

An update copy of the Veterans Scotland Information Booklet is available on our website.  If you are aware of any updates, changes or information that you feel may be missing from the booklet please let the Veterans Scotland team know and we can look to make any updates and changes for the next issue.

The latest copy is available via the link here

RAFBF Guide to their services

Transitional mentoring for service leavers

Our mentoring helps motivate, support, build resilience and empower service leavers - to fulfil their potential in their new lives outside the military.


Armed forces and veterans pensions


Veterans UK, part of the Ministry of Defence, assess, award, pay, and oversee all armed forces pensions. As a member of the armed forces you’ll have been enrolled in a pension scheme automatically.

They also administer the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme for serving and former serving personnel who are injured as a result of their service in the Armed Forces.

Veterans UK Welfare Service in Scotland

Phone: 0141 224 2709

Find out about call charges

Estimate your armed forces pension

You may be eligible for an armed forces pension if you’re a current or former member of the armed forces.

If you’re currently serving in the armed forces

Use the calculator to work out how much armed forces pension you may get.

You can also download and fill in a pension forecast request (form 12).

If you’ve left the armed forces

Download and fill in a preserved pension forecast form (form 14) to get an estimate of your pension.

General Support
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.

It also include details of Armed Forces and Veterans Champions from across Scotland.

Find out more here 

Our Break Away service provides much needed breaks to veterans 65+ in Scotland – submit an application and we could help you to find the perfect holiday to a UK destination of your choice. For more information, please call 0131 550 1589 or email

Apply for a veterans badge

You can get an armed forces veterans badge if you’ve served in any of the UK armed forces - there’s no fee.


You can apply if you were in the:

  • Army
  • Royal Navy
  • Royal Marines
  • Royal Air Force (RAF)
  • Volunteer or Regular Reserves

March in March for veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress

Put your best foot forward this March in aid of Combat Stress, the UK’s leading veterans’ mental health charity, as they seek to raise money to meet the high demand for their unique services.
With thousands of former servicemen and women seeking mental health treatment each year, Combat Stress is running its popular fundraising challenge March in March for the third consecutive year. Complete 10 miles on any day during March, give your mental and physical health a boost, and raise funds for life-changing mental health treatment for veterans. Submit evidence of your achievement and you’ll receive a special commemorative medal.
March in March is a virtual event, with no physical race start line. How and where people complete the challenge is up to them, meaning the event can be adjusted into a personal challenge. Walk ten miles in one day, beat a personal best by running 10 miles as fast as possible, or even run the distance in full combat gear – the possibilities are endless. Simply register online, pick a time and a place, and get started. 
The charity is encouraging participants to share photos and videos on social media of them undertaking the challenge, using #MarchinMarch.
Resettlement & Transition

Funding Opportunities

Grants available from the Veterans' Foundation

The Veterans’ Foundation provides grants to organisations that are helping serving and retired members of the armed forces, qualifying seafarers, and their dependants, who are in need. Grants up to £30K spread over one to three years are available and the deadline for applications are the end of December, March, May and September.

Further details can be found at

Funding available through the Positive Pathways Programme

Grants for £35,000 or £70,000, depending on the needs of their project, are available to support ex-forces with activity-based projects that aim to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Projects must be activity based, which can include: • sports • arts/culture activities such as music or theatre • getting outside, for example gardening activities • heritage projects such as conservation or archaeology. To be eligible for this grant you must be a charity or CIC with a proven record in providing successful activity-based project to veterans, more detail on the application process and criteria can be found here.
Other News

Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2019

Back in December, the Secretary of State for Defence laid the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2019 before Parliament. The report sets out major achievements of the Armed Forces Covenant and highlights remaining challenges and new commitments.

Charity calls for veteran seafarers to share their stories

As part of the UK’s VE Day 75th anniversary commemorations* in May 2020, Seafarers UK is launching a Veterans Appeal to raise funds for seafaring veterans and their families. Seafarers UK (the charity created in 1917 as King George’s Fund for Sailors) endeavours to support all seafaring veterans in need, regardless of their age or area of service. 

Read More

Education and Training Opertunities


LifeWorks offer a FREE 5-day residential employment course! So if you’re Ex-Forces and looking for work, why not contact us? Call 0131 550 1557 or email

The next course due to take place in Scotland is between 9-13 March 2020.

Individual Training Accounts opened to new applications 

This phase of the scheme will accept up to 10,000 new applications. 

Head to to apply when the scheme reopens. 

What are Individual Training Accounts?

In line with the Scottish Government’s Labour Market Strategy, Individual Training Accounts were launched in October 2017.

This targeted funding aims to support employability by focusing funds on those actively seeking employment and those who are currently in low paid work and looking to progress.

Up to £200 towards a training course

Individual Training Accounts are available to help people develop the skills they need for work, giving learners who meet the eligibility criteria up to £200 towards a single training course or training episode per year. And because it’s not a loan, the money doesn’t need to be paid back.

General News and Updates

Armed Forces Covenant Report shows support for military community

The report outlines how the Government has been fulfilling its responsibility to ensure the military community are not disadvantaged as a result of their service.

Key accomplishments for 2018/19 include:

  • The creation of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs to co-ordinate and drive government activity to support veterans
  • Introduction of flexible service allowing regular personnel to temporarily work part time
  • The launch of the Future Accommodation Model pilot, looking at how the accommodation offer for service personnel can be improved
  • Extension of the Forces Help to Buy scheme to December 2022, helping armed forces personnel to get on the property ladder
  • 1,000 new signings of the Armed Forces Covenant in 2019, taking the total of signatories to over 4,000
  • Approximately £5 million of funding for the Department of Work and Pensions to bolster the role of its Armed Forces Champions across the country

As set out in the Queen’s Speech this week, the Armed Forces Covenant will be further incorporated into law over the course of this Parliament. The legislation will seek to strengthen current arrangements to remove disadvantage and improve the consistency of Covenant outcomes for the Armed Forces community.

Download the Covenant Report here.

OSCR will be at The Gathering 2020


The Gathering is a free annual event organised by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). This year, the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) is sponsoring the event.

It takes place in the SEC, Glasgow on 19 and 20 February 2020. It’s a place for people from the third sector to network, showcase their work and learn from each other. Whether it is funding, employability or health and wellbeing, there are opportunities to listen, learn and be heard.

You can join 3,000 visitors from across Scotland and explore the Gathering’s marketplace, workshops, seminars and training opportunities. There are over 110 exhibitors – and a packed programme showcasing the work of the sector.

OSCR is holding two sessions that we would love you to attend:

Our Chief Executive Maureen Mallon will also be sitting on a panel with the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, and Anna Fowlie (CEO of SCVO) at the ‘Strengthening Scotland’s charity sector’ session (10am to 11am on Wednesday) .

We will also have representatives speaking at ‘Volunteering for all, and ‘Thanks, or no thanks? When to accept or refuse a donation’.

Book to attend The Gathering 2020 events here.

In addition to the events, OSCR will have its own stand on The Gathering’s showfloor. There will be lots of useful documents for charity trustees and you can come and chat to our staff if you have any questions. Please visit us on Stand 72 to say hello!

Government fulfils promise to veterans with new railcard

Image of Veterans railcard

Military veterans to get cut-price train travel to help boost job prospects and bring them closer to family and friends.

  • new railcard, available from Armistice Day this year, will help boost veterans’ job prospects and strengthen family bonds through cheaper travel
  • over 830,000 eligible for a third off their fares, saving veterans and their families hundreds of pounds a year
  • discount forms part of government’s new veterans strategy to support former servicemen and women

Military veterans will get cut-price train travel to help boost job prospects and bring them closer to family and friends, with a new railcard on sale from Armistice Day, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today (22 January 2020).

Available from Armistice Day this year, the railcard will extend discounted train travel to the more than 830,000 veterans not covered by existing discounts.

Joined by veterans at St Pancras railway station, the Transport Secretary and the Minister for the Cabinet Office underlined the government’s commitment to supporting former service personnel and recognised their service to the country.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said:

“Discounted train travel is a fantastic way to recognise those who have served this country, and the speed at which plans have been worked up shows how seriously we are taking our commitments to make the UK the best country in the world to be a veteran.

“The railcard is only the start though, and I’m clear we need to do more to look after the people who so selflessly put their lives on the line to look after us.

“Now the action plan has been published, I look forward to continuing to drive forward this issue across government and the services we offer.

More information

Views of Armed Forces community sought to help develop new local Covenant funding programme

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (the Trust) has launched a new, open consultation to discover how those within, and working with, the Armed Forces community feel funding could be best used to support them.

The consultation comes ahead of the re-launch of the Armed Forces Covenant: Local Grants programme, which has successfully supported hundreds of local projects over the last five years, strengthening the Armed Forces community both in terms of integration and delivery of local services.

Shaping a new programme based on real need

By seeking valuable feedback as part of this eight-week consultation, the Trust will shape a new programme, based on the needs and priorities identified at a local level, and will use the evidence gathered to inform their overall priority for 2020 of Integration and Engagement.

The Trust’s Director of Policy, Sonia Howe, explains:

“Research tells us that isolation and loneliness is affecting both young and old, with increasing evidence showing the need to link veterans with existing services. Our own grant making experience also tells us that isolation can be an issue amongst Forces families, particularly when their serving member is away or they move to a new area.”

Your views are vital

As well as which groups of people you feel are most in need of funding support, your views of grant size and how those grants are made are also welcomed.

The consultation is live from 13 January until 6 March 2020. To take part, visit the Trust’s website  

For more information about this consultation, a full guidance document is also available at the link above.

To find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, visit their website

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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