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12 November 2021 (Edition - Issue 41)

History of the poppy


In 1921 Earl Haig discovered some French war widows - inspired by Lt Col John McCrae’s iconic poem “In Flanders Fields” - selling silk poppies to raise funds for disabled ex-Servicemen. The poppy, which is central to the poem, was one of the few plants that survived in the churned up battlefields of Flanders, growing by the thousands amidst chaos and destruction.
 
Haig recognised the potential of these poppies to become both a symbol of Remembrance and also as a means to support the welfare of ex-Servicemen, so he ordered nine million poppies which were sold on 11th November 1921. The Poppy Appeal was born.  100 years later the poppy continues as our national symbol of remembrance and each year helps to raise more than £2 million to support the Armed Forces community.
 
2021 marks the centenary of the Scottish Poppy Appeal and to mark this important milestone, Poppyscotland have introduced a special commemorative poppy. The centenary poppy has “100” embossed in gold lettering across the iconic red paper and the one-off design makes up around 500,000 of the 3 million poppies in circulation this year.
 
Poppyscotland’s Head of Fundraising and Learning, Gordon Michie, said: “Last year cash donations to the Scottish Poppy Appeal were down 28% because of the pandemic but, despite this, Poppyscotland’s life-changing support to the Armed Forces community continued uninterrupted. Our army volunteers across the country have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks but we still have an important weekend of fundraising and remembrance ahead of us so I would urge everyone to dig deep and support the 2021 Appeal in its final few days.”
Find out more about Poppyscotland’s vital, life-changing support visit www.poppyscotland.org.uk.
 

The Poppy as a symbol of Remembrance

Our red poppy is a symbol of both Remembrance and hope for a peaceful future, as well as an important fundraising tool. The Poppy is used all over the world in this way. But why the poppy? What was the inspiration behind it becoming a symbol of Remembrance?
 

In Flanders Fields

In 1921 Earl Haig noticed some French widows - inspired by Lt Col John McCrae’s iconic poem “In Flanders Fields” - selling silk poppies to raise funds for disabled ex-Servicemen.

The poppy, which is central to the poem, was one of the few plants that survived in the churned up battlefields of Flanders, growing by the thousands amidst chaos and destruction.


Read the poem
 

The first Poppy Appeal

Haig recognised the potential of these poppies to become both a symbol of Remembrance and also as a means to support the welfare of ex-Servicemen, so he ordered nine million poppies which were sold on 11th November 1921. The Poppy Appeal was born!



Further information can be founf on the Poppyscotland website via the link here

Employment, Training & Transition Support

Appointment of the next Scottish Veterans Commissioner

The Scottish Government is now recruiting for the next Scottish Veterans Commissioner and currently seeking applications from diverse and talented individuals with a good working knowledge of the veterans sector in Scotland and a clear understanding of the devolved public sector landscape. The post will become vacant on 1 April 2022.

The role of Scottish Veterans Commissioner is a crucial element of how Scotland seeks to support its veterans. Impartial and independent from the Scottish Government, the first Commissioner started in 2014 and since then great strides have been made in ensuring that veterans and Service leavers face no barrier to reintegrating fully into society.  From identifying solutions to the problems in finding suitable employment, housing, education and health care, to working alongside partners within Scotland and the wider UK, the role offers a unique opportunity to support and advocate for our veterans and their families. 

Further information about the role, remit and work of the current Commissioner can be found under the Home tab above.  If you would like an application pack or further details about the opportunity being advertised by the Scottish Government, please contact SVCRecruitment2021@gov.scot.

The closing date for applications is at 23:59 on 22 November 2021

Furhter information can be found on the SVC website: https://scottishveteranscommissioner.org
 

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


 
If you are looking for employment oppertunities within the voluntary sector check out the good moves website.

Goodmoves – charity and voluntary sector recruitment

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

Funding & Financial Support
 

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: 
  • 12 November
  • 28 February
  • 20 May
  • 26 Aug

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.

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.

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


Giving a little time and making a difference to wounded veterans in your community can help a great deal. To get in touch you can contact us at supportmanager@vhscot.org.uk for any inquires! 
 
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Information and Resources

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.

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

Scottish soldiers post World War Two Regimental Memories film launch

The Regimental Memories of veterans and their families who served in The Royal Scots from 1945 until 2006 seeing service in Berlin, Korea, West Germany, Suez, Aden and the Radfan, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Norway and Greece, the Falklands, the Gulf, and Bosnia, as well as in Scotland and England are captured in a new 65 minute film, which is released at this time of Remembrance.

Now aged between 48 and 87, the 15 members of the close-knit Regimental Family interviews paint a vivid picture of military life from post World War 2 to 2006 when The Royal Scots ended its 373 years of unbroken service to Sovereign and Country; their unique heritage is now taken forward in The Royal Regiment of Scotland, Scotland’s Infantry.

Pride, strong comradeship, teamworking, high peeks and low troughs experienced, the importance of the support of family , loyalty, ceremonial duties including close connections with the Royal Family and sport at all levels are explained with a good dash of healthy humour.

The film can be viewed here:  https://www.theroyalscots.co.uk/royal-scots-post-ww2-v2/

Martin Gibson, Trustee of The Royal Scots Museum:

“Capturing the overall Regimental spirit of The Royal Scots close- knit Regimental Family has had its challenges over the unprecedented last 18 months. We were determined to create this Film to add to the unique heritage of the oldest Regiment in the British Army, which can be accessed digitally from around the world”.

Are you a military veteran?
 
Are you currently receiving Universal Credit?
 
Would you be willing to talk about your experiences of the benefits system?

 
             
 

What is the research about?

 
The UK benefits system has undergone a huge change with the introduction of Universal Credit. We are currently undertaking research to understand how Service Leavers/veterans are experiencing navigating the benefits system. The research project is called Sanctions, Support and Service Leavers.
 
We would like to speak to Service Leavers/veterans who are currently in receipt of Universal Credit.
 
It doesn’t matter when you served or how long for. Our research is about your experiences of claiming Universal Credit, any support you may have received, or any support you feel is needed.
 
The project aims to provide recommendations for better and more effective services in the future for the Armed Forces community.
   

How do I take part?

 
Just contact us (details at the bottom of the flyer). The interview will take place at a time/date suitable for you. Because of COVID-19 we are conducting interviews by phone, Zoom, MS Teams or Skype at the moment.
 
We will record the interview with your permission. Each interview will last about an hour. You do not have to talk about anything you don't want to and you can withdraw from the research at any time.
 
Everything you say will be treated in confidence. Your name will not be used in any published reports and we will not pass your details on to anybody else.
 
We hope to interview people three times, with around 9-12 months in between each interview. We will also keep you informed about the research findings.
 
 
 

Who is doing the research?

 
The research is funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and is being conducted by independent researchers from the University of Salford and the University of Central Lancashire.
   

Will I get paid?

 
You won’t be paid but as a thank you for taking part you will receive a £20 shopping voucher.
 
 

Want more information?

 
If you want to ask any questions about the research or know more about taking part, please contact: Phil Martin (p.martin5@salford.ac.uk) or Prof. Lisa Scullion (l.scullion@salford.ac.uk) at the University of Salford.
 

Operation Bletchley: Winter 2021 is open for registration

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is pleased to announce that Operation Bletchley: Winter 2021 is open for registration!

Fresh recruits are needed this winter to halt the Soviet influence in Berlin and Yugoslavia. You must walk 40 or 80 miles, crack codes and deliver the final message to Winston Churchill before it’s too late. Do you have what it takes?

Operation Bletchley is your codebreaking challenge. From 1st January your mission is to cover the miles, crack the codes and deliver the final message before time runs out on 31 January. You can take part from anywhere in the world using your phone, fitness tracker or a good old map.

Operation Bletchley: Berlin

Berlin. January 1949. Since the fall of the Nazi regime, Germany, and Berlin itself, has been divided into four zones, occupied by British, French, American and Soviet forces. Operation Plainfare is underway, but we need your help to beat the blockade. Your mission is to walk, or run, 40 miles across Berlin making contact with key officials and decrypting their coded messages. Can you crack the codes, and deliver the final message before it’s too late?

Learn more

 

Operation Bletchley: The Balkans

The Balkans. January 1949. Yugoslavia is in the midst of a civil war. The Serb Chetniks, aided by Axis forces are targeting our regional allies and Tito’s Partisans. Brigadier Fitzroy Maclean has trained Tito’s fighters, but while he is out of the country updating Churchill, we need a new pair of boots on the ground to liaise with Bletchley Park.  You’ll go undercover to arrange supply drops, organise attacks and gather intelligence in our fight against the Nazis.

Learn more

Good luck recruits

Agent A – Operation Bletchley HQ events@soldierscharity.org


 



The Seafarers’ Charity launches its new website

The Seafarers’ Charity, the largest grant-awarding maritime charity, has unveiled its new website, making it easier to apply for grants and explaining the complete network of support provided.

The Seafarers’ Charity works with delivery partners to support seafarers across the world, reflecting the global nature of seafaring. Their diverse work over the last year has included the COVID-19 focused Seafarers International Relief Fund,  as well as their continued role supporting work with 39 charities, such as the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network, Sailors’ Society, The Mission to Seafarers and new work with Befrienders International and Safer Waves offering a complete range of support and care for seafarers.

In March 2021, the charity released its new, results-driven strategy ‘Thrive’, that aims to identify and tackle root causes of hardship and disadvantage to seafarers.

The charity’s website has been re-engineered and re-designed to reflect on the charity’s new look and feel and will provide a one-stop place where other maritime charities and not-for-profit organisations in the UK and internationally can apply for funding to deliver a wide range of welfare services to seafarers and their families in need. The new website will allow the charity to celebrate its many loyal supporters, while providing new fundraisers with information about how they can get involved and make a donation.

The website also provides information on the charity’s latest grants, impact achieved and its influence across the maritime sector, fundraising and challenge events, as well as publications and campaigns, and highlights key moments from over 100 years of the charity’s history and its welfare work. There are also dedicated Seafarers International Relief Fund and Merchant Navy Fund sections that highlight the charity’s collaborative work in supporting seafarers and their families devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic in India, and UK Merchant Navy working and retired seafarers, respectively.

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New Haig House
Logie Green Road
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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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