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10 December 2021 (Edition - Issue 45)

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

 
Care, Health & Wellbeing

Welcome in the New Year!

Support your clients' wellbeing with this selection of table-top gardening activities:

All our online free LIVE ZOOM and GROWING SERIES sessions are geared towards inspiring staff in care, health & community settings, to feel confident in carrying out gardening activities with their clients:

  • No previous knowledge required.
  • Learn gardening skills and how to adapt activities to your client group.
  • Informal, 60 minute, online, live, practical demonstrations - Thursdays 14:00
  • Free giveaways in the session, so you can have a go!

 Sessions fill fast - for more information and to Register, see the links below.

 

6th January  14:00 - 15:00

LIVE ZOOM - Houseplants

Welcome in the New Year with our feature on houseplants!
Brighten up January with plants in doors.
Caring for your plants - get up close and personal and give your plants a treat!

Join us online for our engaging presentation and practical demonstration, with tips on how to adapt this activity for your clients, and a Q&A session.

Complete the feedback survey at the end of the session to receive our FREE giveaway - a Peace Lily houseplant so you can try this at home! 

For more info & to register for the event click the button below

Register Here
13th January ( to be confirmed) 

NEW GROWING SERIES -
 Windowsill Growing


Bringing food growing indoors makes it easily accessible and a fun, engaging activity. Delicious, nutritious snacks and garnishes at your fingertips!

Join us to find out how in our demonstration video; enjoy live comment, adaptive tips and conversation with Jilly,
Lecturer in Occupational Therapy,  and ask your growing questions in our live Q&A session.

Complete the feedback survey at the end of the session to receive our FREE giveaway: seeds to nurture on your windowsill!

For more info & to register for the event click the button below

 

Register Here
27th January  14:00- 15:00

NEW GROWING SERIES -  Fruit

You'll be surprised how easy it is to grow a wide variety of fruit in small garden spaces or pots. 

Join us to find out how in our demonstration video; enjoy live comment, adaptive tips and conversation with Jilly,
Lecturer in Occupational Therapy,  and ask your growing questions in our live Q&A session.

Complete the feedback survey at the end of the session to receive our FREE giveaway book, RHS Pruning Plant by Plant 

For more info & to register for the event click the button below

Register Here
FREE Introduction to Seasonal Gardening Activities

Enjoy LIVE ZOOM /GROWING SERIES? Looking for further training or CPD?

Try out our certificated online learning for FREE!

Try the Introduction to Seasonal Gardening Activities unit

Contains gardening activity ideas, demonstration videos and activity sheets covering the four seasons of the year. Along with adaptive tips, so you feel confident adapting and carrying out activities with your clients. 

Practical, enjoyable, gardening activity training - online in your own time.
No garden or previous gardening knowledge is required. 

Help bring gardening joy to others.

For more information click the button below!

Online Learning Information
 
Winter Unit now open!

Part of the Seasonal Gardening Activities Training Programme, the Winter Unit is now open for enrolment and runs from 1st December 2021 - 28th February 2022
Cost £85
Practical training online

If you are looking for inspiration and training in how to carry out gardening activities with your clients?
Indoors and out?
Stimulating, fun and tailored activities?
For use in care, community, health, and educational settings?
Then this training is for you. Certificate issued on completion. No prior knowledge required. 

This training unit will enable you to be confident in handling plant materials and organise gardening activities suitable for the Winter season.
Gardening activities support wellbeing through opportunities for social interaction, physical activity, sensory stimulation, learning new and reviving old skills, as well as giving and nurturing.

For further information/to enrol, see https://www.trellisscotland.org.uk/content/online-seasonal-gardening

Comradeship & Support

Comradeship Events

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
 


 

Legion Scotland Annual Carol Service 12th Dec 4pm



Join Legion Scotland on the 12th of December 2021 at Canongate Kirk at 4pm for our annual Carol Service.

Cancelled in 2020 due to COVID restrictions we look forward to being able to invite everyone, once again to gather to enjoy a service of thanks with 9 lessons and 9 carols.

Planning will be kept under review should COVID continue to impact restrictions on events in the latter part of the year.

Tickets available through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-royal-british-legion-scotland-christmas-carol-service-tickets-217480168037

If you have any queries on this event please email events@legionscotland.org.uk 

 

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

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

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

Lloyd’s Military Network placement scheme


Lloyd’s Military Network placement scheme is now open for applications!

The Placement Scheme

The Lloyd’s ex-military placement scheme offers veterans the opportunity of a work placement in the most advanced insurance market in the world. The placement has two objectives: firstly, to bridge the knowledge and experience gap of candidates by providing access to on-the-job training and a route to possible employment opportunities in the firms looking to hire.

Secondly, we actively engage with hiring managers in the market to discuss the benefits of recruiting ex – military talent whilst addressing any perceptions or perceived limitations of military personnel. Success against these objectives allows us to achieve our goal of identifying and curating tailored opportunities for ex-military to find employment in the London and wider insurance market.

What’s in it for me?

The scheme has been running for over five years and during that period we have had an 80-90% success rate in candidates on the scheme securing roles in the industry. This is directly as a result of individuals being able to showcase the skills that they bring to prospective employees.

The scheme normally runs over eight weeks with all participants starting on the same date. Participants will be placed in either one company for the full duration, or two different companies for four weeks each; this will depend on the firm’s availability and prospective opportunities. Where possible, we will try and align individuals to placements that match where they want to be (i.e. project managers into project management roles) but this may not always be possible as we appreciate that many applicants might not know where they see themselves fitting, and the opportunities may not map across. If you have a particular interest, please indicate this on the application form.

What’s in it for hosting companies?

In the time that we have been running the placement scheme, over 100 veterans have been employed across the insurance industry into roles where they might not have necessarily been considered for. These individuals have demonstrated the skills and attributes that veterans bring to prospective employers over a relatively short placement and have gone onto to succeed in the industry across a wide variety of roles. Candidates are extremely self-sufficient, proactive and keen to be adding value from the very beginning of a placement; they will be able to hit the ground running with minimal support and many candidates have picked up complex projects during their placements.

Find out more here.

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
 

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

The Trust’s ‘Sustaining Support’ awards over £1.7million in second round of grants

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust are delighted to announce that ‘Sustaining Support’ has awarded over £1.7million in its second round of grants. These grants will help charities to sustain activities and services that people from Armed Forces communities use and value.

Two Funding Tracks, Core and Project 

There were two funding tracks in the Sustaining Support programme. Organisations could only pick one track, either a project funding or the core funding track and receive one grant award from this programme. Grants of up to £50,000 or up to £100,000 were available and sixty-six organisations have benefitted from Sustaining Support grants.

Back, and stronger together

One charity to receive an award from the Core funding track was the Military Wives Choir, who were awarded £100,000 for the project ‘Back, and stronger together’.

As a small charity, Military Wives Choir, relies on performance opportunities to bring in much needed funding to keep the choirs network thriving. Since the start of the pandemic the charity has lost an estimated 25% of its annual charity income due to cancellation of performances and events. This vital funding from the Trust, will help sustain the Military Wives Choirs Foundation in lieu of normal funding streams.

Melanie Nightingale, Director of Military Wives Choirs Foundation, said this about the grant

We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, Sustaining Support grant, which will enable us to maintain support to our network of over 70 choirs across the UK and overseas.  

“We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support of AFCFT as we emerge from the effects of the pandemic and look forward to our charity’s 10th anniversary next year.

Vulnerable Veterans

From the project funding track, Erskine were awarded £99,959 for their project ‘Social Support for Vulnerable Veterans’ and Gareth Toner – Trusts and Foundations Manager, Erskine, had this to say about the award…

Erskine is delighted to have received a generous grant from the Sustaining Support programme. This grant of £99,959 will play a vital role in the continuation of Erskine’s Activities Centre which provides support and social engagement for over 120 veterans of all ages. 
I would like to sincerely thank The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for your continued outstanding support which will help our Centre’s veterans enjoy the high quality of life that they all truly deserve.”

Helping Veterans to live fuller lives Outside the Wire

As a successful applicant, The Matthew Project applied for a Sustaining Support grant under the project track. They will use this awarded grant of £73,932 to continue to support Veterans in Suffolk and Essex through their project ‘Outside the Wire: Suffolk/Essex’.

Wayne Copsey Service Manager/Recovery Practitioner said this about the award.

“Receiving the Sustaining Support grant will enable the Outside the Wire practitioners to continue to provide much needed support to our most vulnerable veterans who are having issues with substance misuse and/or PTSD. Without the support our project has received from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, we would not have been able to continue our work in all the areas we cover, which would result in many veterans ending up disengaging and not getting the help they need”

Find out more

To read more on this story, visit our website
https://covenantfund.org.uk/2021/11/30/sustaining-support-awards-over-1-7million-in-second-round-of-grants/ 

To view the full list of grants https://covenantfund.org.uk/2021/10/07/sustaining-support-programme-projects-weve-funded/

Bank of Scotland Foundation 

The Reach programme is suitable for charities who can demonstrate they address disadvantage or social exclusion and will reach the most vulnerable people across Scotland, to provide them with opportunity and equality and making positive, sustainable change. For disadvantage, examples include charities addressing primary disadvantage such as homelessness, abuse, mental health or poverty, or secondary disadvantage such as debt issues, learning disabilities, illiteracy, lack of employability skills or health issues. For social exclusion, examples include charities addressing exclusionary challenges for minorities, people with disabilities, LGBT people, drug users, institutional care leavers, the elderly or the young.
https://www.bankofscotlandfoundation.org/funding-programmes/reach
Deadline: 16 December 2021
 

The National Lottery 

The Platinum Jubilee celebrates 70 years of Her Majesty The Queen’s reign and to mark this occasion, The National Lottery Community Fund will fund 70 projects across the UK.
Funded projects will need to be up and running by Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend on 5 June 2022.
Three areas of focus are:
1. Across Generations - Strengthening relationships between generations and creating a legacy for future generations.
Projects that connect people across generations through doing activities together
Projects that consider future generations and how the Jubilee can leave a legacy for them in the community
Projects designed and led by young people who want to be more active in shaping the future of their communities.
2. Community Renewal - Supporting new opportunities for people to develop skills and experiences in their local community, as well as opportunities to bring people together in new ways, and in new or different places and spaces.
Projects making use of significant local sites or spaces – parks, heritage buildings, community spaces etc.
Projects creating new opportunities for the people that live locally to contribute and/or to build skills and experiences
Projects starting something new (a set of activities, a group, a community space, a service, a network) that marks the Jubilee as a turning point in the community.
3. Our Shared Natural World - Growing our care and action locally for the natural world.
Projects initiating collective action in relation to the natural world locally - giving more people the opportunity to care for the planet at a local level
 
Across the applications, they will be looking for and prioritising projects that:
  • draw on the creativity of the community
  • want to do something new and inventive
  • bring new opportunities
  • make use of sites of local significance
  • use multiple channels through which people can participate,
  • that will have impact on more than one of the above areas of focus, and
https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/the-platinum-jubilee-fund?
Deadline: 15 December 2021 or once 700 applications received.
 

Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund 

The Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund aims to support adult community-based initiatives to help address the impact of distress and mental ill health caused by social isolation and loneliness, as well as addressing the mental health inequalities exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Applications will be via individual Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) who will publish details of eligibility criteria and the application process on their own respective channels soon. To find details of your local TSI, please visit the online directory, https://tsi.scot/tsi-directory/
 

The Fore Trust

The Fore offers development funding and strategic support to early-stage charities and social enterprises. It makes unrestricted grants which have the potential to have a transformational impact on an organisation. For example enabling your organisation to take a step forward in its development or giving you the chance to do something you couldn’t before. It will also match successful applicants with friendly professional support including ongoing mentoring, strategic advice, governance support or other assistance.
https://www.thefore.org/applying-for-funding/
Next submission deadline 25 January
 

The Rayne Foundation

Grants to charitable and not-for-profit organisations across the UK tackling a variety of issues. They favour work which could change the way issues are tackled in our society and which could have lessons for others beyond the funded organisation. They consider applications in the fields of arts, health and wellbeing, education in its widest sense, and those that cover social issues. The focus is to connect communities, building bridges between marginalised groups and mainstream society, and to enable individuals to reach their full potential. Areas of special interest include improved quality of life for carers and for older people.
https://www.raynefoundation.org.uk/grants/uk/apply/guidelines
 

Foundation Scotland - Community Awards

Grants of up to £5,000 for smaller community organisations, criteria including supporting older people and veterans.
https://www.foundationscotland.org.uk/programmes/baillie-gifford-community-awards/
 

The Robertson Trust - various grants

Grants ranging from £2,000 for constituted community groups and small charities with an annual income of under £25,000, to grants of up to £2 million.
www.therobertsontrust.org.uk
 

Digital Scotland - Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme

Vouchers to ensure that every address in Scotland has the ability to access a superfast broadband connection by the end of 2021.
https://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/how-can-i-get-it/voucher-scheme/
 

Foyle Foundation - small grants scheme

One-year grants only to cover core costs or essential equipment, to enable ongoing service provision, homeworking, or delivery of online digital services to charities that can show financial stability.  The priority is support for local charities still active in their communities which are currently delivering services to the young, vulnerable, elderly, disadvantaged or the general community either directly or through online support if possible.
No deadlines
http://www.foylefoundation.org.uk/small-grants-scheme/   
 

National Lottery - Awards for All

Grants of £300-£10,000 for voluntary or community organisations, constituted groups or clubs that will support people at high risk, will see an increased demand in this period, or that have high potential to support communities with the impact of COVID-19:
https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/national-lottery-awards-for-all-scotland  
 

National Lottery - Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund is now focussed on responding to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards process will also be faster, recognising the need to respond quickly to people who are in real need.
https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/
 

National Lottery - Grants for improving Lives

For voluntary or community organisations that will support people at high risk, will see an increased demand in this period, or that have high potential to support communities with the impact of COVID-19.
https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/grants-for-improving-lives
 

National Lottery - Grants for Community-led Activity

Grants up to £10,001- £150,000 for voluntary or community organisations, constituted groups or clubs, to deliver work that achieves the following outcomes: • Everyone in the community has the opportunity to influence and get involved in community-led activity. • People in the community are better connected and work together to improve their well-being. https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/grants-for-community-led-activity

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.

News and Other Updates

ASDIC announces a new Regional Structure

ASDIC has recently refined its regional management from its early 20 regions to a more streamlined 12 areas reflecting the mapping used by governmental organisations and others.

This restructuring will make collaborative working – particularly in light of the current Veterans Places, Pathways and People (VPPP) programme – that much easier to implement.

New volunteer Regional Coordinators (RCs) are being appointed for each of these regions, with assistant RCs as required, and updated details can be found on the ASDIC website www.asdic.org.uk/regional-directory   

Each of them will become the first point of contact in each region for Drop-In leaders, and will be available to engage with any military charity, delivery organisation or statutory authority wishing to harness the power of ASDIC’s network.

             

Information Sheet
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 
 
 

Forces in Mind Trust publishes policy statement on successful transition to civilian life for Service leavers

Forces in Mind Trust has published a new Policy Statement providing an overview of evidence and outlining the changes needed to improve transition for Service leavers and their families.

Forces in Mind Trust has published a Policy Statement on Successful Transition to Civilian Life for Service leavers and their families, providing an overview of evidence and outlining the changes needed to improve the transition experience.

The Policy Statement explains that most of the 15,000 people who leave the UK Armed Forces each year make a successful transition to civilian life, their lives enriched by their time in service. However, for the minority who do struggle there are significant costs to the individual, family and society as a consequence.

Research has shown that some Service leavers are more likely to struggle with the process of transition including those who are:

  • Female
  • From UK Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds
  • Non-UK citizens
  • Medically discharged
  • Early Service leavers (who have served four years or less).

Forces in Mind Trust’s policy position is also set out in the document. It states that the chances of making a successful transition to civilian life would be increased if all Service leavers and their families are able to prepare well and have access to appropriate support when and where they need it. This requires a more personalised approach to the transition process so that there is earlier and fuller engagement with the challenges and opportunities likely to arise during the move from military to civilian life.

The document also acknowledges that significant progress has been made to improve the transition process for Service leavers and their families, but argues that more needs to be done if the Government is going to achieve its aim of making the UK the best place to be a veteran. It will require an empowered system, an empowered civilian, a personalised transition process and accurate perceptions of veterans and the Armed Forces. You can read more about this in our Lifting Our Sights report, on page 17.

Forces in Mind Trust will continue to fund research and work with Government and other organisations that work with and support veterans to ensure all veterans and their families are able to make a successful transition into civilian life.

Read the full Policy Statement here.

Armed forces charity warns of growing financial hardship and food poverty amongst veterans and their families

  • SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity is raising awareness that an alarming and increasing number within the Armed Forces community are experiencing financial hardship and food poverty
  • Since the pandemic began, SSAFA has distributed more than £377,000 to support members of the community struggling to make ends meet
  • The charity is urging those members of the Armed Forces who need help, to reach out for support, particularly in the lead up to Christmas

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity is continuing to provide critical support to members of the Armed Forces and their families as financial hardship and food poverty becomes an increasingly alarming issue amongst serving personnel, veterans, and their families.

SSAFA is urging members of the Armed Forces community to step forward to access the support they need, as the charity is witnessing more struggling to make ends meet following the Covid-19 pandemic and rise in household living costs, including heating and rent.

At the height of the pandemic, in 2020, the charity’s Welfare Grants team received 1,241 requests for support, with 628 people being supported with funds totalling £231,670. In 2021 so far, over £39,300 has been provided towards 138 cases in times of urgent need – but the charity expects this to rise as the winter weather starts to bite.

Throughout the crisis, SSAFA’s work to support those who are suffering financial hardship has been funded by a variety of donors, including the charity’s corporate partners, Boeing and Sodexo. In 2020, SSAFA’s Boeing Crisis Fund, directly helped 387 individuals and families, with over £60,500 being distributed to those most in need.

The Boeing Crisis Fund was set up in conjunction with SSAFA in direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling the charity to provide quick and urgent assistance in the form of food vouchers, white goods such as cookers and support with rent.

Since 2008, SSAFA has been supported by the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, to provide essential items, such as food, clothing, rent and debt relief, to SSAFA beneficiaries. Since the Covid-19 crisis began, SSAFA has provided a total of £45,544 to members of the Armed Forces community in financial distress from this fund.

Signs so far show that 2021 figures have almost certainly decreased from the crisis of 2020, but with the latest Government data showing food inflation 1.4% higher than pre-pandemic, the worst could be yet to come. The charity is concerned that many vulnerable members of the Armed Forces community, particularly veterans, will suffer from financial hardship and food poverty this winter.

 
 
 

December 2021


Welcome to the December 2021 edition of Unforgotten Forces news for groups and services supporting older veterans and their families. We wish all our readers a merry festive season and health and happiness for the new year. 

 In this edition:
 

Veterans' Services Update


An Update from Scottish Government on its Support for Veterans

On 11th November Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans, Keith Brown MSP, gave his annual update to the Scottish Parliament on support for the veterans and armed forces community, including reference to Scottish Government funding support for Unforgotten Forces. You can read the report here.
 

A Report Card on Support for Veterans in Scotland



The Scottish Veterans Commissioner, Charlie Wallace, has published a report on progress against recommendations put forward to improve Veterans’ services and support in Scotland.  Read the report here.

Scottish Veterans Commissioner talks Men’s Sheds and Veterans

Charlie was recently a guest at the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association AGM.  Here SMSA Chief Executive Jason Schroeder chats to him about what Sheds can offer veterans.  Watch the video here.
 

Appointment of the next Scottish Veterans Commissioner


The Scottish Government is now recruiting for the next Scottish Veterans Commissioner and 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.
For further information visit https://scottishveteranscommissioner.org. The closing date is 22 November.
 

Falklands 40th anniversary 2022


Legion Scotland is gathering information on all proposed or planned events in Scotland for 2022 to mark the Falklands 40th Anniversary, which takes place in June.  The aim is 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.  Find out more here.
 

UK Veterans Family Study



Researchers are inviting veterans and their family members across the UK to take part in a major study to identify their veterans’ families support needs.  You can find out more and join the research here.

100 Years of the Poppy


November marked the 100th anniversary of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.  You can read the story of the poppy here.

300th Comradeship Circle

In November Age Scotland’s Comradeship Circles service had its 300th Comradeship Circle event for members of the ex-service community aged 50 and older.  Comradeship Circles are currently welcoming new members to take part in weekly or fortnightly telephone group chat.  Find out more here.

Combat Stress self-help guide


Combat Stress self-help has an online self-help guide for families on how to support a partner or family member with PTSD.  Read it here.
 
 

Communities round-up


Wellbeing Conversations

Age Scotland is inviting older people’s clubs and groups to get in touch if they would like a ‘Wellbeing Conversation’, facilitated by the charity’s Health and Wellbeing Team.  These events feature tasters of wellbeing boosting activities, sharing of experiences of wellbeing through the pandemic, and discussion about support participants would welcome for their future wellbeing.  Read more here.


Priority Services Register


The aftermath of storm Arwen has highlighted the value of SP Energy Network’s Priority Services Register. People on the Register get special consideration when there are problems with the energy supply.  People aged 60 and older and people with chronic illnesses are among the groups eligible for inclusion in it.  Find out more here or call SP Energy Networks on 0330 10 10 167.

 
  

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.

 



 
 
 
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Welcome to your monthly update from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

This month we took time to commemorate those who have lost their lives serving their country. Also in this edition, find out how we support our veterans overseas, the lengths to which our supporters are willing to go to fundraise for us and how you can support us in the run up to Christmas.  
 
 
 
 
A November to Remember. 
We dedicate November to honouring and remembering all those that have served, both British and Commonwealth soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, their families and their sacrifices.  
A commemorative service was held on Armistice Day on HMS Excellent which gathered together serving personnel, veterans, family and friends for a moment of silence. 
 
 
 
 
 
The RNRMC Galley Cookbook  
Galley would make a great Christmas present for anyone who has a connection to the Royal Navy or for those who simply enjoy entertaining and cooking restaurant-quality food. 
Featuring recipes from 20 professional chefs - all with a connection to the Royal Navy - who have shared their recipes and career journeys. 
Order today and get 15% off your purchase. 
 
 
Order Now
 
 
Get your Christmas cards today.
Click here to shop.
 
 
 
 
This Christmas, let's do something big together. 
Join us on Giving Tuesday (30th November), and in the weeks leading up to Christmas – a time where hundreds of millions of people are inspired to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity. Together, we can reach this important goal and continue to be there for our Naval family.  Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s email telling you how you can get involved. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

AFF’s annual report out now

This year, our annual report focuses on the voices of Army families to show the impact our work has had. Using case studies, we outline the positive change that has been made to their lives through our important work.

Our highlights include:

  • Continuing to support families through the COVID-19 lockdowns, digesting and interpreting information from chain of command, and updating the dedicated COVID-19 section on our website;
  • maintaining our support for spouses, partners and family members by growing Forces Families Jobs with the other families’ federations;
  • gathering important evidence through our Big Survey on the Future Accommodation Model
  • highlighting the issues faced by separated spouses and civil partners leaving military housing, resulting in new guidance being issued
  • collaborating with other organisations such as the NHSensuring families’ evidence was fed into its engagement project which considered the unique issues faced by Service families
  • supporting Foreign & Commonwealth families with immigration and visa issues.

AFF Chief Executive Collette Musgrave said:

“We’ve helped many Army families this year during the continued challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read about how we’ve made a difference.”

To find out more about AFF, visit www.aff.org.uk

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