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22 January 2021 (Edition - Issue 3)

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


Having been made aware of several updates and changes, an updated copy of the information booklet is available via the link below:

The Armed Forces Covenant

Armed Forces Covenant for Armed Forces Personnel

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served, and their families, are treated fairly. It is an expectation that the nation will look after those who look after us. This commitment is made in recognition of the sacrifices you make on behalf of the country.

This module will help you understand the Armed Forces Covenant as it is applied today, how it works and what to do if it isn't working.

The Armed Forces Covenant for Armed Forces Personnel

The Armed Forces Covenant for Armed Forces Families

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served, and their families, are treated fairly. This commitment is made in recognition of the sacrifices you make on behalf of the country. The Covenant covers all those who form the ‘Armed Forces Community’, which includes spouses, civil partners and children.

This module will help you understand the Armed Forces Covenant as it is applied today, how it works and what to do if it isn't working.

The Armed Forces Covenant for Armed Forces Families


 

THE ARMED FORCES COVENANT -A Guide for Local Authorities:


How to deliver the Covenant in your area

Covid Support Advice 

Advice from Scottish Government on Support Groups

Support groups and one-to-one support should be delivered remotely where possible, but support may be delivered in-person if remote delivery is not possible and they are essential for people’s wellbeing. Examples of support services include peer support groups, vulnerable persons’ or families’ support groups, talking therapy groups, day centres, respite care, one to one talking therapy and counselling. Support services do not include close contact retail services, such as massage, which are covered by separate guidance on this page.

An essential support service is one where the participant’s health (including their mental health) and wellbeing would be significantly impacted by non-attendance. If services must take place in-person, relevant guidance must be followed.

Education, Employment & Training Support

What We Do

A series of skills and economic strategies interlink to shape SDS's work, making sure that services and partnership activity are meeting the needs of customers and effectively contributing to economic growth ambitions for Scotland.

Across Scotland, we support individuals to build their career management, work-based and employability skills, throughout their career journey, from school, into further learning opportunities and employment.

We are able to use skills intelligence to help inform the decisions of people across Scotland, at all stages of their careers, so that they are well-placed to take up the opportunities arising within the economy.

We target delivery of this support to those who need it most, ensuring all individuals are enabled to achieve their full potential. We work with employers and employer groups on a national, sectoral, regional, local and individual basis; supporting them to recognise and articulate their current and future skills needs, and to engage with the skills system to help ensure it better meets those needs in the short, medium and longer term.

Find out more about the services available from SDS on their website HERE

Capitalising on Military Family Talent


The Capitalising on Military Family Talent toolkit explains how employers can recruit and retain military family members. Produced in partnership with the Welsh and Scottish Governments, Business in the Community (BITC) has published this guide to help your business extend support to family members of those serving in the military.


 


 

Capitalising On Military Talent: everything you need to know about employing armed forces veterans

Capitalising On Military Talent: Everything You Need To Know About Employing Armed Forces Veterans guides employers through the practical steps of setting up an accessible, Armed Forces friendly recruitment practice in England and Scotland. Veterans represent a unique, diverse and high-performing source of talent. Yet many employers are missing out on this great talent due to a lack of knowledge about the military or misconceptions based on negative stereotypes. This toolkit, produced by Business in the Community (BITC) in partnership with Salute My Job and the Scottish Government, can help change this.

DOWNLOAD THE TOOLKIT

Funding & Financial Support

 

The Veterans Foundation Grants


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 next deadline for normal grant applications this year is the end of Dec 20.  
 
The maximum grant in both circumstances is £30K, however, we have also introduced a NEW salary grant 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 us at grants@veteransfoundation.org.uk

How to find out what benefits you can claim

If you're not sure what help you can get, find out what benefits you can claim or where you can get further support.


 

Benefits and grants

Includes information on benefits, funds and grants, including Child Benefit and tax credits. Benefits and grants - mygov.scot

Welcome to the Money Map

Citizens Advice Scotland's Money Map will help you find sources of online support to: 

  • Increase your income 
  • Reduce your bills 
  • Ease the costs of daily living

Take our quick overview to explore the pages and create a personalised list to return to later

Money map | Citizens Advice Scotland

Health & Wellbeing

V1P Lothian has developed this Resilience guide to help you navigate through this very difficult time. Our world is ever-changing at the moment. It would be hard not to worry about COVID-19 and how it could affect your life, and those you love. Worry, anxiety and difficulties with our mood are common problems at the best of times, and now this might feel overwhelming.

A PDF Copy of the guide is available here
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.

Working Together to Meet the Housing Needs of Ex-Service Personnel: Examining the Challenges of Transition and Collaboration

 

The housing system is complex for anyone facing housing difficulties. It can be particularly difficult for ex-Service personnel to navigate because Armed Forces accommodation is completely separate from the civilian system. Finding a path through the housing maze can be additionally complicated by the number of organisations involved, including local authorities, housing associations, advice organisations and a plethora of Armed Forces charities. Collaboration between these organisations is therefore key to meeting the housing needs of ex-Service personnel. This study, funded by the Forces in Mind Trust, examines how organisations work together to support ex-Service personnel with housing problems, with a particular focus on the process of transition as people leave the Armed Forces. 



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
 
The guides currently cover the following areas:

Edinburgh
Glasgow
Fife
Stirling
North Lanarkshire
Renfrewshire


 

News and Other Updates

  • Are you a member of the armed forces community?
  • Can you showcase the inherent skills of our armed forces?
  • Do you want to make a difference to your local community and support others?
  •  
Then Op-Regen Scotland could be for you.
 
Following the Success of Op-Regen in England and The VC volunteering project in Scotland we are at the early stages of launching Op-Regen Scotland in the coming Months.  We would welcome a note of interest from anyone who would want to volunteer to make your community a better place.
 
Our Volunteers will be provided with PPE, training, sustenance and transportation costs to take part in a variety of activities supporting 3rd sector organisations and public bodies as well as veteran lead volunteering opportunities throughout central Scotland, Glasgow and Edinburgh. We will have opportunities for veterans captains to lead other volunteers in the tasks as well as opportunities for peer to peer support , camaraderie and an opportunity to help your country during a very challenging time .
 
So if you want to improve your mental wellbeing, make new connections, do something good to feel good, improve your community develop employability skills ,and make a difference then we would welcome you to come along.
 
Please register your interest here https://walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/Home/GetInvolved/24
 
 


RFEA The Forces Employment Charity offers employment support to everyone in Scotland and across the UK who has served in the armed forces, and their partners.

RFEA exists to provide life-long, life-changing support to Service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families, irrespective of circumstances, rank, length of service of reason for leaving. Founded in 1885 and operating across the UK, we have the specialist knowledge and understanding to bridge the gap between military life and civilian employment. We work in partnership with other organisations and employers who, like us, respect and value the unique qualities and abilities of all those who have served. RFEA wants a UK where all veterans and their partners lead fulfilling working lives. We have a dedicated team in Scotland who understand the specific issues and tailor their support accordingly.

Covid-19 made 2020 a challenging year for everyone. This has been particularly the case for our veterans and beneficiaries who, with the deepening economic downturn, are finding it increasingly challenging to find or keep work. RFEA continued to operate as usual throughout the year, delivering full support to rising numbers of Service leavers and veterans in need. With a business model that lends itself to remote working, Covid-19 has not prevented us from delivering our mission and providing our full support to our clients.

We have a dedicated Employer Relationship Manager in Scotland working with employers across the Nation to identify suitable and sustainable employment opportunities and promote the benefits of hiring from the armed forces talent pool.  We operate a specialist Jobs Board for service leavers and veterans which, despite Covid-19, saw us publicise 65,800 job opportunities, with employers who value to skills and attributes of those who have served in the Armed Forces, across the UK in 2020. 
We have a team of advisers to support veterans and partners to succeed in getting employment.  Our advisers work to support all of our clients to understand their local jobs markets and the opportunities that are best suited to them; developing their CVs and preparation for interviews. 

Our team in Scotland consists of:
  • Two RFEA advisers working to support veterans through-life, also supporting partners of serving personnel and veterans. 
  • A CTP Future Horizons adviser, available to support all Early Service Leavers, mostly 18-24 year olds who have joined-up but either find it is not the life for them or do not pass their training.  
  • A CTP Assist adviser working to support Wounded Injured and Sick Service Leavers who have life changing injuries and need additional support.

Leanne Bonner - Employment Advisor for East Scotland

We supported RAF veteran Stephen Isherwood in 2020. Stephen was made redundant as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Stephen served in the RAF from 1990 to 2002 reaching the rank of Corporal. He is 54 and heard about RFEA for advice through word of mouth because he was made redundant and his friends told him that RFEA provides employment support for veterans. The main way that RFEA supported Stephen was giving him the confidence and support to keep on applying to positions, even with multiple rejections due to the number of people applying for the same positions. Although Stephen was made redundant from his job in aviation, he is very grateful for the new position with Sodexo and the chance to learn new skills and meeting new people. Stephen said “The biggest challenge after being made redundant was that it was all new to me and I didn’t know where to start. I had never been unemployed and was panicking that I might not find anything. I would like to thank RFEA for all of their support and encouragement. I am looking forward to being back working again and it is a relief to have found something.”
 
If you have lost your job due to the Covid pandemic, or believe that you are at risk of losing your job, please register with us at https://www.rfea.org.uk/jobseekers/register/.

Partners of serving armed forces and veterans who want to re-start a career, or change their career, can register for support at https://www.rfea.org.uk/our-programmes-partnerships/rfea-families-programme/
 
RFEA
14 January 2020

TimeBank to partner with SSAFA to integrate veterans’ mentoring projects

 
Volunteering charity TimeBank has received a grant of £21,283 from the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) to work with SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, with a view to integrating their mentoring projects supporting service leavers’ transition from military to civilian life.
 
TimeBank has delivered mentoring for ex-Servicemen, women and families in Scotland for more than six years as part of its Shoulder to Shoulder project, recruiting 250 volunteers to support those who are struggling to adjust to civilian life and reducing their social and economic isolation.
 
For the last 18 months, funding from FiMT has enabled TimeBank to pilot an online mentoring programme to veterans and families living across Scotland. An external evaluation found it helped veterans establish stability and routine and achieve positive change in their lives. Online mentoring had significant value as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic when it was vital in reducing isolation when much face-to-face support was unavailable.
 
Now TimeBank plans to work with SSAFA to explore how its learning and practice from the Shoulder to Shoulder project can be incorporated into the SSAFA mentoring programme, which works alongside the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the British Army, the Royal Air Force and other key partners.
 
TimeBank chief executive Phil Pyatt said: “This is what TimeBank is all about – trying out new ideas about volunteering and developing them into successful projects.  The huge success of Shoulder to Shoulder has demonstrated the tremendous contribution that volunteers can make.  Now it’s time to share our learning and expertise to take it to the next level and consolidate it into wider veterans’ support services in Scotland.”
 
Gary Williams, Head of Specialist Services at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charitysaid: “We are looking forward to working with TimeBank to learn as much as we can to further develop our mentoring service.  Learning from the experiences of TimeBank will help us ensure that any online or virtual service we offer is the best it can be and safe for those that us it. Our service is well established in helping those who have recently left the forces, and their families, understand and prosper during the transition to civilian life.”
 
Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of FiMT, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this important project. We know that TimeBank’s mentoring programmes have a positive impact on the wellbeing of ex-Service personnel. Now, TimeBank and SSAFA can work in collaboration to ensure that Service leavers have access to effective mentoring to support them through the transition process. It’s through supporting projects like this that we can work towards FiMT’s vision of all ex-Service personnel and their families living fulfilled civilian lives.”

TimeBank to partner with SSAFA to integrate mentoring projects for veterans - Forces in Mind Trust (fim-trust.org)
 
  

Positive Futures - Getting Transtion Right in Scotland

Aim of the report


‘Transition’ is the term most commonly used to describe the period of change around reintegration into civilian life from the Armed Forces. The timeframe is fluid, so this and the language of ‘resettlement’ can lead to confusion over expectations of where, when and how it happens and exactly where the responsibilities lie. I consider transition as a journey, not a single process or a point in time.


This report focuses specifically on the areas of employment, skills and learning. It makes suggestions and broad outcomes-based recommendations to the Scottish Government and others, for improvements aimed at getting transition right to benefit the individual and their family as they transition and become veterans, living and working in Scotland.

Families Transition Too! guide now available

The latest updated edition of Families Transition Too! – A Transition Guide for Royal Navy and Royal Marines Families is now availableWe know from our research Lifting the Lid on Transition: the families experience and the support they need and from the latest Veterans strategy, how important a role families play in the transition of Service personnel to civilian life.  It is recognised that families are instrumental in the preparations for all aspects of transition and often tell us of how they want information written and sent directly to them.  This is why we have produced an updated edition of our transition guide to best support families and to help them prepare for as smooth a transition as possible.

The latest edition of the transition guide highlights some key new additions that we wanted families to be aware of such as the new Defence Transition Service, the newly launched Veterans Railcard, Forces Families Jobs – employment support for spouses and partners, as well as changes to policies that as you know, for the first time, recognise the important role that families have to play in their Service person’s transition.

Download your copy here.

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