News

Iraq Medal

 

The Veterans’ guide to later life in Scotland

 

If you are aged 65 or older, live in Scotland and have served in the armed forces, the guide will be most relevant to you. It doesn’t matter how long ago, or for how long, you served: you may have had a military career, a short period of national service, been a reservist, or even supported a military operation with the merchant navy. Veterans under age 65 will find much of the content of value, as will older veterans’ family members.

Later life may bring changes and opportunities to your life, and you may need to know about organisations and services which are unfamiliar to you. Much of the legislation which gives older people in Scotland rights and protections differ from that in the rest of the UK. Within this guide equalities and human rights, and most benefits, are UK-wide, but other rights are set out in specifically Scottish legislation.

This guide has been developed by the Age Scotland Veterans’ Project. We’re grateful for the advice of our Unforgotten Forces partners in developing it.”

– Brian Sloan, Age Scotland Chief Executive

Download the Veterans’ Guide to Later Life in Scotland

Find out more about the Age Scotland Veterans’ Project

 

Serving To Civilian: Valuing Veterans’ Skills

If you’re looking for advice and guidance to help shape your future career, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has a wealth of information and resources to support those leaving the Forces and veterans…

SDS offer free careers guidance to give you the best chance of success in the civilian job market from their centres nationwide and through My World of Work, Scotland’s careers website.

Alistair Ferrier, Armed Forces Champion at Skills Development Scotland, explained: “We know how challenging the transition to Civvy Street can be, so we want to make sure that Service leavers, veterans and their families have all the information they need to make this process as easy as possible.

“From My World of Work online to our careers centres, we can offer information on employment, apprenticeships, retraining, funding and much more.”

Find out more about Skills Development Scotland’s services at www.myworldofwork.co.uk/veterans or to find out how SDS can support you, contact Alistair at alistair.ferrier@sds.co.uk

 

Well-being interventions help ex-Service personnel transitioning back into civilian life

 

Preventative interventions may have a positive effect on the well-being of ex-Service personnel who are having difficulties making the transition back into civilian life, a new Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) funded-study has revealed.

The systematic review of research literature led by Newcastle University, published in Plos One academic journal, shows the positive impact of well-being interventions such as journaling and relaxation techniques on the lives of ex-Service personnel and their families.

The report highlights four areas to consider in future research and service development:

• What well-being means to ex-Service personnel transitioning back to civilian life
• Acceptability of interventions which may be perceived as treatment
• Further trials of the effectiveness of interventions with diverse groups of participants
• How and when low-wellbeing should be identified in Service personnel

The review looked at nine studies from the United States of America and evaluated the effectiveness of interventions for current and ex-Service personnel. Researchers found the positive effects on well-being was found in those reporting difficulties making the transition back to civilian life and their families.

Evidence from the review suggests a need for future robust trials exploring the effectiveness of well-being interventions for the Armed Forces community as a means to help with the challenges of transitioning back into civilian life.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “What has been revealed, in this systematic review of well-being interventions, is that there may be benefit in making these preventative techniques available to ex-Service personnel experiencing difficulty on the transition pathway. These are popular activities, and it is important that they are evidence based.”

Dr Sarah Wigham, Research Associate at Newcastle University’s Institute of Neuroscience, said: “The review has summarized the evidence base for the effectiveness of well-being interventions for Armed Forces personnel transitioning to civilian life. The review findings will be of interest to those tasked with making decisions about which interventions to fund and develop in the future.’’

You can see the briefing document here and the full review here.

The journal article was published in PLOS ONE, you can read it here.

 
 

Improving transition out of the Armed Forces: engaging families through behavioural insights

The Behavioural Insights Team(BIT) were commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) to assess whether empirical insights from social and behavioural sciences can help Service leavers’ families benefit more from services that support transition from the Armed Forces.

The need for this project came from work around families which FiMT has been developing over the last couple of years, when problems with engagement have been highlighted.

This report identifies the cognitive biases and barriers relevant to accessing services and presents ways in which systems can be designed to reduce them, or work with them.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “This is the first project we have funded with BIT. Their innovative and scientific approach has offered a unique insight into how service providers can benefit families by improving engagement, both during their time as a Service family and especially as they approach transition.

“The recommendations included in this report offer a range of changes to how services are delivered – such as tapping into Service leaver and family identity; presenting decisions as mattering for today not tomorrow; connecting with social networks; and making that transition easier, not harder. The second phase of this important work is now well underway.”

You can read the full report here.

-Ends-

 

Scottish Veterans Commissioner

New appointment to represent veterans community.

A new Scottish Veterans Commissioner has been announced by Veterans Minister Designate Graeme Dey.

Charles (Charlie) Wallace’s appointment will start in the autumn. He is currently Deputy Commander, 51st Infantry Brigade and HQ Scotland and has had an exemplary 35 career in the Army. The role of Scottish Veterans Commissioner is unique in the UK and, since its creation in 2014, has been held by Eric Fraser.

It comes as the Minister Designate launched a new guide providing practical information about services available in Scotland to support service personnel and their families.

Speaking ahead of Armed Forces Day, Mr Dey said:

“Scotland has a long and proud military tradition, with more than 500,000 people in our armed forces and ex-service community. I firmly believe they are an asset to Scotland, and I want to ensure they are properly supported.

“The work of the Scottish Veterans Commissioner has led the way across the UK as a voice for veterans within Scotland. Charlie Wallace brings a great deal of experience from his long and distinguished army career and I am confident he will build on the excellent work delivered by Eric Fraser.

“It is also essential service personnel and their families living or moving to Scotland can benefit from everything we have to offer, which the guide I am launching will do.”

Charlie Wallace said:

“I am delighted to be taking up the appointment of the Veterans Commissioner from Eric Fraser, who has done such an excellent job in establishing the role.  I am really looking forward to championing the thousands of amazing veterans we have in Scotland and who contribute so much to our society.”   

Scottish Veterans Commissioner, Eric Fraser, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Charlie Wallace has been appointed as the next Veterans Commissioner.  Having worked closely with him over the last couple of years I know he will bring enormous enthusiasm, energy and knowledge to the role and will work to ensure our veterans and their families receive the best possible support when needed, but also that they have the opportunity to make the maximum contribution to our communities across Scotland. I wish him every success in his new appointment.”

Background

In his new role, Mr Wallace will work to improve the outcomes for veterans in Scotland and will act as their ambassador. He will also seek to highlight opportunities and inform wider policy for the Armed Forces Community and families in Scotland.

The Welcome to Scotland Guide sets out key practical information about services available in Scotland in areas such as education, healthcare and housing.

 

2,000 OLDER ARMED FORCES VETERANS HELPED BY £4m COLLABORATIVE PROJECT

A multi-million-pound programme to support older Armed Forces veterans in Scotland has helped around 2,000 people in its first year.

The Unforgotten Forces project is a collaboration of 15 leading organisations, led by Poppyscotland, which is delivering a range of services and enhancements in areas including advice, access to healthcare, social isolation, respite and transport, along with creative activities and events for those in care settings. The consortium was awarded £4m of funding from the Aged Veterans Fund to run the project over three years.  Full Story Here

 

YOUR VETERANS NEED YOU! LEGION SCOTLAND CALLS FOR VOLUNTEERS

Scotland’s largest membership charity for veterans is on the lookout for volunteers to help tackle isolation and loneliness among the Armed Forces community.

Legion Scotland’s recruitment drive for its Veterans Community Support Service, which was launched last year, is asking people to spare a few hours in order to improve support for veterans and their families in the community.

Kevin Gray MM, Chief Executive Officer of Legion Scotland, said: “We have experienced a huge increase in demand for our unique service since it was launched in July 2017. In this time, we have helped nearly 300 veterans get back on their feet and feel confident with their surroundings, and this is all down to our fabulous volunteers who give their time freely to help others. There is more to be done and we need your help to do more for those who have served the nation.

“The ethos of military life and the importance of comradeship that is achieved through that bond of friendship found during service can never be underestimated. It’s hard to imagine that any veteran could be suffering from isolation and loneliness and struggle to settle into a community – but it happens, and it’s a genuine problem that is increasing. We must tackle it now, but we need your free time. It only takes an hour or two a week to make a difference to someone’s life.”

The incredible value of the service was highlighted when a veteran that was struggling badly with loneliness was referred earlier this year. He was visibly distressed and spoke of desperation and isolation. The veteran explained that he only had the birds that he feeds in his garden as company and that he’d seen very few people between Christmas and spring.

Legion Scotland took the initiative and followed up to put his mind at ease. Recently, the 90-year-old Royal Horse Artillery veteran spoke positively, and loneliness was not discussed. He talked about the difference in his life since his new Legion Scotland volunteer started visiting. He said he looks forward to her visits and that they always have plenty to talk about.

For more information on volunteering with the service, which runs in tandem with the Unforgotten Forces project, please email support@legionscotland.org.uk, or call the support team on 0131 550 1560. Full Story 

  

SCOTLAND STAR HELPING VETERANS BOUNCE BACK

 

Scotland and Edinburgh Rugby star Hamish Watson hopped to it yesterday to help launch a brand new family fundraiser in aid of leading Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland.

The Big Poppy Bounce will see supporters of all ages descend upon BT Murrayfield to climb aboard space hoppers and race 100 metres – for 100 years – to help our veterans bounce back into civilian life in the process.

The Big Poppy Bounce will take place over the back pitches at the iconic home of Scottish Rugby on Sunday, 19th August, and it is hoped the fun day out will raise in excess of £10,000 to support Poppyscotland’s life-changing work for the Armed Forces community living in Scotland.

Speaking at the launch, flanker Watson said: “This is a really great new event and one for an important cause. It has been a long time since I jumped on board a space hopper and I don’t remember it being so tough on the legs! I think the kids are definitely going to have the upper hand in the races.

“It is all for an incredibly worthwhile cause and I think it’s even more important in this centenary year that we got the extra mile to remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice, and to help veterans who urgently need Poppyscotland’s support today.”

There will be a range of hopper races throughout the afternoon for all ages, including a family relay, along with fun family activities to suit the young and young-at-heart. There will be music and entertainment, cheerleading workshops, ice-cream, a selfie station, face painting and even a poppy quiz. It all starts at 11:30am on Sunday, 19th August.

Poppyscotland’s Head of Fundraising, Gordon Michie, said: “We have an ever-growing number of fundraising activities outwith the traditional Poppy Appeal period in November. Our Armed Forces community cannot wait until November for us to help, so it’s really important that we continue to introduce new events like this. This is the first event we’ve launched specifically targeted at families, and we hope they hop down to BT Murrayfield in their hundreds.”

Entry is £10 for adults and over-16s; £5 for those aged five-to-16; and free for the under-fives. Anyone who raises more that £50 in sponsorship will be able to take their specially branded Poppy Space Hopper home. For more information and to register, please visit www.poppyscotland.org.uk/bounce.

 

 

Veterans Scotland Newsletter

Read the latest issue and past issues of the veterans Scotland Newsletters  here

 

Cobseo Newsletter

A link to the recent Cobseo Newsletter is available here.

 

 Latest News RMRMC

 

 

Erskine Reid Macewan Activities Centre July 2018 Newsletter

A copy of the July ERMAC newsletter is available via the link here find out what has been going on.

RAF 100

EVENTS IN SCOTLAND

Details of all the RAF100 events across the country can be found on the RAF100 website, check HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED? at the back of this leaflet. Details of a selection of the events that are planned in Scotland are listed in this leaflet.

Link here

Army&You – Summer Edition

The perfect work-life balance may seem impossible to achieve in Army life but times are changing. In this edition’s main feature, we hear about the Army’s plans for Flexible Service and meet the families who are fitting work around unpredictable schedules and long spells of separation.

Heading overseas, we hear from the Army families who have continued their education and training, maintained their professional registration and even diversified from their original careers.

We shine the spotlight on Cyprus, London and Kinloss and there’s an inspirational story from Everest Base Camp.

The younger generation contribute lots to Army life too. We hear from performers in Paderborn, Little Troopers and our book club reviewers.

Don’t forget, you have to be in it to win it! Enter our reader giveaways and you could be heading off on a narrowboat holiday this summer.

Follow this link for the online version.

p01_ArmyandYouSum18

Lothians Veterans Calendar July 2018

 

 Find out whats going on across the Lothians this July.  Details here