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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.”
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