The country is going Poppy Bounce crazy this month as schools, nurseries, hospitals, job centres and various other groups and individuals jump on their space hoppers to raise money for the latest fundraising challenge being led by Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland.


The Big Poppy Bounce aims to raise thousands of pounds to help veterans bounce back into civilian life at events across Scotland in the build up to Armed Forces Day later this month.


The sponsored space-hopper challenge for all the family is one of Poppyscotland’s newest events, highlighting the charity’s desire to fundraise throughout the year and not just around the traditional Appeal period in November. There are already a plethora of Bounces taking place across Scotland, but there is still time for others to sign up. Here is an overview of just a few of the Bounce events taking place across the country during the month of June.




In the north of the country, pupils at Fintry Primary School, in Aberdeenshire, are running their own Bounce to end the school year on July 2nd, simply as a fun way to raise funds for Poppyscotland.

Next up, it’s the 4th Wick Guides who are doing a Bounce for Poppyscotland on Friday, 28th June. The Guides said: “We owe the veterans so much – it’s the least we can do.”


In what is quite possibly the most northerly of all Bounces, Whalsay School, in Shetland, has just announced that they have already completed their Bounce, raising a superb £135 for Poppyscotland in the process.




In the East, staff at the 205 (Scottish) Field Hospital, in Dundee, which is Scotland’s only Army Reserve Field Hospital, are currently at camp in Germany, meaning their Bounce is the first to go international. Nikki Wood, from the hospital, said: “We are going to set up a mini-assault course with the space hoppers while we are on camp in Germany. I plan to have them bouncing in a relay and dressing up along the way, being struck by water balloons by the opposition and chucking in some squats, etc. We’ve started our fundraising and will be doing a lot more while at camp and when we return.”




In the West of Scotland, a host of differing organisations are hosting their own Poppy Bounce, including NHS Ayrshire Hospital, the Apple Tree Nursery and the Girvan Jobcentre, with the latter saying that they are bouncing because “it is fun and a way to raise money for a good cause”. Meanwhile, the team at the HMS Dalriada Royal Naval Reserve, in Glasgow, are undertaking a Poppy Bounce obstacle course.


Poppyscotland’s Head of Fundraising, Gordon Michie, said: “Armed Forces Day takes place later this month, and this is a chance for the public to get behind our brave men and women who make up the Armed Forces community.


“Poppyscotland exists to support those who have served, those still serving and their families, and The Big Poppy Bounce will help our veterans bounce back into civilian life. We are encouraging families, youth groups, schools and friends across Scotland to organise their own Big Poppy Bounce event before the end of the month.


“We can provide some space hoppers and then it’s up you as to how you want to bounce. For example, you could have a bounce race over 100 metres, or challenge people to guess how many bounces you can rack up in five minutes. You can hold your event at your school, your work or your local hall – or somewhere as adventurous as you like!”


For more information, or to sign up for The Big Poppy Bounce, please visit the Poppyscotland website at, or email


Mr Michie added: “The Big Poppy Bounce is one of a growing number of fundraising activities outwith the Poppy Appeal. Our Armed Forces community needs our support 365 day a year; they cannot wait until November for us to help, so it is important that we continue to fundraise throughout the year meaning we are behind them, always. Every penny you raise will make a huge difference to veterans who urgently need our help.”


Charity SORP must change to meet “new public expectations”, review panel says

The SORP governance review panel says charity reporting and accounting must be refocussed with the views and needs of the users of charity reports and accounts at its centre.

A panel set up to review the future development of charity reporting and accounting has today published its final report making a number of recommendations under five key themes. These recommendations are being made in order to ensure that the way that charities report on their work and account for their income under the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) can meet new public expectations and are fit for the future.

The Charities SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice on Accounting and Reporting by Charities) sets out the financial reporting requirements that apply to almost all charities preparing accounts designed to give a true and fair view. The four charity regulators in the UK and Republic of Ireland held a governance review of the constitution and composition of the Charities SORP committee and the SORP making process over the last 9 months.

The governance review was undertaken by an Oversight Panel comprising a representative from each of the four charity regulators and an observer representative nominated by the FRC. The work of the panel was overseen by Professor Gareth Morgan, an independent Chair retained by the SORP-making body.

The final report, published today has made a number of recommendations under five key themes. These recommendations are that:

  • The needs of the wider public and beneficiaries require a refocusing of the SORP and greater simplification of reporting requirements for smaller charities
  • The SORP Committee should be retained but reforms are needed regarding size, composition and clarification of the respective roles of the SORP-making body and SORP Committee
  • Broader and ongoing engagement is needed with a much wider group of stakeholders if the SORP is to continue to be fit for purpose
  • The sector and charity regulators should collaborate to identify and codify best practice in non-statutory financial reporting
  • The SORP-making body, supported by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) needs to ensure that the redesigned SORP development process takes effect
  • The charity regulators are asked to ensure that SORP process is adequately resourced to implement these recommendations.

The governance review was undertaken during 2018 and early 2019, and included a public consultation and a number of events for participants to share their views. The 36 recommendations will now be submitted to the charity regulators for consideration and response.


Charities SORP Committee Governance Review Panel Chair, Professor Gareth Morgan, said:

"I was delighted when the charity regulators launched this Review and I was honoured to act as the Independent Chair. As an academic, and as a charity practitioner, I am aware of the strengths of the Charities SORP but I have also been aware of concerns expressed by some. Our consultation led to a wide range of really constructive suggestions, and I am confident that if the Panel's recommendations are implemented the SORP will be considerably more effective in future."



100 wounded vets join forces in celebration of family and sport at The Veteran Games and Conference


London – A new international event for wounded armed forces veterans will celebrate the vital roles sports and family play in physical and emotional rehabilitation.

Over one hundred UK and Israeli veterans will compete, try new sports, and learn about how their respective countries provide specialist care for those injured in combat.

Chelsea Foundation is backing the event, which is being held in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, by providing football coaching for families attending and specialist workshops for Israeli sports teachers.

The programme includes a three-day conference with leading professionals discussing veteran PTSD, mental health and recovery.

The Veteran Games, which is the first of its kind, is funded by philanthropic donations and supported by leading rehabilitation and forces organisations including The Royal Marines Charity, RAF Benevolent Fund, Rock to Recovery, Veteran Scotland, Combat Stress, The Not Forgotten Association and Association of Jewish ex-Service Men and Women (AJEX).

The five-day sporting event will take place at pioneering rehabilitation centres run by the charity Beit Halochem in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from May 26 to 30.

Veterans and their families will fly to Israel on an El Al flight. The entire programme is funded by donations from The Patron Charitable Initiatives, The Pears Foundation, Rachel Charitable Trust, The Wolfson Family Charitable Trust, The Exilarch’s Foundation, The Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation and The Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust.

The programme includes activities for families to join together and share their experiences. There will also be a conference on mental health, PTSD and recovery chaired by Sir Simon Wessely, professor of psychological medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, and consultant advisor in psychiatry to the British Army. Chairing from Israel will be Professor Zahava Solomon.

Several issues will be discussed over the three-day conference.


Read More Here


New funding available to help get Veterans out and active

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has launched the Positive Pathways Programme today.

Armed Forces charities are invited to apply for a share of up to £9M to support ex-forces with activity-based projects that aim to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Improving veteran’s mental health

Part of the Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, the Positive Pathways Programme wants to get Veterans involved in activities such as sports, gardening, conservation and theatre – and there’s one and two-year pots of funding available.

The Trust’s Chief Executive, Melloney Poole, explains:

“We conducted a thorough consultation prior to launching this Fund to ensure the funding available was meeting the needs of the communities it’s here to support. We want to support activities led by veterans, – so this is a really great opportunity to get creative and get our ex-forces communities out and active!” 

Applicants can apply for £35,000 or £70,000 depending on the needs of their project and the Trust strongly encourages all potential applicants to have a thorough read of the programme guidance prior to making their application.

Find out more

For full details of this new programme, and other funding available via the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, visit their website  

Notes for Editors

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust is an independent charity that manages the grant programmes funded by the Covenant Fund.

We also run wider funding programmes that support the Armed Forces community.

These include the £10M Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund.

You can find out more about our work at

Media contact: Sonia Howe, Director of Policy


Poppyscotland’s Welfare Support Service – Partnership Referrals

Poppyscotland’s Welfare Support Service is now live and the team has been out and about visiting beneficiaries all over Scotland. The service has received referrals from a number of partners and we are working closely to ensure beneficiaries receive appropriate and timely support. In order for Poppyscotland to triage your referral to the correct service, we request these are made using the attached template and submitted to  

If you have any questions about the service, or would like to discuss your referral, please call 0131 550 1557.

Referral & Enquiries Checklist


Poppyscotland reveals learning competition winners!

Poppyscotland is delighted to today announce the winners of its popular Learning Competition, this year delivered in partnership with STV News.

The competition, entitled ‘BREAKING NEWS: WAR IS OVER!’ and open to P4-S3 pupils, asked pupils to present how they would report the end of the First World War if it happened in the modern day, and, after five furious weeks of voting which saw more than 4,300 votes cast, two winners have been crowned.

In the primary school category (P4-P7) the winners were Primary 7 pupils Esme Forsyth and Eva Combe from Newtonhill School, Aberdeenshire. [Their entry can be viewed here.] Meanwhile, in the secondary school category (S1-S3), the winners were S2 pupils Amy Ashton, Elisha Bali, Kirstie Souter, Maria Murio-Fernandez and Sophie Kemsley from The High School of Glasgow. [Their entry can be viewed here.]

Each winning group will now receive an exclusive trip to STV News’ studios, where they will be able to share their report with STV News anchors and go behind the scenes of a news broadcast, as well as learning professional tips on how to make and present the news. The other four shortlisted entries – Laxdale Primary School, St Aloysius’ Junior School, Meldrum Academy and (another from) The High School of Glasgow – will each receive a £50 Amazon voucher.

Eva, from Newtonhill School, said:

“I really enjoyed working on the project and learning about the War. It was so great to find out that we had won; thanks to everyone who voted!”

And Esme added:

“It was an amazing opportunity to be picked and we learned so much about World War One. My heart goes out to all the soldiers who fought for us. Thank you.”

Laura Morrice, from Newtonhill, said:

“We are all delighted and tremendously proud of Esme and Eva. The girls conducted their own research, script writing and recording, and had so many ideas they were keen to try out. The Poppyscotland competition gave the girls a real focus for their World War One research and they worked incredibly hard to find out as much as possible about that historic day. The visit to the STV studios is an amazing opportunity to see behind the scenes at a real news studio. We know Esme and Eva are going to love it!”

Amy, Elisha, Kirstie, Maria and Sophie, from The High School of Glasgow, had this to say about their success:

“We’re so excited to have won the competition. We learned loads and were really happy to be involved.”

Their teacher, Gemma Lindsay, added:

“I am extremely proud of the pupils for engaging so creatively with the Poppyscotland Learning Competition. The enthusiasm of both Poppyscotland and the pupils has been really inspiring and helps to continue to raise awareness of the crucial work that Poppyscotland does with veterans and their families.”

Gordon Michie, the Head of Fundraising at Poppyscotland, said:

“The competition was a real mix of commemoration and remembrance with a chance to bring a fresh perspective in what was the centenary year. ‘BREAKING NEWS: WAR IS OVER!’ encouraged pupils to think creatively around modern-day reporting techniques, which could include recording a video, writing a blog piece or putting together a series of social media posts. Thinking about how news has changed over the past 100 years works across the curriculum and we were delighted that so many schools chose to take up the challenge.”

A spokesperson for STV News said:

“We were delighted to be involved with this year’s Learning Competition from Poppyscotland. It was a great opportunity for pupils to try their hand at telling a compelling story using a range of reporting techniques and platforms. We’re looking forward to welcoming the winners to what we hope will be an exciting visit behind the scenes at STV News.”

“We would like to thank our judging panel who met to select the shortlist of six: Nicki McCourt, Editor, Originations at STV News; Caroline Lindsay, Features Writer and Menu Magazine Editor at The Courier; Claire Armstrong, CEO at The Royal British Legion Scotland; and Felicity Clifford, Broadcast Journalist at Wave FM.”

If you would like further information on Poppyscotland’s ever-expanding Learning programme, please visit

Poppyscotland provides life-changing support to the Armed Forces community. Money raised from the Scottish Poppy Appeal and Poppyscotland’s year-round fundraising enables them to deliver support to members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland by providing tailored funding and assistance. The charity also funds services in advice, employment, housing, mental health, mobility and respite.

Notes to Editors

For further information please contact David A. Findlay, PR Manager at Poppyscotland, on 079797 35611, or email at

The winners in each category are:

  • Primary school category (P4-P7):
    Esme Forsyth and Eva Combe; Primary 7 at Newtonhill School
    Address: St Michael’s Road, Newtonhill, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire
  • Secondary school category (S1-S3):
    Amy Ashton, Elisha Bali, Kirstie Souter, Maria Murio-Fernandez and Sophie Kemsley; Senior 2 at The High School of Glasgow

The aim of Poppyscotland Learning is to provide a comprehensive learning experience for nurseries, schools, further education institutions and other youth organisations. The material highlights the importance of remembrance, veterans and the poppy. For more information, please visit

The Scottish Veterans Fund 2019/20 Grants

Veterans Scotland wish to congratulate all those organisations that have been successful in being awarded grants from this year’s Scottish Veterans Fund.  The Scottish Veterans Fund is funded jointly by the Scottish Government and Standard Life Aberdeen.
Established in 2008, the Scottish Veterans Fund (SVF) has allocated over £1.4 million of funding to more than 150 projects.
The purpose of the fund is to support veterans and their families to achieve a successful transition to civilian life and is aimed especially at projects that are attempting to deliver a new or innovative approach to veterans’ issues.
In 2017 the Scottish Government partnered with Standard Life Aberdeen to commit £600,000 over three years to supporting veterans’ organisations in Scotland through the SVF.
After consideration by an expert panel led by the Scottish Veterans Commissioner the Scottish Government and Standard Life Aberdeen have today announced that grant funding of £100,000 has been allocated to 7 new projects across Scotland to combat loneliness and social isolation, support improved employment outcomes and provide wider support in 2019/20.
6 projects which continue from last year will also be given £100,000 in 2019/20.

Further information is available here


Poppyscotland’s Come Dancing event raises £25,000

They came, they danced… and they raised an incredible £25,000 for Poppyscotland. The leading Armed Forces charity hosted its second annual ‘Come Dancing with Poppyscotland’ event in association with Toe 2 Toe Dance, at the Macdonald Drumossie Hotel, and those taking part, along with a host of other supporters and sponsors, helped smash last year’s total by £4,000.

A sell-out crowd of more than 300 gathered at the hotel to watch the duo of Audrey Anderson and Toe 2 Toe dancer Paul Robertson lift the coveted ‘Glitter Ball’ top prize. The winner of the ‘Top Fundraiser trophy’ was Liz Sutherland, who raised more than £2,500. The format of the event is similar to the popular BBC television series in that dancing pairs are made up of one beginner/amateur together with an experienced dancer from Toe 2 Toe Dance.

Glitter Ball winner Audrey, who admits herself to being something of a dancing novice, said:

“To be given the opportunity to learn ballroom and Latin dance was a dream come true when I got picked. The six months of training didn’t come without a few bumps and bruises, but it was the most exhilarating experience I’ve ever had!”

Audrey, who was sponsored by ADM Electrical (Scotland) Ltd, added:

“Fundraising for Poppyscotland has been an eye-opener into the wonderful things they do for veterans and their families and I wish to continue to help doing charity work.

“Winning the Glitter Ball trophy for dancing was such a surreal feeling, and I kept saying to people: I don’t understand – how could I have won a trophy for dancing when the talent of all the dancers was so outstanding?’ I will never forget the people that helped make this happen. Jen and Tris, my dance teachers, will always hold a place in heart alongside my dance partner Paul.”

And Paul, sponsored by Gleaner Oils, added:

“I’m buzzing! It has been a fantastic night for such a worthy cause. There was such great support and performances from all the couples. I am delighted for Audrey, who, as a total beginner, has given her all for two difficult routines, and I’m so glad it all came together on the night.”

Liz Sutherland, who was sponsored by Morris Leslie, said:

“It was such a fabulous experience and I was over the Moon to win the fundraising trophy for such a great charity.”

Poppyscotland North of Scotland Regional Fundraiser Frances Beveridge, who organised the event, said:

“We thought the first Come Dancing with Poppyscotland event was special, but this year’s really captured the imagination. Tickets sold out before Christmas and we had a crowd of more than 330 people cheering on our dancers.

“I would like to thank all our volunteers who helped at the event and our amazing judges. I’d also like to thank the businesses because, without their support, this event would not have been possible. For this I am truly grateful and it is wonderful that we were able to raise £25,278.21, which will be used to boost Poppyscotland’s life-changing support of the Armed Forces community in Scotland.”

Jennifer Hill, the Principle Dance Instructor at Toe 2 Toe Dance, said:

“The event was yet again a resounding success with an unbelievable amount of funds raised. We are so immensely proud and grateful to all the dancers for their hard work and commitment.”

The good news for dance fans throughout the north-east of Scotland is that Come Dancing with Poppyscotland will return in 2020, and will again be held at the Macdonald Drumossie Hotel on Saturday, 29 February. If you are interested in applying to take part, or are a business who would like to sponsor part of the event, please contact Frances Beveridge, Poppyscotland North of Scotland Regional Fundraiser, on 01463 701 764, or at

Lindsey Randall, General Manager of the Macdonald Drumossie Hotel, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to be involved with Come Dancing for Poppyscotland once again. Everyone involved should be so proud at the money raised and we’re already looking forward to 2020!”

Notes to Editors

For further information and all media enquiries, please contact David A. Findlay, PR Manager at Poppyscotland, on 079797 35611, or email at

Total raised: £25,278.21.

Supporting businesses:

  • Toe 2 Toe Dance (Choreography, Outfits, lighting & Sound and Programme Information)
  • The Macdonald Drumossie Hotel (Venue)
  • North Highland Radio (Media)
  • CoCo Salon & SPA (Hair & Make Up)
  • Highland Graphics (Programmes and Tickets)
  • Highland Dreams Photography (Photographer)

Corporate Sponsors (who supported the dancers and opening Toe 2 Toe group dance):

  • Inverness Airport
  • D Gunn Funeral Directors
  • Woodblocx
  • Calder Electricals
  • Loch Ness by Jacobite
  • Curves, Inverness
  • Macleod & MacCallum
  • Trinity Insurance (Second year supporting the event)
  • Morris Lesley
  • Common Good Fund, Highland Council
  • ADM Electrical (Scotland) Ltd
  • Gleaner Oils (Second year supporting the event)
  • C D MacNeill Tarmac & Civil Contractors
  • D Y Fraser Ltd
  • GMS Accountancy Ltd
  • Mitchell Motorcycles (Second year supporting the event)
  • Morrison Construction (Second year supporting the event)

Poppyscotland provides life-changing support to the Armed Forces community. Money raised from the Scottish Poppy Appeal and Poppyscotland’s year-round fundraising enables them to deliver support to members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland by providing tailored funding and assistance. The charity also funds services in advice, employment, housing, mental health, mobility and respite. Please note that we are known as “Poppyscotland”, and not “PoppyScotland” or “Poppy Scotland”. For more information, please visit us at:

The Macdonald Drumossie Hotel is one of the leading conference and function venues in the Highlands and combines heritage, luxury and convenience all in one outstanding venue. It is situated in nine acres of stunning parkland – only ten minutes from the city centre and a few minutes from the A9 – and lies within easy close reach of several of the finest links golf courses in the world. In addition, the hotel is perfectly positioned for the rich, local heritage of Culloden, Loch Ness and the Cairngorms, making it perfect for a relaxing break or a romantic getaway. For further information, please contact Brett Jackson or Lesley Eaton, Granite PR, at, or, or call 07808 727 167 or 07595 200 662.



Kingston University seminar commended for raising awareness of support schools need to provide for Forces’ children

A Kingston University and Reading Force seminar to help trainee teachers and more experienced educators understand the needs of Armed Forces’ children as they progress through the school system has been hailed by a senior Government policy advisor.

Dr Diana Beech, who supports Universities Minister Chris Skidmore, praised the push to place more emphasis on meeting the needs of Forces’ children at the session held by the University’s School of Education. “This Kingston University initiative is wonderful,” she said. “There are so many under-represented groups in education, so anything that can be done to help them realise their potential is enormously encouraging.”

Kingston University has become the first teacher training provider to embed the teaching into its PGCE curriculum. Its focus on Forces’ families has also received ringing endorsements from Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield OBE and Head of the British Armed Forces General Sir Nicholas Carter. Both believe it will give a significant boost to the estimated 130,000 Forces’ children in schools across the United Kingdom.

The seminar saw around 200 teacher training students, policy makers and education and military professionals hear from speakers including Dr Beech, Kingston University publishing expert and Reading Force founder Dr Alison Baverstock, Dr Rachael Gribble from King’s Centre of Military Health Research and children who had experienced growing up in a Forces’ family.

Current teacher training courses cover how to recognise a child at risk or spot those with learning difficulties. Dr Baverstock said the University and Reading Force have teamed up to seek the same focus for Forces’ children, who regularly have to change schools and experience a parent being away from home, sometimes for long periods of time.

Dr Baverstock understands the importance of this strand of activity from personal experience. An Army wife for more than 30 years, she has managed the transition between different homes and schools for her four children. “Armed Forces’ children have to move around a lot and this can be unsettling for them so they need support from schools. At Kingston University, we’re very proud to be the first to embed this teaching in to our PGCE curriculum and I feel this support is something that will benefit many children in the future.”

PGCE Primary teacher trainees Mitchell Lomath, 25, and Melisa Topal, 23, believe the introduction of the new teaching approach will benefit their careers. “It’s important to know how we can support Armed Forces’ children once we begin teaching. It’s not something we had considered previously but it definitely needs addressing as it affects so many children’s wellbeing,” they said.

Head of the School of Education Marcus Bhargava, who opened the event, expressed his pride at Kingston being the first UK teacher education provider to offer a session of this kind. “We have a long-standing commitment to educating our trainee teachers in the field of special educational needs and inclusive practice, while also helping them to recognise and mitigate against the barriers different groups of learners face,” he said.

Find out more about training to be a teacher at Kingston University’s School of Education.



Poppyscotland is on the lookout for veterans from every conflict since 1939 for an ambitious new project that will capture these precious stories in a series of interviews.

The Veterans’ Voices project, which is being funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Chancellor using LIBOR funds, will seek out veterans the length and breadth of Scotland in a bid to compile a definitive dossier of interviews to cover each and every conflict over the past 80 years.

Gordon Michie, Head of Fundraising at Poppyscotland, said: “Veterans’ Voices will be a unique resource of high-quality film archive of interviews with veterans living in Scotland of military conflict from 1939 to the present day. Our ambition is to capture as many of these personal recollections so that their stories can live on.

“We aim to have an interview with at least one veteran from every conflict where the British Armed Forces have been stationed since 1939. We also aim to have a range of veterans of different ages, backgrounds and experiences. Interviews will cover veterans’ experiences and their thoughts on remembrance.

“It is important that these stories are captured now before they can no longer be shared, ensuring greater understanding for future generations. What’s more, our research has shown that audiences are keen to understand more about recent conflicts and the experiences of our veterans.”

The veterans will be asked the same set of questions giving a unique insight into their experiences and views at different times in history. Poppyscotland will also conduct group interviews to allow intergenerational interaction.

 The completed body of work will be available to view on the charity’s learning website and made available to schools. The short video clips will help the public to develop a better understanding and engage with veterans, and have greater appreciation of more recent and less well-known conflicts.

If you are a veteran and would welcome the chance to tell your story, please contact Veterans’ Voices researcher Hannah Uttley on 07833 750 937, or at While all veterans are encouraged to get in touch, it is particularly important that interviews include a real social and gender mix.


Help for Veterans in Operational Legacy Investigations and Inquests

Veterans UK, its Veterans Welfare Service, and the Veterans UK Helpline stand ready to assist veterans, who may need support following yesterday’s announcement by the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution office of charging decisions over Bloody Sunday, or to assist any veteran who may be looking for support in respect of any other ongoing / planned legacy investigation or enquiry. Veterans UK are also working closely with the Army Operational Legacy Support Team, DJEP and relevant RHQ’s, to ensure a coordinated response to requests for help and support. 

There is information about support for veterans on the Veterans UK home page, found under the heading “Operational Legacy Investigations and Inquests – Help for Veterans”.

Veterans can make contact with a range of support services to assist, as outlined in the web page, or can access support from Veterans UK Veterans Welfare Service via the Veterans UK Helpline on 0808 1914 218.


King’s welcomes back the Duke of Sussex for Veterans’ Mental Health Conference


The fifth Veterans’ Mental Health Conference took place at King’s College London on Thursday 14 March. The annual event brings together leading academics, charities and policy makers to network and to hear the latest research on military mental health from speakers of world-class reputation.

High profile guests include the Duke of Sussex, who has attended the conference three years running, and the Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood, Minister for Defence, People and Veterans who gave the opening address. Read more Here


MIMES – an Armed Forces study

As part of Mesothelioma UK’s Supporting Our Armed Forces service, they are collaborating with the University of Sheffield on a research project that aims to identify the needs of mesothelioma patients who are, or were in, the British Armed Forces.

The aims of this stage of the research are to:

  • understand the experience and health/ support needs of British Armed Forces personnel/veterans with mesothelioma (with and without exposure through the Armed Forces) and family carers
  • identify how best health professionals and support agencies within the Armed Forces and NHS can best meet the care and support needs of British Armed Forces personnel/veterans with mesothelioma

Those taking part will be contacted by a member of the research team who will discuss the study in more detail. Following this, a date for an interview will be arranged. This will take place on the phone, or at a place to suit the participant, and should last around 30 minutes. All responses will be anonymised.

The interview will explore views and experiences of the impact of mesothelioma for Armed Forces personnel/veterans. Topics that will be discussed in the interview through open and closed questions will include: understanding of the diagnosis, information and support needs and the impact of a diagnosis.

If you would like to take part, you must be a person or family member of someone who:

  1. Has worked or is working in the British Armed Forces.
  2. Is not experiencing physical or emotional distress that would be aggravated by participation.
  3. Is able to give informed consent.
  4. Can speak English.

Please contact Stephanie on or Angela Tod at or call the Mesothelioma UK helpline on 0800 169 2409.


Tackling Serious Stress in Veterans, Carers and Families: How will the evaluation work?

The Tackling Serious Stress programme will make large grants to projects that are trying out new and better ways of helping veterans who are very unwell, their carers and their families.
Through this programme, we will be looking very carefully at the projects that have been funded through the evaluation, which is being delivered through the University of Chester. The evaluation will explore the difference that the projects are making; and provide a evidence base so that we and others can have more information on funding projects that work.
We’ve been speaking with Professor Alan Finnegan, Professor of Nursing & Military Mental Health and the Director of the Westminster Centre for Research & Innovation in Veterans Wellbeing at the University of Chester who is leading the evaluation; to find out more about how it will work.
Read the evaluation guidance on the Tackling Serious Stress Programme Pages
The final design of the form will not be completed until the grants have been awarded next February. Any measurements and data collection will need to be applied to all the funded projects; which is why we are not able to confirm the final design of the evaluation until we know which projects are being supported. On the online framework, there is a table of what could be undertaken – not what will be undertaken. There will not be any Randomised Control Trials; although the findings may result in a recommendation for this in the future.
It’s important that once projects are set up; data can be given to the team at the University of Chester quickly; and the main mechanism for doing this will be through the questionnaire. This programme will be delivered through a portfolio approach. Grants will be made to single lead organisations which will manage a portfolio of work carried out by Delivery Partners.
The Delivery Partners within the project will collect data using a template that The University of Chester will provide, and Chester will do the analysis. Lead organisations will need to make sure that projects are sending the required data to the University of Chester.
Due to the number of projects under this common outcomes framework, means that the priority will be on layers one and two, within the evaluation outline document. This will be predominately a quantitative evaluation, with data collection from participants’ completing questionnaires. There will be space for free text; which will be clearly annotated within the evaluation questionnaires which will be finalised once the grants have been awarded under the programme. Researchers from the University of Chester will visit all projects that receive a grant at an early stage.
The programme closes on 31st December 2018; and the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has launched an online contact list for interested organisations to be able to get in touch with each other. Once you are on this list; you will be able to see the details of all of the other organisations that have joined the list; and you’ll be able to access it at any time to see if additional updates have been made.  You’ll need to agree to use the information on the list just to contact other organisations that might have an interest in this programme; and not for any other purpose. To join the list; click the link and fill out the short form


Moray and Highland Councils have launched a new website to support members of the Armed Forces community in Moray and Highland, which was briefly mentioned at the Veterans Gathering in November 2018.

A joint project, supported with an award from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, the website features information on local services and assistance available to the Armed Forces community including schools and learning, employment and training, financial advice, health and wellbeing, housing and moving to north of Scotland.

View the website


New research on the long-term health of two groups of older veterans

Researchers from King’s College London, University of Oxford and Lancaster University are planning new research investigating whether past exposure to small doses of chemical warfare agents impact long-term health. Very little is known about this topic despite the continued use of chemical agents (e.g in Syria, and Salisbury UK) so the findings will be relevant to all those who have been, or are at risk of, coming into contact with chemical agents – including military personnel, emergency services, and the general population.

The new research is an update to an original study conducted by the University of Oxford. In the original study, researchers used historical records to compare patterns of cancer development and mortality between two groups of approximately 18,000 male veterans. The first group were the ‘Porton Down veterans’ – those who were exposed to small doses of chemical agents as part of the ‘human volunteer programme’ at Porton Down between 1941 and 1989; and the second group were veterans in service during the same period, but who did not go to Porton Down. This, earlier, study found little evidence of a link between those exposed to chemical agents (including mustard gas, nerve agents, and protective chemicals e.g. antidotes) and cancer or death up until 2004.
The main objective of this new research is to updated cancer and mortality data by an additional 15 years. This extra data will allow researchers to gain a greater understanding of the relationship between chemical agent exposure and long-term health at a level of detail not possible in the original study.

To learn more about the study, and your right to object to your records being used for health research, please see, email:; or call +44 (0) 20 7848 0505.

Members of this cohort study may object to their records being used.


Important changes to the Fundraising Preference Service

An important change to the Fundraising Preference Service will come into effect on 1 March 2019. From this date, charities will have 21 days to action a suppression request, instead of 28 days. This brings the service in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and helps charities comply with the law.

This change means that from 1 March:

  • Any person that makes a request on the service will be told that charities have 21 days to action the request.
  • Any person that makes a request will be able to make a ‘follow-up’ request after 21 days (previously 28 days) if they still receive direct marketing from the charity
  • We’ll consider complaints about direct marketing received by individuals 21 days after the first suppression request was made

Charities should prepare for this change now by considering how this will affect their internal processes. On 1 March all users accessing the FPS charity portal will be required to accept updated terms and conditions that reflect the change from 28 to 21 days.

Read the full article here.


Cobseo publishes Aide Memoire on Data Protection to assist Members with ICO regulation

Cobseo, The Confederation of Services Charities, has published an Aide Memoire on Data Protection to support Members with the regulatory requirements of the Information Commissioner’s Office. The Data Protection Aide Memoire explains the requirements placed on Members to fulfil the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018 – laws that are applicable to all UK organisations. To help Members fully integrate this legislation at their organisations, the Aide Memoire has been written in clear sector-specific language in an easy-to-use format.

The Aide Memoire was produced following a Cobseo workshop in March 2018 where Members raised concerns about the increased regulatory burden following changes to the GDPR. Members asked Cobseo to provide more advice and guidance and following further consultations with Members to establish their specific concerns over data protection, an Aide Memoire was drafted. Practical assistance was then received from data protection teams at Member organisations and other specialists, and the Aide Memoire was finalised after a legal review.

The aim of the document is for Members to better understand the data protection obligations they must follow in their operations. Where Members need to implement or improve on individual measures, the Aide Memoire provides explanation and links to available resources and templates to aid integration.

The Data Protection Aide Memoire can be found here on the Cobseo Governance hub.

For more information on the other Aide Memoires in the series, please click here.

For all queries on the Data Protection Aide Memoire, the Governance work of Cobseo, or for help with governance at a Member organisation, please email Emma Fleming, Governance and Project Support Manager.

OSCR Reporter

The OSCR e-newsletter, OSCR Reporter, is issued to over 6,000 charity sector subscribers.  If you haven't already signed up, click on the Newsletter link at the foot of their page - it only takes a minute and you'll be kept up to date with all our news, policy announcements, consultations and key developments.

Read more here


Call for Evidence: Independent Report on Service Families

The Secretary of State for Defence has asked Andrew Selous MP to produce an independent report to Government to see what more support can be offered to Service families. Andrew previously served in the Honourable Artillery Company and The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

In their call for evidence, the report team would like to hear from serving personnel and their families and from those who have recently left the armed services, as well as from providers of services to Armed Forces families in the statutory, voluntary and charity sectors.

The report team would like to receive evidence in respect of the following areas, but would also welcome evidence in any other areas of concern:

1. Accommodation and home ownership
2. Deployment lengths and frequencies
3. Children’s education
4. Health services
5. Employment of non-serving members of the Armed Forces community
6. Pressures on service couple and family relationships
7. Transition to civilian life for the whole family

The report team is keen to hear what is working well, in addition to what needs to be improved.

Submissions/comments should be sent to by Friday 15 March. ‘Independent Report on Service Families’ should be included in the Subject line of the email.

The review will seek the first-hand experiences of military families. All families and their data will remain anonymous and no-one will be personally identified in any report. The review team will not retain any data after the report has been published. All discussions will be completely confidential and the information received will never be shared with anyone else.


Appointing the right auditor or examiner for your charity

All Scottish charities are required to prepare annual accounts. These consist of numerical information and also a Trustees’ Annual Report which is narrative information explaining what the charity has been doing in the year and providing details that cannot be expressed in financial terms.

Under statutory requirements, the accounts of Scottish charities must be externally scrutinised. That is, someone who is independent of the charity has reviewed the accounts and produced a report, attached to the accounts, that highlights any issues to the reader.

The formal requirements for accounts and external scrutiny are contained within charity law. The requirements differ depending on the constitutional form of the charity, the level of the charity’s income and also any relevant provisions contained within the charity’s governing document. Read more here


New report from Forces in Mind Trust calls for increased awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant

Less than a quarter (24%) of British organisations have heard of the Armed Forces Covenant and only 8% have signed it, according to report

A new report titled ‘Benefit not Burden’ commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and conducted by Shared Intelligence, calls for increased awareness around the benefits to businesses, public and voluntary sector organisations in the UK in signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant and being a veteran friendly employer.

Less than a quarter (24%) of the organisations surveyed in FiMT’s research had heard of the Armed Forces Covenant and only 8% had signed it. The report finds that the smaller an organisation is, the less likely it is to be aware of the Covenant or to have signed it or taken any action.

This lack of awareness, coupled with the lack of understanding around the potential disadvantage facing members of the Armed Forces Community and knowing what type of action an organisation can take, is a significant barrier to organisations signing and enacting the Armed Forces Covenant.

The report launched today, Tuesday 22nd January, at an event in the House of Commons, to an audience of MPs, Ministry of Defence representatives, and public sector and business leaders. It outlines straightforward steps to encourage more organisations across the UK to sign the Covenant, including supporting trade associations and membership bodies to promote the Covenant; they have a key role in encouraging organisations to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and highlighting its benefits.

Most organisations surveyed in the report that are aware of the Covenant had heard about it from a customer or client (23%), an individual within the organisation (22%) or another organisation within a supply chain (17%). Just 3% of organisations cite trade associations as the reason they are aware of the Covenant, and only 10% cite the Ministry of Defence.

Other recommendations in the report include mobilising the voice of the Armed Forces Community to encourage the organisations they work with to sign the Covenant, and encouraging local authorities, other public bodies and large businesses to use their supply chains and procurement processes to encourage businesses and other organisations to sign.

FiMT’s report provides evidence that organisations which have signed the Armed Forces Covenant are more likely to see direct benefits of employing ex-Service personnel, including recruiting or retaining skilled staff and enhancing a company’s reputation. 28% of organisations surveyed in the research claimed that they are likely to sign the Covenant over the next year.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Ex-Service personnel offer a substantial premium of capability to a prospective employer, and a commercial supplier can reap the rewards of customer loyalty and brand reputation by offering the Armed Forces Community advantageous access to goods and services, while ensuring their unique background in the military does not create disadvantage.

“The research in this report shows that there are many organisations who wish to support the Armed Forces Community, but who lack the knowledge and understanding of how to do so. It has identified some straightforward steps that could be taken relatively easily, and which would result in a substantial improvement in how the nation fulfils its side of the Covenant.”

Phil Swann, Executive Chair of Shared Intelligence, said: “Our research identified several ways of increasing awareness of the Covenant, including the role of trade bodies, supply chain relationships and mobilising the voice of the Armed Forces Community itself. The best ambassadors for the Covenant are businesses which have benefitted from delivering it.”

You can see a copy of the Executive Summary and full report here.

You can see the full report here.









Veterans Scotland Newsletter

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


Royal Regiment of Scotland News Bulletin

A copy of the latest bulletin is available here.


OSCR Reporter

Read the latest issue and past issues of the OSCR Reportter Newsletters  here

Veterans' Foundation

The Veterans' Foundation Grant Applications

Trustees of the Veterans Foundation allocate grants every three or four months.  They welcome applications from Armed Forces charities and other organisations carrying out charitable work for serving or veteran members of the Armed Forces, qualifying merchant seamen, and their dependants, who are in need. Deadlines for applications are the end of December, March, May and September each year. Further details can be found on the website .

FiMT Reports

The UK Armed Forces Charity Sector: A Summary of Provision
Published: November 2018
Download this report
Veterans Work: Moving On
Published: November 2018
Download this report


Expeerience Counts, North Lanarkshire

SAMH’s Peer Support Service introduces an approach to working with people living in North Lanarkshire experiencing and recovering from mental health issues; focusing on individuals’ recovery through self-management and accessing naturally occurring resources in their communities.  More information here