Call to Support Veterans as election looms

Military personnel continue to experience disadvantage during and after their service and a leading Armed Forces charity is calling on politicians from all parties to take urgent action.  Poppyscotland has today (Monday 18th January 2021) launched the charity’s first ever manifesto ahead of Scottish Parliamentary elections.  The manifesto includes six actions that can be taken to improve the support available for the Armed Forces community in Scotland.   

Veterans currently find their social security benefits can be reduced because compensation for injury and illness sustained during service is treated as income.  This can see some receive lower benefit payments than non-veterans, effectively disadvantaging them because of their disability. One of the recommendations contained in Poppyscotland’s manifesto is for the next Scottish Government to fully exempt military compensation from financial assessments for social security benefits, ending this unfair anomaly. 

Speaking at the launch of the 2021 Poppyscotland Manifesto, the charity’s Chief Executive Mark Collins said: “While great progress has been made over the past decade in the support available to the Armed Forces community in Scotland, too often veterans and their families face disadvantage and barriers.  

“Poppyscotland has developed this manifesto to provide clarity and focus around the issues we believe to be of greatest importance, as well as setting out in detail how we feel these recommendations can be taken forward by the next Scottish Government. It all starts with positive health and wellbeing, as well as feeling secure in a place that our Armed Forces community can call home. 

“Changes to the social security system to address the unfair treatment of military compensation is an important start, but our research has also highlighted that many veterans and their families who apply for social housing struggle to navigate their way through the complex process. 

“Poppyscotland is therefore calling for the establishment of a Veterans’ Housing Action Group with powers to review challenging cases, oversee the effective implementation of the Veterans’ Housing Pathway, and act on any recommendations it makes.”  

Other recommendations focus on improving the quality of physical and mental health support available to veterans. Mr Collins added: “This manifesto sets out what we believe should be priorities for the next Scottish Government to improve the lives of our Armed Forces community. It has been informed by evidence, experience and developed in consultation with the beneficiaries we support. 

“It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that the unique contribution of the whole Armed Forces community is given the recognition it requires and that we stand behind them, always.”

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

 Manifesto Link Here

Veterans' Gateway

As you may be aware the Veterans Gateway have recently launch their VG App which looks to support service users across the whole of the United Kingdom.  If you are a member of an organisation that is not currently listed and wish to be included, you should follow the links below.

Ladies and gentlemen,
 
Our combined and continued delivery of services under current COVID-19 restrictions has placed a greater reliance on digital and telephone services to ensure that we continue to support the Armed Forces Community (AFC) across Scotland.  As you may be aware Poppyscotland is one of the 4 consortium partners (along with SSAFA, Combat Stress and RBL) who deliver the Veterans’ Gateway service that has been in existence since April 2017.  We are now in the process of working closely with Patzi Cacchio, the VG Co-ordinator and Dr Matt Kiernan and his team at Northumbria University to broaden awareness of your services and locations and for the Armed Forces Community to access them via the Mobile App that can be downloaded from the Play Store or Apple Store via this link: 

Google Play Store Listing: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rview_mobile&hl=en_US
 
Apple Store Listing: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/Veterans-Gateway-Directory-UK/id1488014248  
 
The App is proving to be invaluable and since its launch in May 2020 the directory has expanded to include approximately 17,000 markers to date across the UK, each representing a service available to veterans or service families.  The Consortium remain encouraged by these initial findings, but we think collectively it is possible to increase the breadth and depth of listings in Scotland with your help.   There are 2 areas that we would ask you to consider.
The first is to consider being listed on the App, which is a straightforward process, for ease we have attached the Local Support Directory User Guide.

To ensure your service can be listed please complete the attached VFDS template (spreadsheet) and then submitting it to be check for completeness before the details are submitted to Northumbria University to upload to the system.


Secondly if you are listed already may I encourage you to go to  https://www.veteransgateway.org.uk/local-support/ to ensure that your listing is correct, as your services, focus or contact details may have changed . Again, please use the attached directory template (VFDS) for submitting any amendments and in both cases forward to Danny Renowden d.renowden@poppyscotland.org.uk

 VFDS template (spreadsheet)

Can we also take this opportunity to mention that you may also wish to be listed as a Referral Partner or Information Organisation on Veterans’ Gateway, details of these are at https://www.veteransgateway.org.uk/become-veterans-gateway-supporter/

Working closely with our partners and particularly Veterans’ Scotland the intention is to increase access to your services through these additional channels.  Once listed more veterans and their families will have greater visibility of the services you provide and all from the convenience of their mobile device or tablet; at a time when we know the need is increasing, along with the complexity of support need and for many this could be their first foray in to gaining information, advice, and support.
 
Kind regards 
 
Patrizia Cacchio
Veterans’ Gateway Coordinator
www.veteransgateway.org.uk
Twitter: @veteransgateway
Facebook: VeteransGateway


    

Scottish Executive Jobs Board

Scotland’s Officers’ Association are delighted to announce the launch of their new Scottish Executive Jobs Board. This in-house jobs board is a tailored list of roles suited to officers and their spouses.
Many of these are direct roles provided by military-friendly employers who have approached Scotland’s OA to advertise vacancies they know are particularly well suited to an officer. We update these jobs daily and send registered officers a weekly email with the latest jobs available.

To access these roles, our bespoke, personalised support and our training and workshop events please register with us on our website www.oascotland.org.uk and we shall get your transition moving.

 

Scottish Government Support for the Veterans and Armed Forces Community 2020

This report highlights the Scottish Government’s continuing support for the Veterans and Armed Forces community in Scotland and provides an update on this year’s achievements and work undertaken to improve support and access to services for our Armed Forces, Veterans and their families.

Download the full report here.

 

Newsletters

Veterans Scotland Newsletter

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

OSCR Reporter

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

Cyber Resilience Update

The Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Update

Cyber Resilience Notice COVID-19

ISSUE: 30.07.20

As a result of the significant rise in COVID-19 related scams, over the next few months, the Scottish Government Cyber Resilience Unit will share important information. We aim to update the Bulletin on a regular basis and ask that you consider circulating the information to your networks, adapting it where you see fit. Advice and information is changing daily as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, so please ensure you only take information from trusted sources.



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

Changing Our Approach to Veterans’ Employment


Summary Report of the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) Summit on ‘Transforming Perceptions and Unlocking Ex-Services Talent’, 8 October 2019

Please find below a further update on the services available to veterans aged 65 and older in Scotland via the Unforgotten Forces partnership during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Update Here

The Royal Scots (the Royal Regiment) VJ 75 film

Link Here