Message from the Veterans Scotland Executive Chairman
Maj Gen Chris Hughes CBE;
Executive Chairman of Veterans Scotland
All of you have been affected in significant ways by the current situation and have formulated ways to manage your organizations, efforts and vital support to our community of veterans. While we reflect wider society, all of you were already focussed on the most vulnerable and the socially isolated. The contribution that you make in caring for those veterans is highlighted now – not least in relieving the pressure on the NHS and other government services. I believe that our sector’s response has been deeply impressive and will continue to be so as it evolves. That is a credit to all of our members and has been broadly recognised. The Scottish Minister for Veterans described you to me as exemplars in response to the crisis and asked me to thank you on behalf of the Government for all that you are doing.
At Veterans Scotland we want to ensure that we continue to do all we can to help and support our member organisations. Our core functions of encouraging and enabling: Communication, Co-operation, Co-ordination and Collaboration will all become increasingly important at this time. There is a torrent of information, advice and initiatives coming from governments and other bodies as they manage the changed circumstances. We are attempting to gather this and signpost assistance in the most accessible way. The Veterans Newsletter will now be produced weekly and the Veterans Assist website is being continuously updated. We also continue to represent your views and issues to government, direct to ministers and also to their departments. So, please do share your experiences with us and each other.
Finally, there will be many of you, both as organizations and individuals, who are already reaching out to the wider communities where you live, to offer support to other who are in need. I would encourage this and we will do our best to assist those veterans who are able to help others do so in the most effective way.
Thank you again for all that you do.
Poppyscotland puts its VE Day resources online for pupils
An exciting new digital education resource to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day has been launched that will allow children across the country to learn about and celebrate this important milestone, despite the lockdown.
Poppyscotland’s new interactive resource will be delivered over the charity’s extensive social media channels and Learning website from now until 8 May. The innovative new educational tools have been created by Poppyscotland in partnership with the Scottish Government and Legion Scotland.
The launch of a new 40-page ‘VE Day 75 Schools Pack’ took place at Christie Park Primary School, in Alexandria, earlier this month and was expected to be used in classrooms across the country in the run-up to VE Day on 8 May.
However, with Scotland in the grip of a global pandemic, the Learning team at Poppyscotland has worked tirelessly in recent days to ensure that a host of resources are available online for pupils to use as part of their new home-working regimes – especially as the physical events surrounding VE Day itself have been postponed or cancelled.
The VE Day 75 resources contain an abundance of facts and stories about what was life was like for those living through the Second World War, and includes sections on evacuees, rationing and Churchill’s famous VE Day speech. Pupils are being encouraged to discover more about how the War impacted on their local community and to stage their own ‘virtual’ VE Day Party.
Scottish Government Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd said:
“During the current outbreak of Covid-19, educational continuity is of paramount importance and we have already seen an incredible response from all corners of the education system. Poppyscotland’s exceptional efforts during this difficult period will allow children throughout Scotland to continue to access these wonderful Second World War educational resources.
“It is vital that current and future generations have the opportunity to learn about the experiences of those who lived and served, both at home and abroad, throughout the Second World War. It is thanks to their efforts and sacrifices that we now have the freedom and relative peace that so many of us take for granted today.”
Gordon Michie, Poppyscotland’s Head of Fundraising and Learning, added:
“The 75th Anniversary of VE Day is an important milestone in our nation’s history and it is vital that young people understand its significance. And, as we navigate our way through lockdown, what better way to be able to do this than for pupils to take part in Facebook Live lessons and ideas for activities at home that we have created.”
“As well as ensuring future generations have an understanding of our past, we hope to stimulate contemporary conversations about the significance of remembrance and its importance to society today. The VE Day 75 resources are the latest way in which we are doing that, and we are extremely grateful to the Scottish Government and Legion Scotland for their input in helping us to develop such an innovative and comprehensive offering.”
Like many others, Second World War veteran Ian Forsyth had been looking forward to taking part in a special VE Day celebration on 8 May until the Covid-19 outbreak forced its postponement. However, Mr Forsyth’s incredible story features as part of the digital resource and he is delighted to see the unveiling.
“While we cannot congregate to celebrate VE Day, it is heartening to know that we have something in place that will allow us to come together as a country and learn about what was an incredibly important moment in our history. I would encourage all youngsters to get online to find out more about what life was like 75 years ago.”
Dr Claire Armstrong, the CEO of Legion Scotland, added:
“We had some very exciting plans for VE Day, including a huge parade and free open-air concert in Edinburgh’s Princes Gardens, which have been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. With more than 100 Second World War veterans planning to attend, not to mention thousands of members of the public, this was unavoidable.
“However, these new digital resources will ensure the learning component of the VE Day commemorations can seamlessly switch from the classroom to family homes. Although we cannot meet face to face for the celebrations as planned, these resources will be a wonderful way for young people to come together and learn about life in World War Two and we can’t wait for them to share their photos, work and ideas on the VE Day 75.”
The new resources will be launched via Poppyscotland and Legion Scotland’s Facebook channels on Monday 30 March 2020. New activities, films and lessons will be published each day thereafter until the 75th anniversary of VE Day on 8th May. For more information visit:
Notes to Editors
- For further information or to speak to arrange an interview, please contact David A. Findlay, PR Manager at Poppyscotland/Legion Scotland, on 079797 35611, or email at email@example.com. David will be among the media contacts present on the day.
- Pictures are free to use. Where appropriate, please credit: Poppyscotland/Mark Owens.
- For further information from the Scottish Government, please contact Christopher Johnson, Communications DFM, Education & Justice – Media Manager, on 0131 244 2939, or 07580 750 033, or at Christopher.Johnson@gov.scot.
- On 7th May 1945, Nazi Germany formally and unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Forces, bringing to an end six years of War. The following day was declared VE (Victory in Europe) Day and millions of people celebrated, marking the victory with street parties, dancing and singing. The Scottish Government has moved the May Bank holiday to 8th May to coincide with the VE Day anniversary.
- 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: www.poppyscotland.org.uk.
- The Royal British Legion Scotland (Legion Scotland), is the largest ex-Service membership charity in Scotland working at the heart of the community, supporting veterans of all ages and from all conflicts. With more than 140 branches, 61 clubs and 23,000 members, Legion Scotland, working in partnership with other organisations, provides veterans in the community with three key services covering remembrance, comradeship and befriending whilst supporting the welfare services and fundraising initiatives of Poppyscotland. Contact Legion Scotland at New Haig House, Logie Green Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4HQ, or telephone 0131 322 1076. For more information on Legion Scotland’s work, please visit: www.legionscotland.org.uk.
An update from Scottish Veterans Residences
An update from Scottish Veterans Residences has been shared:
Our Residences will remain open and continue to provide accommodation, catering and support for Veterans in need.
We will continue to take referrals for support for homeless Veterans through the normal referral pathways, unless we have reached our normal capacity.
We will mitigate the risk of continuing to take referrals by asking the individual Veteran about their health and observing them for relevant symptoms.
If we consider an individual may have been exposed, we are likely to offer accommodation on provision that the individual self-isolates in their room for the first 14 days.
Rosendael and Whitefoord House applicants may also be provided with initial accommodation at Bellrock Close, dependent on the applicant’s individual circumstances.
Full guidance on staying at home and away from others
The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
Coronavirus in Scotland – Scottish Government Update
Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first identified in December 2019.
The first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland was confirmed in March 2020.
Scottish test numbers: 22 March 2020
A total of 8679 Scottish tests have concluded. Of these:
- 8263 tests were confirmed negative
- 416 tests were positive
- 10 patients who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died
|Health board||Positive cases|
|Ayrshire and Arran
|Dumfries and Galloway
|Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Last updated on 22 March 2020. The latest numbers will publish at 2pm each day.
The Department of Health and Social Care publishes UK figures on behalf of all UK Chief Medical Officers. Test results from Scotland are included in the overall UK figure.
Coronavirus symptoms and health advice
Common symptoms of coronavirus include:
- high temperature or fever
- shortness of breath
Public health advice can be found at: Coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS Inform.
A free helpline has been set up for people who do not have symptoms but are looking for general advice: 0800 028 2816.
Overseas visitors to Scotland, regardless of their residency status, are exempt from NHS charges for both the diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Information for professionals and organisations
The latest information and advice for professionals and organisations is on the Health Protection Scotland website.
Read the gov.uk guidance for British people travelling and living overseas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Travel advice and country specific information can be found at: FitForTravel.
Our approach is guided by the Chief Medical Officer, and we continue to monitor the situation closely and to work with the WHO and international community.
We are working with the Welsh Government, Northern Ireland Executive, and the UK Government to respond to the ongoing outbreak.
Volunteers needed to support the Royal Air Forces Association!
We’re the charity that supports the RAF family
The Association exists in the recognition that RAF personnel and their immediate families dedicate their lives to their country, and to ensure that such a sacrifice does not result in suffering, poverty or loneliness.
Whether it’s an injured airman fighting to get back on his feet, a young child missing their parent away on overseas operations, or a World War II veteran needing a shoulder to lean on, we are here to help all generations of RAF Service personnel and their families.
A significant proportion of our work is undertaken by those who volunteer for the charity. Volunteers provide visits to members of the RAF family to help combat loneliness, and to provide information, assistance and welfare support in times of hardship.
We currently have a wide range of volunteering opportunities across the whole of Scotland! If you would like to get involved we would be delighted to welcome you to the team. To find out more, please get in touch, or visit rafa.org.uk/volunteering.
Key points our volunteers benefit from:
Uniquely, the RAF Association’s welfare volunteer training is accredited through AIM Awards
Helping those who have given so much
Helping your local community
Improved research skills
Ongoing personal development
Developed relationship building skills
Volunteering with the RAF Association is something to feel proud of and is an opportunity to play a key role in helping us deliver valuable support to members of the RAF Family.
To get involved please contact the Volunteering Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 018 2361
Case study – Read about how one of the RAF Associations volunteers made a real difference to a couple who found themselves in a seemingly impossible situation.
SMRC, Long Circuit Karts & Armed Forces Day 2020
Sunday 5th April, 2020
Let’s go racing! It’s go, go, go for the start of the 2020 Scottish Championship car racing season organised by the SMRC with their superb range of racing classes and super-slick racing format, featuring the return of Long Circuit Karts. With up to 18 races to entertain you during an action-packed day with qualifying from 8.30am and racing from about 11 am though until around 5.30pm (check the website for exact timings nearer the event).
It’s also our 5th Armed Forces Appreciation Day with all serving and veterans gaining free entry with any accompanying family members enjoying the concessionary entry price.
Find Out More Here
Cyber Resilience and Cyber Essentials Grants
With the support of the Scottish Government, SCVO are providing a small grants scheme to enable third sector organisations to achieve Cyber Essentials accreditation.
The threat of cyber crime has never been greater – regardless of size of business or amount of personal data you handle, your organisation could become a target for cyber criminals who are looking to make money and cause disruption to you, your staff and volunteers. Putting resilient measures in place to protect and strengthen your network is vital.
Cyber Essentials is like an MOT test for your car – it confirms that your IT systems have passed a key set of standards. If you can show that your organisation is meeting the security standards in Cyber Essentials, you can be confident that you have some protection against the most common types of cyber attack.
Our new round of grant funding provides up to £1000 towards the cost of obtaining Cyber Essentials accreditation. This fund is available to all third sector organisations and is open for new applications from 4th November 2019. Please be aware that while the fund will be open until 31st March 2020, we will be awarding throughout the open period, so don’t wait too long! Further details on the Cyber Essentials scheme itself are available on the NCSC website.
Find Out More Here
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – information & guidance
Your Organisation and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Following the confirmation of cases of COVID-19 in Scotland, we have pulled together some information & resources to help you, your organisations and your communities stay safe and healthy.
This information is intended to help you decide what steps you and your organisation may need to take in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We have included links to valuable resources on Coronavirus and Covid-19 from a range of organisations which cover the following:
SCVO will be working alongside the Scottish Government and the NHS on how best to support the voluntary sector in Scotland and people in our communities. We’ll keep SCVO members and the wider voluntary sector updated with the latest information on this.
*This page was last updated on 9 March 2020.*
Read More Here