Homeless Veterans Charity Appoints New CEO

The housing charity Scottish Veterans Residences (SVR) has appointed Martin Nadin OBE as its new Chief Executive Officer. He takes over from Phil Cox who is retiring after five years in the role.

After initially training as an Army biomedical scientist in 1977, Martin later graduated into the Royal Army Medical Corps from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1989. He then served in the Middle East, Africa, Northern Ireland, the Balkans and Afghanistan. In that time he was responsible for the planning, delivery and governance of worldwide healthcare support for deployed military personnel and their families.

In 2016, after spending three years as its Director of Medical Capability, Martin left the Army to take on a new role within the NHS. He became project director for one of the largest NHS Foundation Trusts in the country, with an annual turnover of £1.6bn and 20,000 staff. He later became project lead on behalf of the West Midlands Cancer Alliance to create an integrated digital network for histopathology diagnosis across its region.

He holds a post-graduate diploma in Managing Health and Social Care, and an MA in Management. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow of the Institute of Healthcare Management.

Martin Nadin CEO

George Lowder MBE, Chairman of SVR, said:  “We are delighted to welcome Martin as our new Chief Executive Officer. His career background and qualifications bring an ideal combination of military, medical and management experience along with knowledge of the social care sector to this role. I look forward to working with him as we continue our important work of supporting homeless veterans in Scotland.”

If you would like further details, please contact Bill Shaw on 07974 720669 or bill@billshaw.uk.com.

Note to editors:

Scottish Veterans Residences

Scottish Veterans Residences (SVR) provides unique and unrivalled residential accommodation for the UK’s   ex-service men and women of all ages. Each year it supports around veterans and their spouses.

SVR first opened its doors on 1 January 1911 and, through both world wars and modern day conflicts in the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan, its residences have met the needs of some 60,000 ex-servicemen and women. Today, SVR provides an unrivalled level of residential accommodation where each veteran has his or her own fully furnished en suite accommodation and lives in a supportive community environment.

SVR is a Scottish Registered Charity number SC 015260.



The fifth annual Edinburgh Poppy Day is just a few weeks away and Poppyscotland is on the lookout for individuals or groups to give up an hour or two at lunchtime on the day to help collect for the much-loved Armed Forces charity.

The event, which takes place on Thursday, 1st November and runs from noon to 2pm in the city’s iconic St Andrew Square, features music, entertainment and military involvement. The lunchtime concert is hosted by Forces Radio BFBS and this year’s performers will include The Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, Legion Scotland singing sensation Amy Hawthorn and the George Heriot’s School Pipe Band.

Gordon Michie, the Head of Fundraising at Poppyscotland, said: “Edinburgh Poppy Day is one of the pivotal days in the period of Remembrance and it is an event that has grown steadily in popularity since it was first held back in 2013. Last year, we raised an incredible £15,000, but we urgently need more volunteers if we are to continue to build on this success and meet the ever-increasing demand on our services.

“It’s fantastic that the people of Edinburgh – along with hundreds of visitors to the city – join us in St Andrew Square to enjoy an exciting day jam-packed with music and entertainment. We are delighted to be working with Forces Radio BFBS to stage the lunchtime concert and we are extremely grateful to them for the continued support. But to go along with the enjoyment of the day there is the important fundraising element, and we desperately need dedicated volunteers to come forward and give an hour or two of their time to rattle the cans for Poppyscotland.”

To become a volunteer on Edinburgh Poppy Day, please visit www.poppyscotland.org.uk/volunteer, or contact Poppyscotland on 0131 557 2782


Armistice Centenary Charity Ball

A commemoration to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, raising money to support the life-saving and life-enhancing work of St John Scotland

Friday 9 November
7.00 for 7.30pm
Springwood Hall, Kelso, TD5 8LS

Dress: Black tie, mess kit, Highland dress or equivalent
Tickets: £75 per person or
£750 per table of 10
Tickets may be purchased by contacting Prof Donald Ritchie at d.a.ritchie@liverpool.ac.uk


Combat Stress marks World Mental Health Day 2018 with a social media ‘takeover’

Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health, is inviting veterans, their families and the charity’s staff to take over its social media channels and share their own videos on Wednesday 10 October to mark World Mental Health Day.

The charity’s Twitter and Facebook accounts will be made available to former servicemen and women who have been supported by Combat Stress, along with staff and supporters, to post their videos about what mental health awareness means to them. By sharing their own thoughts and stories, our contributors will emphasise that it’s ok to talk about mental health.

Next month the nation commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War, a conflict that saw more than 80,000 cases of shell shock reported. Combat Stress was founded in 1919 and has since treated thousands of former servicemen and women struggling with their mental health. In the last decade, the charity has seen a 97% increase in veterans seeking help.

Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress, said: “We know the real difference that conversations about mental health can make. Many veterans tell us how they found the courage to call us for help after hearing a former serviceman or woman open up about their own mental health.

“By sharing as many stories as possible from our staff, supporters and veterans on World Mental Health Day, we can break down stigma and reach out to veterans struggling in silence.

“We want to let veterans, their families and friends know that if they have any concerns about mental health, we’re here for them.”

Veterans and their families can call the Combat Stress 24-hour Helpline on 0800 138 1619 for free confidential advice and support. You can also text us on 07537 404 719 (standard charges may apply for texts) or visit combatstress.org.uk to find out how to get support.


For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Jonathan Paxton, PR and Communications Officer, on 01372 587061



Why cyber security is important for your business

A whopping 98% of UK businesses now operate online in one way or another, with even the smallest of firms benefiting hugely from the use of websites, social media, staff email addresses, online banking and the ability for customers to shop online.

However, the latest Government statistics show over four in ten (43%) of all businesses and charities experienced a cyber breach or attack in the past year. This included computer viruses, hacking, theft of data and theft of financial information. Breaches were identified most often in businesses holding personal data and those where staff use personal devices for work.

Whilst some household name companies have been in the news in recent months due to high profile data breaches, this isn’t just a problem for large companies: nearly half (47%) of small businesses suffered a cyber breach or attack during the last 12 months. This could be something as minor as your work laptop or mobile phone not working properly for a few days and upsetting your normal day-to-day operations. But, at worst, a breach or attack could affect your cashflow, prevent you selling via your website or damage your reputation with customers.

So what can you do to protect yourself? The good news is the vast majority of cyber attacks can be prevented using quick and simple measures. Hackers rely on you failing to do the simple stuff, but getting these basics right will significantly enhance the security of your business.

Read the full guidance here.

The Scottish Veterans Fund

Established in 2008, the Scottish Veterans Fund has already allocated more than £1.3 million to over 150 projects that provide advice, help and support to veterans across Scotland, ranging from employability and housing support to befriending and wellbeing projects.

This year’s round of funding completes the current allocation of around £600,000 of funding, including £240,000 from Standard Life Aberdeen and £360,000 from the Scottish Government, made available through the Scottish Veterans Fund in the three years to 2019/20.

The Scottish Veterans Fund is now open to applications until 30 November 2018. As this is the last year of the current Fund applicants are only able to submit bids for one year projects.

Access via the links to both the Grant Application Guidance and Grant Application Forms  are shown below:

Grant Application Guidance

Grant Application Form


Support to improve lives.

Veterans and ex-Service charities across Scotland are to benefit from support from the Scottish Veterans Fund for areas such as the transition from military to civilian life, healthcare, housing and employment.

Organisations are encouraged to bid for funding to deliver projects tackling these issues and those offering new or innovative approaches to increasing opportunities for veterans.

Speaking at the 2018 Armed Forces and Veterans Champions Annual Gathering in Edinburgh, Veterans Minster Graeme Dey said:

“Veterans enrich our society and deserve the highest level of advice, support and care, which is why the Scottish Government remains committed to supporting them and their families.

“This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the Veterans Fund with more than £1.3 million already given to over 150 projects throughout Scotland since 2008. These projects and initiatives provide essential support to our veterans community. I look forward to seeing a strong portfolio of applications again this year.”

Sandy Macdonald, Head of Sustainability at Standard Life Aberdeen said:

“We’re delighted to continue our support for The Scottish Veterans Fund. Ex-Service personnel have a hugely positive impact in our business and the communities we operate in. Sadly, some veterans continue to face barriers in making the transition from military to civilian life. This Fund supports great projects breaking down these barriers and creating opportunities for veterans to achieve continued success in their lives after they’ve served”

Chris Hughes, Executive Chairman of Veterans Scotland said:
“Veterans Scotland  welcomes this continuing support which will directly benefit those leaving the Services and veterans and their families.”


Established in 2008, the Scottish Veterans Fund has invested in excess of £1.3 million to a host of veterans and ex-Service charities and organisations that provide advice, help and support to the thousands of veterans leaving the Armed Forces.

This year’s financial support will complete the current allocation of £600,000, including £240,000 from Standard Life Aberdeen, which was made available through the Scottish Veterans Fund in the three years to 2019/20.

Around £200,000 of funding is allocated in each year of the three years.  Almost £109,000 has already been allocated to multi-year projects in 2019/20, leaving over £91,000 of funding available.

Applications forms and guidance will be available shortly on the Veterans Scotland website and the fund closes on 30 November 2018.


HMRC Grant Funding 2019-2020


Funding is available for the UK's voluntary and community sector to provide advice and support to HMRC customers who need extra help understanding and complying with their obligations and claiming their entitlements.

Current Status
Open for Applications
Maximum value:
£ 45,000

Objectives of Fund

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has £1.6 million funding for 2019 to 2020 to allocate to voluntary and community sector organisations to help them provide advice and support to HMRC customers who need extra help understanding and complying with their tax obligations and claiming their entitlements, including those who are digitally excluded. From 2020 HMRC will develop a longer term strategy, working with the VCS to provide the best support for customers who need extra help.

Value Notes

There is a total of £1.6 million for 2019-2020.

Grants of between £10,000 and £450,000, with a maximum threshold set at 50% of the organisation’s turnover (last audited accounts) are available. 

Who Can Apply

Registered charities, voluntary and community organisations, social enterprises, mutual and co-operatives based in the UK can apply.

Applicants must be able to satisfy ALL of the following criteria in order to be eligible to apply for grant funding from HMRC:

  • Have three years of financial history in place.
  • Have a turnover of no less than £40,000 per annum.
  • No directors within the organisation to have been disqualified in the last five years.
  • No director, trustee, treasurer or anyone in a position of financial responsibility to have had a relevant conviction, such as for fraud, within the last three years.
  • Have sound and comprehensive financial systems and processes that enable them to track the amount of funding spent throughout the year, and demonstrate that they have allocated the funding to the specific activity detailed in their bid.
  • Be able to identify customers who have HMRC-related issues and be competent to help them with one or more HMRC services, for example: - tax (PAYE and Self Assessment, VAT, National Insurance) - tax credits - Child Benefit - debt management support.
  • Have in place an infrastructure for monitoring and evaluating that is capable of reporting agreed outcomes; ie the impact on their clients and that their outcomes represent value for money.
  • No aspect of the activity funded by this grant may be party-political in intention, use or presentation.
  • The grant cannot be used to support or promote religious activity.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding is for bids that include one or more of the following activities:

  • Advice and support - providing direct advice and support for HMRC’s customers who need extra help and cannot afford to pay for it.
  • Digital inclusion - assisting customers who are digitally excluded, to build their confidence and capability to use HMRC’s online services for themselves.
  • Specialist support and referrals - providing specialist advice and taking referrals by telephone or email from HMRC’s Needs Enhanced Support (NES), and assisting customers who need independent advice and support with more complex tax issues, for example complicated PAYE issues, or claims for Special Relief and appeals.

Applicants must have the infrastructure and capability to handle in the region of 700 referrals per year and would be responsible for bringing individual cases to conclusion.

VCS's support is needed to help those customers HMRC currently find hardest to reach, or who cannot or will not interact directly with HMRC.

Some vulnerable/marginalised customer groups may find it difficult to interact with HMRC, for reasons that include geography, culture, language and trust.

Organisation must be able to help HMRC customers in these groups, who also display one or more of the following characteristics:

  • They are experiencing difficulties accessing HMRC services, due to illness, disability or digital exclusion.
  • They lack confidence, and are overly worried about making mistakes or are new to HMRC services.
  • They lack the ability to deal with tasks, for example, due to learning difficulties, memory problems, lack of language skills to be able to understand the tax system, complex working situations or several income strands.
  • They have mental health issues or are suffering extreme distress through life events, such as bereavement or the breakdown of a relationship.

Proposals will need to show how customers in these groups or any combination of these groups can be supported.


How To Apply

Guidance notes can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Organisations that are confident that they can provide the services HMRC seek and satisfy the eligibility criteria set out in the guidance notes will need to email HMRC for an application form at grantfunding.voluntaryandcommunitysector@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

The timeline for the funding round is as follows:

  • 2 November 2018 – deadline for receipt of completed applications.
  • Within 3 working days – HMRC will acknowledge receipt of application.
  • From 17 December 2018 – notification sent to successful applicants.
  • 1 April 2019 – grant agreements in place and new funding begins.

Useful Links



With knitting needles and crochet kits in hand, Partners and customers from John Lewis & Partners have been working tirelessly for almost half a year to take on the Poppy Challenge of producing 2,018 poppies to raise funds for and raise awareness of the work of leading Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland. Incredibly, not only was the challenge duly accepted, but it has now been smashed as the “Totaliser” edges close to the 3,500-mark.

The challenge was the idea of John Lewis & Partners Community Liaison Coordinator Judith Hunter. Judith, who has worked at the historic Edinburgh store for more than 35 years, explained: “The task was to encourage our Partners and customers to knit or crochet 2,018 poppies in time for Remembrance. We wanted people to know that poppies are not just for November; but that those leaving the Armed Forces need help and funding all year round.” 

Hundreds of the poppies are being gathered together in the store to create a giant display of the number “100”. The rest will be available for customers to take home – hopefully after they have given a donation to Poppyscotland, which will provide vital funds to support the Armed Forces community living in Scotland today.

Incredibly, the number of poppies that have been knitted and crocheted is fast approaching the 3,500-mark – smashing the original target of 2,018 – and a number of the retailer’s other stores have got on board and have been sent poppy pattern packs from Judith and the team. “I knew our Partners and customers would rise to the challenge! Everybody is talking poppies and there is a real buzz around the place with a fantastic sense of community,” added Judith.

Leading the way has been John Lewis & Partners Selling Partner SJ Milne, who has crocheted a whopping 430 poppies by herself. SJ said: “I come from a military family. My father was in the Air Force for 40 years so I really wanted to be a part of this special challenge.

“I only learned to crochet a couple of years ago, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I am producing poppies whenever I can and I manage to make three on the bus on the way to work. I notice other passengers looking at what I am doing and that can only be a good thing for raising awareness of the poppy because it is something that is important all year round and not just at Remembrance time.”

Gordon Michie, the Head of Fundraising at Poppyscotland, said: “We are all well aware of the significance of this centenary year, and it is heartening to see so many communities and groups coming together to recognise this anniversary in their own way.

“The foresight of the team in John Lewis is awe-inspiring. They have prepared early and tackled what looked like a considerable challenge with relative ease. Being afforded the appropriate amount of time has allowed them to break their already ambitious target and produce so many more knitted poppies. This has been a fantastically worthwhile project, but the fact that it is likely to raise vital funds to help the Armed Forces community living in Scotland is a further boon.”



Notes to editors

  • For further information please contact David A. Findlay, PR Manager at Poppyscotland, on 0131 550 1580 or 079797 35611, or email at d.findlay@poppyscotland.org.uk.
  • 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.




Leading Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland is hosting a lunchtime event next month as it seeks to raise awareness of the value of identifying as an Armed Forces family at school enrolment.

The open day at its Inverness Welfare Centre in the heart of the Highland capital will highlight the educational support available to families in the North of Scotland as well as offering help in areas such as health, employment, housing and finance.

Nina Semple, the Welfare Services Manager at Poppyscotland Inverness, said: “The life experiences that children of Armed Forces families have can be distinct and unique. Schools that know of this and work closely with parents who serve or have served can be helpful to the education of their children. Read more


Poppyscotland on the Lookout for Fundraising Help Across the Land

Poppyscotland needs you! Scotland’s leading Armed Forces charity is searching for new volunteer Scottish Poppy Appeal Area Organiser (AO) to lead the fundraising push in a dozen key areas this year and beyond.

Poppyscotland Head of Fundraising Gordon Michie explains: “We’re looking for individuals, businesses, groups of friends, or community organisations that have good organisational skills to step forward to lead this year’s Appeal in a number of areas. Last year, these 12 areas accounted for more than £28,000 in collections, but, without your help, we will struggle to collect even a fraction of that amount and this will have a profoundly detrimental impact on our beneficiaries.”

The 12 areas in need of help are: Dunlop; Castlemilk & Carmunnock; Arrochar; Killean; Balnaguard; Balfron; Ballater; Bankfoot; Bonnybridge; Gargunnock; Broxburn; and theMacduff area.

Mr Michie added: “By volunteering for Poppyscotland you will be helping us transform the lives of veterans in Scotland, those currently serving, and their families who are in need. The money raised from the annual Poppy Appeal enables us to provide life-changing support to those affected by many issues including poverty, mental health problems and disability. Our volunteers are at the heart of everything we do, and, without their vital support, we simply wouldn’t be able to run the Scottish Poppy Appeal.”

Read more on this story here



The Veterans’ Foundation Grant Applications


Trustees of the Veterans Foundation will be allocating grants in mid-Oct and the deadline for applications from armed forces’ charities and other organisations carrying out charitable work for serving members of the armed faces, veterans of the armed forces, qualifying merchant seamen, and their dependants is the end of Sep.

The online application form is at www.veteransfoundation.org.uk/grant-application/ and bids are capped at £30K.



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


Veterans Events & Activities

Details for upcoming Armed Forces and Veterans events are contained in the calendar links below. 


If you have any events that you wish to have considered for inclusion, please forward details of the event to office@veterasnscotland.org.uk 

Scottish Veterans Fund

The Scottish Veterans Fund

Established in 2008, the Scottish Veterans Fund has already allocated more than £1.3 million to over 150 projects that provide advice, help and support to veterans across Scotland, ranging from employability and housing support to befriending and wellbeing projects.

This year’s round of funding completes the current allocation of around £600,000 of funding, including £240,000 from Standard Life Aberdeen and £360,000 from the Scottish Government, made available through the Scottish Veterans Fund in the three years to 2019/20.

The Scottish Veterans Fund is now open to applications until 30 November 2018. As this is the last year of the current Fund applicants are only able to submit bids for one year projects.

Access via the links to both the Grant Application Guidance and Grant Application Forms  are shown below:

Grant Application Guidance

Grant Application Form