I have just returned from laying a wreath at the opening of the Edinburgh Garden of Remembrance. The setting, the occasion, the weather – on a beautifully crisp, sunny, Scottish morning – and above all the company, made this a genuine privilege. I was struck by the mix of those present. There were many veterans there, of course. Most, but not all, were like me pretty close to being eligible for a bus pass if not already there. But there were also many ‘civilians’; perhaps a few tourists, but also many locals, all of whom had chosen to stand and ignore the immediacy of Princes Street and think about the past and sacrifice.
Those two minutes of silence are both a community acting together and deeply personal. We have our own thoughts: remembering comrades, mates, relatives, terrible moments and wonderful times. It is those shared and private memories that bind us together and travel with us always.
But for those of us who did get to get to grow old, who follows on? And how? The recent history of our services leads to ‘lumpy’ involvement. We have many elderly active veterans, some younger ones, less in the middle. And the younger ones are choosing their own methods of connection via social media tools. That’s not a bad thing for those it serves, but it does not allow the wider community, locals, tourists, or whomsoever, to stand alongside us to pay tribute to those that have gone before and given us our freedoms.
You, our member charities, play a huge role in keeping the veterans’ community in the public eye – vital not only for fundraising, but also for maintaining a sense of our nation. Scotland is a warrior country. Our collective challenge is to maintain our commitment to veterans as we move into a period when our world war recollections recede into dim history, and our more recent operations are for many best forgotten or politely ignored.
Donations will be increasingly hard to come by. Individual charities will continue to compete for diminishing revenue. They should do that – some will thrive, others will fail – but we have a higher calling than an entirely free market. We are fortunate in Scotland to have a clear sense of national identity; a government that is genuine in its support for veterans; local and health authorities, which have the best of intentions – but money is tight everywhere. We, the charitable sector, will do the best for the veterans we support, if we collaborate, support each other, and keep our eyes on the prize. Let us make life better where we can for all of those who have served and given something of themselves.
Scotland national team manager Alex McLeish was today joined by a team of 11 members of the Armed Forces community, both serving personnel and veterans, to mark the beginning of this year’s particularly poignant Scottish Poppy Appeal.
Alex met the group at Scotland’s national stadium, Hampden Park, to offer his support to this year’s Appeal which concludes on the 11th day of the 11th month, marking exactly 100 years since the beginning of the end of the First World War.
Earlier this year, Poppyscotland commissioned a special Centenary Poppy with the text “1918-2018” embossed in gold across the traditional and iconic red paper poppy; the first significant change to the design of Scottish poppy in more than a generation.
Poppyscotland uses money raised to provide vital support to the Armed Forces community in Scotland. This includes specialist advice and employment support, home adaptations, mobility aids and tailored funding packages. The charity is aiming to raise even more money this year to continue to deliver support to those who need it most.
SVGCA works closely with the Personnel Recovery Centres to house veterans following their recovery, and priority is set against those in greatest need. SVGCA has provided housing for 119 veterans who have transitioned through the PRC in the last 5 years.
SaluteMyJob and J1 Consulting have announced their merger today (4 October 2018), joining forces to provide a more comprehensive set of integrated veterans focused advisory, recruitment and training services that will better serve employers and ex-military jobseekers alike.
On merging, a new company will be formed, known as SMJ Consulting Services Ltd (SMJ), focusing exclusively on helping employers capitalise on ex-military and reservist talent. SaluteMyJob will still continue to help former Service personnel and reservists with expert career guidance and support in their job search.
The new consultancy will help employers to plan and implement Armed Forces programmes and build pipelines of talent, particularly those roles where employers have skills gaps. Employers will benefit from the wider range of services available and having access to a larger pool of ex-military talent. Ex-military jobseekers will benefit from the merger with the access to more job opportunities from a broader range of employers looking for ex-military talent.
With more than 16,000 highly-trained men and women leaving the Armed Forces every year, thousands more serving in the Reserves and a wider community of around one million working age veterans, the pool of ex-military talent is large and skilled enough to add value to any organisation. The new SMJ will make it easier for employers to source talent from a pool many find hard to access.
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.
Making Generation R is a campaign from Blesma, the charity for limbless veterans, and The Drive Project, the creative social enterprise. Together, Blesma and The Drive Project use theatre professionals to train limbless veterans to deliver resilience workshops based on their own stories of overcoming adversity.
This year, Blesma and Drive are focusing the workshops on secondary school students, and have launched a campaign called Making Generation R, which reflects our ambition to help create a generation of resilient young people, and which aims to raise awareness of the need to teach resilience differently. The campaign trains limbless veterans to turn their personal stories of overcoming adversity into inspirational talks which then become the focus of free resilience workshops in secondary schools. So far we have reached 20k students and aim to reach a further 30k by the end of 2019.
The Scottish Parliament recognises and values the contribution of the Armed Forces and veterans community to Scotland; commends the excellent work of the first Scottish Veterans Commissioner, Eric Fraser, including his most recent report on veterans’ health and wellbeing; welcomes the new Commissioner, Charlie Wallace, and supports continuing partnership working across all levels of government and the private and charitable sectors to ensure that the Armed Forces, veterans and their families receive the best possible support and access to opportunities across Scotland.
Serving and retired Army personnel are engaged in various legal processes arising from legacy operations. The operational legacy is multi-faceted and includes criminal investigations under the Service Justice System (SJS), civilian criminal investigations, civil litigation, inquests and, when directed, public enquiries.
The Operational Legacy Support Team within the Army Personnel Services Group is a small, dedicated team which provides the Army’s lead for support and advice to veterans and serving personnel on matters relating to legacy operations. Our purpose is to provide assistance to personnel affected by the legacy processes arising from operations in Northern Ireland (Op BANNER), Iraq (Op TELIC) and Afghanistan (Op HERRICK).
Personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force affected by operational legacy matters are invited to contact the Operational Legacy Support Team within the Army Personnel Service Group who will provide details of the support available from their respective single Services.
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.
Financial assistance and support with employment, mental health, housing and benefits were among the most common areas that members of the Armed Forces community living in the North of Scotland have benefited from.
Scotland’s Gardens Scheme’s Guest Charity Grants will provide funding for projects that are concerned with the physical, mental and emotional well-being of adults and/or children across Scotland. These projects should be associated with gardens and gardening and the positive impact that they bring to health and wellbeing.
Dementia Friendly Communities aims to improve quality of life and well-being of people whose lives are affected by dementia – both people with dementia and unpaid carers. This round of funding is open call for one year development funding. Through this funding, the Trust is looking to support those who are at the very earliest stages of starting a community that is Dementia Friendly. They are looking to fund both geographical Dementia Friendly Communities and communities of interest, large and small. For geographical communities, they are looking for community-led, grassroots initiatives that have included people living with dementia and unpaid carers in the planning (not just as a member on a steering group). For communities of interest, they are looking for projects that act as exemplars for others and which will also integrate with the wider community.
HMS ASTUTE homecoming Happy Homecoming for HMS Astute The first of Class in the Royal Navy’s most advanced fleet of attack submarines, HMS Astute, returned to HMNB Clyde today (Tuesday, October 7) after spending eight months at sea on her first operational deployment. The submarine’s Lady Sponsor, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay (The Duchess of Cornwall), joined senior naval officers and over 150 friends and family to welcome her return at a special ceremony at Faslane. The Duchess, who attended the boat’s commissioning ceremony at Faslane on 27 August, 2010, has always taken a keen interest in the endeavours of both the boat and her Ship’s Company, leading up to this inaugural operation. After spending a short time on board the submarine and attending the reception at the Super Mess, The Duchess said: “I am pleased to see everyone back in one piece. I believe there is a lot of making up to do with wives, sons and brothers. I am proud to be Sponsor of HMS Astute and wish everyone every success in the future.” The Commanding Officer of the submarine, Commander Gareth Jenkins, said: “It was a tremendous honour for my Ship’s Company and me to be welcomed home by Her Royal Highness. It made what was already an auspicious occasion even more special. As Lady Sponsor, The Duchess is very popular with the crew and I know the time she spent chatting with their families was hugely appreciated.” He continued: “This deployment has been a huge success for HMS Astute. The submarine has travelled more than 27,000 miles and operated with our regional partners in the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. The Ship’s Company has been outstanding and I am pleased that so many of their families are here today to welcome them back to the home of the Submarine Service.” consent forms signed
Action of Hearing Loss are looking to recruit volunteers to work with them in delivery of their veteran project. If you would be interested in becoming a volunteer for them pleae continue to read the information below which contains further details on the project:
To take advantage of your exclusive 15% off everything, simply use discount code ‘SOLDIER18’ at the checkout! All profits from your purchase will go towards supporting soldiers, veterans and their immediate families.
The new study, which follows on from similar reports conducted after the Falklands War and the First Gulf War, will investigate cause of death, including rates of suicide, for all personnel who deployed to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014. This will cover personnel who are still in service, and those who have now transitioned into civilian life.
This guide outlines 6 steps to successful charity trustee recruitment. Having a diverse board can help to make your charity more effective. The right mix of skills and experience will boost your charity’s ability to meet its aims.
Charities SORP (developed by the Charity Commission and the Scottish Charity Regulator), has published a second SORP Update Bulletin that keeps the SORP up to date with changes to UK-Irish accounting that come into effect from 1 January 2019.
If preparing your trustees’ annual report and accounts for reporting periods beginning on or after 5 October 2018 you must read the Update Bulletin 2 when using Charities SORP (FRS 102). Some changes to do with providing comparative information are now in effect whilst other changes only take effect from 1 January 2019. This second Bulletin is read in addition to applying Update Bulletin 1.
All portraits in the exhibition are accompanied by incredible personal stories and these narratives by the servicemen and women are as important as the paintings. The accounts are of survivors. The men and women who look out at us are dignified, determined and stoical. They bear witness to many of the horrors of war but they take pride in having done their duty serving their country.
In exploring some of the horrors of conflict, Tom is capable of creating objects and paintings of great beauty. He does not glorify war, but in this exhibition of soldiers, he honours the ordinary men and women who do extraordinary things. It is a fitting memorial to them all and to the centenary of the end of the “war to end all wars”.
This £4 million programme is designed to providing funding for innovative and new ways of working to reduce serious stress in veterans, their carers and families. Applications close on 31st December 2018; and funding decisions will be made in February 2019.
This programme will fund a small number of projects that will enable charities and health professionals to work together to develop and try new ideas that they have developed with veterans and their carers and families; support projects where there is good evidence to suggest that the idea might produce better outcomes than current sources of support on offer. Grants under this programme will be made to Single Lead Organisations who will manage a portfolio. The work within this portfolio will support the beneficiaries, who are veterans that are very unwell, their carers and their families.
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.
RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity has appointed a new Chief Executive. Alistair Halliday, currently Director of Training and Government Relations at SSVC, The Services Sound and Vision Corporation, will succeed Stephen Gledhill, the charity’s long-serving Chief Executive, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
A veteran of the Royal Navy, Alistair has worked in corporate business, government and the voluntary sectors, with extensive experience in media communications, strategy, change and business development. He has had high-level Corporate Communications experience in government, advised many charities, ran Raytheon’s training business, and commanded three ships. He recently set up and ran the acclaimed Forces Media Academy.
“I have seen at close hand the amazing work of the RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity in supporting Forces personnel into appropriate and sustainable employment, and I am honoured and thrilled to have been chosen as Chief Executive at such an important time. The RFEA is a fantastic organisation and I really look forward to being able to help make a positive difference to the lives of servicemen and women and build on the legacy of the past 133 years. I very much look forward to working with all the team at RFEA and with our partners in the military charity sector.”
The Royal British Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland have been asked by the Royal British Legion to assist in the delivery of their “Thank You” project in Scotland. With Remembrance being led by the Legion since 1921, the commemoration of the end of the First World War in 2018 is going to be one of the most memorable and significant moments in the history of the Legion and the entire nation.
During the last 100 days of the centenary, from 8th August to 11th November we want to encourage everyone to thank those who fought, those who returned and those who worked to rebuild the country for future generations and achieved incredible advancements in many areas including medicine, the arts and everyday life.
We are inviting our members and supporters to take part in a movement to say ‘Thank You’ to the First World War generation who served, sacrifice and changed our world. Those who fell on the battlefields. Those who returned. Those who served on the home front, in the farms and factories. And all those who after the war built a new world – our world. We want everyone to join us, and say thank you in their own way?
The Royal British Legion Scotland has commissioned a limited-edition coin in a beautiful presentation box to commemorate Armistice 100 and say Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world during the First World War.
The coin is engraved on one side with the Thank You logo featuring the Scottish Poppy in bold Red and the words “All who served, sacrificed and changed our world 1918 – 2018. On the other side it features the famous words of Laurence Binyon “at the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them” surrounding the proud and distinguished badge of the Royal British Legion Scotland – with “We said Thank You.”
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