Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded funding to Veterans Scotland to train and educate stakeholders in Scotland to better support the Armed Forces Community.
FiMT has awarded the project, Informing Scotland, a grant of £209,700 over three years. It will provide 15 National and Regional Gatherings, engaging 450 to 600 policymakers each year, and 48 staff training sessions for local authorities. These gatherings and training sessions will help to improve understanding of the Armed Forces Covenant, and educate key individuals and organisations across Scotland about actions which could be taken to help the Armed Forces Community.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Veterans Scotland will take a flexible approach to the delivery of training and gatherings, creating online events where necessary.
This grant will fund a continuation of Informing Scotland, a three-year project funded by FiMT, which has engaged stakeholders to improve the delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant. Over the last three years people from more than 200 organisations, including local authorities, local businesses and third sector organisations, have been brought together by Veterans Scotland. There are now approx. 190 Armed Forces and Veterans and Families Champions across Scotland. These individuals are vital in addressing the main issues which the Armed Forces community can face, such as difficulties in accessing services and securing meaningful employment.
During the Informing Scotland project, Veterans Scotland have found that there is confusion about the nature and purpose of the Armed Forces Covenant, creating a barrier to organisations implementing the recommendations and pledges. This second stage of the project will enable Veterans Scotland to engage with decision makers, advising them about their obligations towards the ex-Service community and those in transition, whilst informing them about the steps they can take to ensure members of the Armed Forces Community are treated fairly and have access to services.
Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said:
“We are pleased to announce this grant to Veterans Scotland, who have proved the value of their important work over the last three years of Informing Scotland. This project will build upon that work, ensuring that organisations across Scotland can better understand and implement the pledges of the Armed Forces Covenant which make a tangible difference to the lives of Service leavers and their families. The regular engagement of the Scottish Veterans Minister and Veterans Commissioner underlines the importance that strategic decision makers place upon such events. At FiMT, we aim to ensure that all ex-Service personnel can make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. With this project, Veterans Scotland will reach stakeholders across the nation, ensuring they can support veterans to do just that.”
Jim Wilson, General Secretary of Veterans Scotland said:
“We have been delighted to work with the Forces in Mind Trust over the last three years on our Informing Scotland project. This additional grant enables us to continue that work and ensure that the Armed Forces Covenant is understood at all levels and embedded within those statutory organisations that our Servicemen and women, our veterans and all of their immediate families may call upon. Understanding the unique obligations and sacrifices made by them, and the disadvantages that they may face, will go a significant way to ensure a successful transition to civilian life. The vast majority of Servicemen and women adapt well to civilian life although some may experience difficulties. This is hardly surprising, as anyone who has changed job, moved house, considered a new career, found schools for the kids, as well as new dentists, doctors and moved into a new community will tell you.
“We are very grateful to FiMT for this grant which will do so much to ensure that our obligations to the Covenant are met.”