Informing Scotland – Communicating about the Armed Forces Community in Scotland, Funded by the Forces in Mind Trust
Veterans Scotland is delighted to announce that it is to receive a total of £75,000 from the Forces in Mind Trust, over the next three years, in order to engage with decision makers in statutory and third sector organisations across Scotland and inform them about those preparing to leave the Armed Forces and the ex-Service community and to encourage them to ensure that they are equipped to meet their obligations to the Armed Forces Covenant.
Over the last two years, Veterans Scotland has brought together Gatherings of Armed Forces and Veterans Champions from across Scotland to consider how their organisations are delivering the Armed Forces Covenant and seeking to reduce some disadvantage that may be faced by Servicemen and women, their families and veterans. The most recent Gathering, which took place in Glasgow City Chambers in October 2016, attracted an audience of almost 180 Champions from local authorities, the NHS, Police Scotland, DWP, Skills Development Scotland and housing associations, as well as employers, members of the serving community, charities and many others with an interest in ensuring that any disadvantage faced as a result of service is reduced.
The vast majority of Service leavers and veterans become a great asset to society, they bring knowledge, skills and attitude to the business community, they are adaptable and are accustomed to working in highly pressured environments. A small proportion have difficulty making the transition from service to civilian life; by encouraging organisations to ensure their policies do not increase this difficulty, we will see this proportion reduce. Over the last three years, such engagement has happened across 24 of the 32 Scottish local authority areas; this Forces in Mind Trust funding will enable us to engage at appropriate levels across the whole of Scotland.
Colonel Martin Gibson OBE DL, Executive Chairman of Veterans Scotland, said: ‘We are very pleased to receive this funding from the Forces in Mind Trust; we recognise that by having an informed understanding of the disadvantages that service leavers may face, our statutory organisations will be better able to adapt their policies. This in turn will ensure that service leavers, veterans and their families are better placed to make their full contribution.’
Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “We are pleased to announce our grant to Veterans Scotland, as this project will address the knowledge gap that some policymakers and providers have about the Armed Forces charity sector in Scotland. This is an especially opportune moment to make this announcement as the project engages with the Change Mechanism of ‘influence and convening’ identified in the Activity Report by bringing policy makers and service providers together. I hope these Veterans Scotland events will act as a valuable catalyst to encourage further partnership working, collaboration and effective communication.”
We are grateful to Glasgow’s Helping Heroes for enabling the media facility at their centre in the heart of Glasgow.
Notes to Editors:
For further information, please contact David Cowin, Office and Communications Manager, Veterans Scotland on: firstname.lastname@example.org , tel 0131 550 1569 (office) or 07536 072 611 (mobile).
A media facility will be established at 12:30pm on Monday 19th June, at:
Glasgow’s Helping Heroes
SSAFA, The Armed Forces Charity
15-17 Duke Street
About Veterans Scotland
Veterans Scotland is an umbrella organisation with a membership of 72 Service and ex-Service charities and other organisations. It operates in Scotland and is a member of the Confederation of Service Charities.
More detail can be found at www.veteransscotland.co.uk
About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):
FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.
The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.
FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships.
All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub. A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.