News

Cabinet Secretary helps launch special centenary poppy

Keith Brown MSP visited Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory, in Edinburgh, earlier today to help launch a stunning new commemorative poppy, which will be distributed and worn during the 2018 Scottish Poppy Appeal.

As part of the leading Armed Forces charity’s programme of activity to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, Poppyscotland has commissioned a Centenary Poppy, which has the text “1918-2018” embossed in gold across the traditional and iconic red paper poppy. It will be the first change to the poppy in decades.

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AFF welcomes support for Service pupils in Wales

The Army Families Federation (AFF) is delighted to hear that a new £200,000 fund to support Service families in Wales has been announced by the Welsh Government. In 2017, the charity sent a detailed brief, on families’ behalf, to the Education Minister Kirsty Williams, highlighting the need for targeted pupil funding for Armed Forces children in Wales, and they are pleased to see that this important issue has now been recognised.

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Written Statement – Support for the Armed Forces in Wales

Alun Davies, Cabinet Secretary for Local Government & Public Services:
I am publishing my assessment of the benefits and value of appointing an Armed Forces Commissioner for Wales. This follows my commitment during Plenary on 29 November, to meet with the Cross-Party Group for Armed Forces and Cadets and make an informed decision following the meeting.

Having met with the Cross-Party Group and considered the work being undertaken in Wales, and across the UK and beyond, I set out my decision below;

A tremendous amount of progress has been made in Wales over the last two years. Working closely with the Armed Forces Expert Group, we have delivered on key areas.

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Help for Heroes highlights the needs of wounded Veterans to Defence Secretary

Veterans’ mental health and the needs of the Very Seriously Injured and Brain Injured were among the issues raised by Help for Heroes on the Secretary of State for Defence’s first visit to one of the charity’s Recovery Centres, Tedworth House, on Monday.

The meeting comes a week before Help for Heroes appears before the Defence Select Committee, alongside other charity partners, as part of its inquiry into the mental health of Veterans and Serving Personnel. In written evidence to the Committee, the Charity raised concerns about MOD data collection in relation to mental health, as well as concerns with the MOD model of care which only allows for 6 months of treatment through the Departments of Community Mental Health (DCMH) before responsibility for care is passed to the NHS.

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Government urged to make changes to end homelessness among ex-Servicemen and women

New research commissioned by Stoll and Riverside, released today [Tuesday 6th March] at an event at the House of Lords, highlights how some vulnerable ex-Service personnel in crisis are not accessing support services resulting in homelessness after leaving the Armed Forces.

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) funded research, conducted by York University, found that of participating veterans, many experienced inconsistent quality of advice on transitioning from Service and inadequate support from Local Housing Authorities in the years after leaving service, many of whom did not identify the specialist support available to veterans.

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Veterans Spouses encouraged to register as deadline looming

Under the UK Armed Forces Covenant, in April 2016 the government Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) inroduced a National Insurance credits initiative aimed to support spouses or civil partners who accompanied their UK Armed Forces husband / wife / civil partner on an overseas posting and whose ability to be gain fully employed was limited.

UK Armed Forces spouses or civil partners National Insurance credits deadline end March 2018.

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Help for Heroes secures inquiry into Veterans Mental Health

The Defence Select Committee has announced it will be scrutinising Veterans mental health support this year, after Help for Heroes raised concerns in November last year.

In a letter to the Chair, Dr Julian Lewis, the Charity highlighted the issue of inadequate funding for NHS trusts who are finding their excellent work with Veterans and their families is being hindered by a lack of funding from central Government.

Head of Psychological Wellbeing, Karen Mead, welcomed the announcement saying: “Almost 500 individuals were discharged in 2016/17 with mental health issues – this has increased by 90% since 2012.

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Armed Forces Covenant annual report 2017

The sixth Armed Forces Covenant annual report has been presented to parliament, showing good progress on providing support for the Armed Forces Community.

The Covenant is a promise from the nation ensuring that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

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Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 12 steps to take now

This checklist highlights 12 steps you can take now to prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will apply from 25 May 2018.

Many of the GDPR’s main concepts and principles are much the same as those in the current Data Protection Act (DPA), so if you are complying properly with the current law then most of your approach to compliance will remain valid under the GDPR and can be the starting point to build from. However, there are new elements and significant enhancements, so you will have to do some things for the first time and some things differently.

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SSAFA adopted families celebrate Christmas at 10 Downing Street

Christmas came early on Monday, when the doors of 10 Downing Street were opened for a special Children’s Party.

Joining the festive celebrations were two military families who adopted through SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

Attendees included an Army veteran and his partner and a RAF family. Both couples adopted two siblings, a boy and a girl in 2014 and have continued to be supported by SSAFA’s Post-Adoption Support service. The children are aged 7, 8, 9 and 10 years old.

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