Poppyscotland Welfare Services Enhancement

In recent years, Poppyscotland has undertaken to develop and grow its welfare offering for the Armed Forces community across Scotland.  This has seen us establish two welfare centres, in Inverness and Kilmarnock, significantly grow the Armed Services Advice Project to 11 regions, taking in 23 of the 32 local authorities in Scotland, whilst also further developing our core offering in the areas of grants and employment.  The introduction of Breaks Services and the Employ-Able programme, in collaboration with The Royal British Legion and the Scottish Association for Mental Health respectively, are examples of this.

Given the ever-changing landscape that we work in we are keen that we do not rest on our laurels and that we continue to develop our welfare offering with the beneficiary at the heart of it so that they have the best possible experience of their engagement with Poppyscotland.  With this in mind, we are introducing the creation of our new Welfare Support Service.

The genesis for the introduction of this new service goes back to Poppyscotland’s merger with the Royal British Legion in 2011 where one of the key drivers for the merger was to equalise the welfare offering no matter where the beneficiary was domiciled.  In establishing this new service Poppyscotland and the Royal British Legion have worked collaboratively which has enabled Poppyscotland to benefit from the experience of the Royal British Legion whilst taking into account the local nuances that exist across Scotland.  Our aims are to ensure that our beneficiaries receive the most appropriate support for their needs and in a timeous manner.

The new Welfare Support Service, which will have a National capability, will be delivered by staff who are equipped and trained to support individuals and families who may have multiple and complex needs.  Our ongoing commitment to partnership working will be at the very heart of the new service which will be developed in collaboration with key stakeholders to ensure that the service complements and bolsters existing services.  We envisage that the service, which will be introduced using a phased approach, will be fully operational in Summer 2019.  Over the coming weeks and months we will be recruiting to a new Deputy Head of Welfare Services (Welfare Support) position as well as Welfare Support Officers (4) and Independent Living Advisers (2).

The introduction of the Welfare Support Service will be of benefit to not only Poppyscotland but will further embed our ethos of partnership working with organisations such as SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity and the Armed Services Advice Project, amongst many others.  In doing so we will maximise the resource available, providing clear referral pathways that will allow us to work collaboratively and efficiently to provide support where it is needed most.

If you, or your colleagues involved in welfare delivery, would like to know more about this new service then please get in touch with Gary Gray, Head of Welfare Services, Poppyscotland on 0131 5501593 or g.gray@poppyscotland.org.uk.

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