Funding shared between 16 projects

Veterans and ex-service charities across Scotland are to be supported with grant funding of £120,000 from this year’s Scottish Veterans Fund, Veterans Secretary Keith Brown has announced.

Established in 2008, the Scottish Veterans Fund has invested more than £700,000 and supported 87 projects that provide advice, help and support to the thousands of veterans leaving the armed forces.

While visiting Lady Haig Poppy Factory in Edinburgh, which have been awarded £2,200 from the fund, Mr Brown said: “We owe an enormous debt to all those who have served in our armed forces - they deserve, and should receive, the highest level of advice, support and care in return.

“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that no member of the armed forces, service family member or veteran in Scotland faces disadvantage when accessing services and support.

“This funding is further evidence of our wholehearted support for those who have and do serve in our armed forces. The majority of our 2,000 veterans leaving the armed forces and settling in Scotland each year integrate seamlessly. However, a small number experience difficulties in accessing some services and require additional support tailored to their needs. This money will provide even more resources to local and national organisations working to support our veterans.

“That is why the Scottish Government recognises, welcomes and supports the invaluable work and worth of organisations like Veterans Scotland and Poppy Scotland.”

Martin Gibson of Veterans Scotland said: “To date the Scottish Veterans Fund has improved the lives of many veterans and their families across Scotland. Veterans Scotland will continue to ensure that information on support and advice is readily available to help veterans of all ages, their families and those who strive to assist them; this will include building on the success of the roadshows throughout the country which enable engagement with local authorities, housing providers, health boards and practitioners, employers, other charities and community organisations.

“We very much appreciate the close working relationship we have with the Veterans Secretary and the Scottish Government and the way that this funding, which will act as a catalyst to develop services and support for veterans, both young and old, across Scotland, has come about.”

Charlie Pelling, Manager of The Lady Haig Poppy Factory said: “We are grateful for the award from the Scottish Veterans Fund. We believe it is important to educate young people in an engaging way about the history and the contemporary significance of the poppy, as well as the issues affecting those in the Armed Forces community. The funding will provide a welcome boost to our educational visit programme, which will be attended by more than 1,500 school pupils this year. It will enable us to host an interactive mobile museum as part of this activity, offering the pupils an opportunity to glimpse life as a young person during World War II. We hope that the young people’s experiences will inspire and encourage them to support the poppy and Poppyscotland’s work in the future.”