New £500,000 fund opens to help former Armed Forces personnel

New £500,000 fund opens to help former Armed Forces personnel

Keith Brown

A veterans support fund is now open to help improve the lives of former service personnel and their families.

A key priority for this year’s Scottish Veterans Fund is to make sure veterans and their families are supported in response to the ongoing cost of living crisis.

The fund will also target support for veterans who have left the Services early, as well as promoting collaboration between both veterans charities and non-veterans organisations.

Since the Scottish Government created the fund in 2008 almost 200 individual projects have been supported, receiving more than £2.3 million. In 2021, the annual funding provided was more than doubled to £500,000, with individual projects now able to bid for up to £50,000 a year.

Cabinet secretary for justice and veterans, Keith Brown, said: “Scotland’s veterans community has given a great deal to society and it is right that we do all we can to provide the best possible care and support when they return to civilian life.

“It is important that the fund responds to issues that veterans are currently facing and this year we are looking to support projects that will help veterans and their families through the cost of living crisis.

“We will continue to target projects that provide new and innovative approaches to aiding our veterans community. In particular, bids that promote collaboration within and between the veterans charity sector and other non-veterans organisations, as well as support for early service leavers, are being prioritised.”

Scottish veterans commissioner Susie Hamilton, who chairs the independent panel that assesses bids for the Fund, said: “I am delighted to see the continuation of this support to those leaving the Service, veterans and their families. The priorities of supporting vulnerable early service leavers and those most affected by the current cost crisis are particularly welcome and important in the current difficult circumstances. Organisations working together can produce a powerful impact, so I hope to see collaboration and partnerships feature in this year’s applications.

“We all benefit when veterans and their families are able to prosper after military service and I look forward to seeing the range of bids that will be put forward to help make that happen.”

The Scottish Veterans Fund is due to close on 19 November 2022.

Bids received for the Scottish Veterans Fund are assessed by an independent panel which is selected and chaired by the Scottish veterans commissioner.

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