Scotland’s war heroes urged to get the help they need

citizens advice scotlandCitizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is urging people in Scotland’s military community to make use of its specialist Armed Service Advice Project (ASAP) in 2016.

Launched in 2010, ASAP identifies the most common areas of difficulty facing returning veterans which include low income, employment and housing.

A report detailing the success of the project found that it has helped 7,342 people in Scotland, with more than 32,000 issues.

The project has helped these clients gain more than £5 million in total, e.g. by getting them benefits they were missing out on, compensation, or grants they were entitled to.

Throughout the 5-year period, the top five issues presented by ASAP clients were benefits (41 per cent), debt (18 per cent), finances (9 per cent), housing (7 per cent) and employment (7 per cent).

Client feedback has shown that 87 per cent of ASAP clients report ‘improved peace of mind’, and 95 per cent rated the project as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. As well as being effective, ASAP is cost-effective, with a £3.54 return for every £1 invested.

Claire Williams, the co-ordinator of ASAP, said: “Our Armed Service Advice Project is for anyone in the military community in Scotland who is having any kind of problem. We know that the vast majority don’t need any help, but we are here for the small number who do. Anyone in any of the armed services can get our advice, whether they are serving now or a veteran, and we offer help to their families as well. Like all CAB services ASAP advice is free and completely confidential.

“We are extremely proud of what this project has achieved over the last five years. By linking the advice skills of the CAB service with the expertise of Scotland’s military charities we have made a real difference to over 7,300 people, putting a total of £5m back into their pockets. But we know there are many more service personnel out there who need help, and we want them to come forward and get our support in 2016.”


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