A fund that helps a wide range of projects to support veterans is now open for applications.
The Scottish Veterans Fund will support Veterans and ex-service charities with £600,000 of funding over the next three years, including a three-year £240,000 contribution from Standard Life to support veterans employment.
The fund will continue to help one-year projects, but for the first time applicants will now also be able to bid for 2 or 3 year funding to enable more strategic projects to come forward.
Speaking at an Enterprise ‘Talk Oot’ that supports veterans and forces families in the their enterprise journey, Veterans Minister Keith Brown said: “Veterans are an asset to our society and deserve the highest level of advice, support and care. 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.
“We are aware, however, of the difficulties faced by a small number of veterans in accessing some services and are committed to tackling this head on. The Scottish Veterans Fund supports a wide range of projects aimed at doing just that.
“I’m particularly grateful to Standard Life for their commitment to this next round of funding, which alongside the largest commitment from the Scottish Government to date, brings the total available to £600,000 over three years.
“I am delighted to announce that the Fund is now open to applicants. For the first time, applicants can also bid for two or three year funding to support more strategic projects. The Scottish Veterans Commissioner will now head up a new independent panel to examine bids and we and Standard Life look forward to seeing his recommendations based on a strong set of applications from projects across Scotland.”
Colonel Martin Gibson, Executive Chairman of Veterans Scotland, said: “We welcome the continued support to ex-Service charities and other organisations from the Scottish Veterans Fund and we recognise the benefits that such grants can bring for individuals.
“The potential to have funding over a two to three year period means that a number of initiatives will be able to become well established and make a real difference to those, comparatively few, veterans who really need support.
“I anticipate many Service leavers finding meaningful and worthwhile employment as a result of the short to medium term initiatives that will come about as a result of this funding. In turn, they will bring their considerable skills and attributes into the work place in Scotland. We are grateful to the Scottish Government and to Standard Life for their generous contribution.”
Sandy Begbie, Chief People Officer, Standard Life, said: “People leaving the armed forces have highly transferable skills and talent that businesses and our wider communities can’t afford to waste. We employ many ex-service personnel and we know from experience the value they bring to our business. But when trying to make an effective transition into civilian life and alternative careers, some often face barriers that make it difficult.
“That’s why we’ve joined this funding initiative and the projects it will support, to help more veterans make a positive transition and get the right jobs, which will benefit us all.”
Applications forms are available on both the Scottish Government and Veterans Scotland websites and applications to the Scottish Veterans Fund should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 2pm on Friday, January 20, 2017.