0131 550 1561 office@veteransscotland.org.uk

Partnership supporting older veterans gets funding boost

Unforgotten Forces, the partnership of armed forces and civilian charities, who deliver high quality and joined-up support for ex-service men and women over the age of 60 in Scotland, has received a £950,000 investment from the Scottish Government.  This funding will help improve the health and wellbeing of older veterans in Scotland over the next three years, until March 2026.

Graeme Dey MSP, the Scottish Government Minister for Veterans said: “I am always impressed by the vital support provided by the veterans’ charitable sector here in Scotland, their hard work, and their dedication. I am delighted that we are able to continue to fund the excellent work of the Unforgotten Forces consortium.”

Working with its partner charities, Unforgotten Forces offers support for ex-servicemen and women which is matched to each person’s individual needs.

For instance, partners Fares4Free and Defence Medical Welfare Services recently joined forces to help 91-year-old Royal Air Force veteran Patrick through a period of medical treatment, with DMWS arranging for Fares4Free to escort Patrick to his appointments.

Fares4Free operations manager Leon Fisher said: “Our drivers being there to offer support, reassurance and then take him home safely afterwards made the world of difference to Patrick. They built up a great rapport with him.”

Collaboration also benefited Paul, a disabled and widowed Army veteran who lives alone, is in poor health and has a low income.

“When our Veterans Community Support Officer met him, he was quite distressed,” said Legion Scotland’s Tommy Douglas. “He’d been told SSAFA was arranging a new cooker for him, but he was getting anxious that it might have been a scam, so we got in touch with SSAFA and confirmed everything was in order and the cooker would soon arrive.”

Because of his dyslexia Paul had misunderstood official letters and as a result had his benefits stopped. “We got the situation sorted out and his benefits were reinstated,” said Tommy. Paul has been introduced to a Legion Scotland Unforgotten Forces volunteer, and fellow Queens Own Highlander. “Our volunteer makes regular social visits and can help Paul with reading his mail whenever required,” said Tommy.

You can find out more about what services and support is available for older veterans from Unforgotten Forces by calling the Age Scotland helpline on 0800 12 44 222 or go to  www.unforgottenforces.scot.  The Unforgotten Forces partnership is made up of: Age ScotlandArmed Services Advice ProjectBlesma: The limbless veteransCombat StressDefence Medical Welfare ServicesErskineFares4FreeFighting with PrideILM HighlandLegion ScotlandLuminatePoppyscotlandRAF AssociationSSAFAScottish Older People’s AssemblyScottish Men’s Sheds AssociationSight Scotland VeteransVeterans Tribe Scotland