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08/04/20 10:00

New funding for veterans

Scottish Government steps in to help vital charities.

The Scottish Government has pledged £750,000 to support a group of veterans’ charities.

The Unforgotten Forces consortium, which is made up of 16 separate charities, will receive £250,000 each year for the next three years to help with their work.

The consortium, which is led by Poppyscotland and focuses on improving the health, wellbeing and quality of life for veterans aged 65 and older, was previously supported by the UK Government.

However, existing funding arrangements are due to cease at the end of June 2020.

Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans Graeme Dey has now agreed to provide the three year funding package to support the consortium.

In addition, he is writing to HM Treasury to request the UK Government makes a substantial contribution to the consortium to enable the continuation of its work.

Mr Dey said: “The work that these charities are doing for Scotland’s community of older veterans is having a remarkable and positive impact. As Minister for Veterans I have great admiration for them.

“In recognition of their efforts, the Scottish Government is providing £750,000 of funding so that they can continue to support our older veterans for a further three years.

“I am also calling on the UK Government to meet their responsibilities to veterans in Scotland by joining with us in providing further substantial funding to the Unforgotten Forces consortium.”

Poppyscotland Chief Executive Mark Bibbey said: “This new commitment from the Scottish Government will go a considerable way to ensuring our older veterans receive the support they desperately need in the years ahead and on behalf of the partner organisations I thank them for this generous award.

“Unforgotten Forces would not have come about without substantial funding from HM Treasury’s Aged Veteran Fund and it is our sincere hope that the ongoing discussions with the UK Government will result in the future of the consortium being secured.”

Background

The Unforgotten Forces consortium is funded by a grant from the Ministry of Defence Aged Veterans Fund which came about as a result of money being allocated by HM Treasury from fines levied on the banking industry for manipulating the LIBOR rate.

The consortium received confirmation in March 2017 that they would receive £4m of funding commencing in July 2017 and due to end in June 2020.

Services they support include free taxi journeys for older veterans for essential travel, financial support for basic household goods and mobility equipment, a confidential advice line and help for those suffering from social isolation.

For further information on the Unforgotten Forces consortium please visit www.poppyscotland.org.uk/get-help/unforgotten-forces