Poppyscotland among veteran groups sharing in £4m grant

Image source, Poppyscotland
Image caption,
The money will be spend on support services for older veterans

A group of organisations, led by the charity Poppyscotland, has been awarded £4m to help support older veterans and their families.

Unforgotten Forces, a collaboration of 14 different bodies, applied for funding from the UK Treasury's Aged Veterans Fund.

Grants come from money gathered from UK banks in Libor fines.

The three-year funding programme is also boosted by input from financial services company Standard Life.

The money will be used to improve the coordination of existing provision for older veterans and introduce new services.

The Aged Veterans Fund uses cash from fines imposed on the banking industry for rigging the Libor benchmark interest rate.

Poppyscotland want to boost their advice provision, offer transport to health appointment and tackle issues like loneliness and isolation through befriending, respite breaks and a newly created day centre.

Image source, Poppyscotland

Mark Bibbey, chief executive at Poppyscotland, said: "We want people to understand that key organisations in the area of support provision have joined forces to provide a more holistic provision for aged veterans.

"If a veteran is engaged with one organisation, for example, they can immediately be referred to another - or multiple consortium members if required. The essence is strength in numbers and we want the identity of our consortium to reflect this.

"The 2014 Poppyscotland Household Survey numbered Scotland's Aged Veterans community at approximately 280,000, with almost two-thirds of those aged 65 or over. It highlighted the need to improve the wellbeing of this group in areas such as care, loneliness, social isolation and recreational activity, and to ensure access to advice on a wide range of subjects in order to ensure an improved quality of life.

"Poppyscotland's strategy has been to build a wide portfolio of complementary activity and to work in partnership with like-minded organisations to provide enhanced and well-defined services."

UK Defence Minister Mark Lancaster added: "Our veterans have given so much for their country, and the Aged Veterans Fund is a way of us thanking our older veterans and ensuring they are cared for in later life."

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