The SNP Government has pledged £750,000 to support veterans’ charities.
The Unforgotten Forces consortium of 16 separate charities, will receive £250,000 each year for the next three years.
The consortium, led by Poppyscotland focuses on improving the health, wellbeing and quality of life for veterans aged 65 and older. It was previously supported by the UK Government. However, those funding arrangements are due to cease at the end of June 2020.
Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans Graeme Dey MSP therefore offered the three year funding package to support the consortium. In addition, he has written 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 SNPGovernment is providing £750,000 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 added:
“This new commitment 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 the SNP Government 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.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“We all recognise the contribution veterans have made to our safety and society and so the SNP Government’s £750,000 to keep veterans charities in Scotland going is very welcome.
“These charities provide valuable community support, such as 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. Long may their good work continue!”
For further information on the Unforgotten Forces consortium please visit: www.poppyscotland.org.uk/get-help/unforgotten-forces .