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Coronavirus and Older Veterans

Veterans’ charities and support services have adapted in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have put together information about the different type of support available to older people who have served in HM's Armed Forces.

Who is entitled to support from veterans’ charities and services?

If you have served, and received pay for, one or more days in HM Armed Forces, you will be considered a veteran by the UK and Scottish Government.  Many veterans’ charities and services also apply that definition.  Veterans can be regulars, reservists, national servicemen and merchant mariners who have supported a UK military operation.

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What practical support is being offered to older veterans during the outbreak?

A huge effort is underway to ensure those older veterans who need help with groceries and prescriptions receive it.  Fares4Free, which provides transport solutions for veterans, is co-ordinating and enabling much of this in partnership with a range of charities and services.

https://www.fares4free.org/

 

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What other wellbeing support is available to older veterans?

Charities including Legion Scotland, Sight Scotland VeteransRAF Association and Age Scotland continue to offer befriending to isolated older veterans, by phone and online.  Combat Stress offers remote mental health and wellbeing support, regardless of whether a concern is or isn’t related to service, or whether a mental health condition has or has not been diagnosed.  

https://www.combatstress.org.uk/

https://www.legionscotland.org.uk/befriending

https://sightscotland.org.uk/veterans/about-us 

https://www.rafa.org.uk/operation-connect/

Age Scotland Comradeship Circles service

 

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How have veterans’ charities and services overall changed in response to the crisis?

Age Scotland belongs to Unforgotten Forces, a partnership of charities working together to support veterans in later life.  Some partnership services, for example welfare holiday breaks, have stopped due to the outbreak.  However, many services continue to be offered remotely.  Service provision updates can be found on the Unforgotten Forces website.

www.unforgottenforces.scot

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What is Age Scotland doing to support older veterans?
Age Scotland invites older veterans to enjoy forces friendships by joining a Comradeship Circle.  A Comradeship Circle is an opportunity to enjoy a weekly chat with a group of other veterans by phone. It’s for any veteran of the British Armed Forces aged 50 or over and their partners, widows or widowers. This includes all branches and forces, from regulars to reservists and National Servicemen. The service is funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.

To find out more and to sign-up call the Age Scotland helpline on 0800 12 44 222.  Our helpline also offers information and advice, and our team of advisers has been trained in veterans’ matters.  Where helpful and requested, we can share information with relevant Unforgotten Forces partners and arrange for them to contact an older veteran to offer further support.
 

Age Scotland publishes a suite of advice guides for older veterans, including our new 2020 edition of the Veterans Guide to Later Life. You can find these in the Supporting Older Veterans section of our website.

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Age Scotland's Helpline

It can be hard to know where to turn for advice. If there's something we can help with or you're not sure where to turn, contact our helpline today. Call us Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm on 0800 12 44 222 or email us

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