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Blog: Keeping forces friendships strong during COVID-19

Published on 17 November 2020 11:10 AM

“It’s a very good idea. After a good few months away, it can be hard to place the names with faces but it’s good to talk to people again.”

To help older members of the armed forces community stay connected at this difficult time and beyond, Age Scotland launched the ‘Comradeship Circles’ project.

Supported by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, Comradeship Circles gives people the chance to make new connections or keep in touch with their existing veterans group through a weekly phone call.

Rachel Connor, Age Scotland’s comradeship circles co-ordinator, says:

“Over the last three years through our Veterans Project, we’ve been inspired by the care and support members of the veterans community give each other – the comradeship they share is truly a bond of friendship beyond what is typical in civilian life.

“During the coronavirus outbreak, many veterans’ charities and community groups have created opportunities for veterans to enjoy comradeship using video-conferencing apps. Our big concern is for those older veterans who are unable or prefer not to use the internet, and so miss out on these opportunities.

"Through Comradeship Circles they can now enjoy banter and share memories of military life by phone, in groups of up to six for about an hour, at the same time and on the same day each week. One of our facilitators will be on hand just in case, but mostly will leave to the veterans to speak to each other.”

Veterans aged 50 and older, including regulars, reservists, national service men and merchant seafarers who have been part of a UK military operation, can register to join with a call to the Age Scotland helpline 0800 12 44 222. Veterans’ spouses, widows and widowers may also join.

Age Scotland would also like to hear from community groups interested in partnering to establish a dedicated Comradeship Circle for older veterans they work with. Email Rachel at veteransproject@agescotland.org.uk.

Advantage Magazine

Advantage is the Age Scotland magazine that provides information, inspiration and ideas to empower Scotland's older people, their families and carers.

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