A consortium of organisations, led by Poppyscotland, was awarded £4 million from the Aged Veterans Fund to undertake a three-year programme of support for older veterans and their families in Scotland.
Unforgotten Forces, a collaboration of 14 leading organisations, will deliver a range of new services and enhancements in areas including advice, access to healthcare, social isolation, respite, along with creative activities and events for those in care settings.
Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be working with Poppyscotland over the next three years to provide life-changing information and support for veterans across Scotland who are aged over 65 and have tinnitus or hearing loss.
“Our new service will give veterans essential advice before they are fitted with hearing aids and then provide hearing aid maintenance and re-tubing support as well as vital information about assistive equipment which can make everyday life better for people with hearing loss or tinnitus.”
Mark Bibbey, Chief Executive at Poppyscotland, said: “The 2014 Poppyscotland Household Survey numbered Scotland’s Aged Veterans community at approximately 280,000, with almost two-thirds (64 per cent) 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 Minister for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel, Mark Lancaster MP, 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.”