Total granted in 2018-19 - £72,876
In 2018-19 there were five projects providing access to services, for example by helping the veterans community get to medical appointments or social activities or by providing advice and guidance with benefits, housing and health related issues. Across the project reports there has been a real theme of collaboration between partners, in particular other Scottish Veterans Fund supported projects.
Lothians Veterans Centre
The Lothians Veterans Centre (LVC) provides a wide range of services including support and guidance on a range of issues, social and sporting activities, and a drop in centre where they run a bacon roll morning every Friday. A grant from the Scottish Veterans Fund allowed them to establish new pop up cafés for veterans from across the Lothians in order to improve their social inclusion, health, and wellbeing.
Eric Smith is in his 80s and is a LVC regular, visiting the centre several times a week by bus from his home in Colinton. Eric has received extensive support from the LVC and partner organisations with housing and benefits advice and with repair and maintenance of his home. The LVC have recently worked with Legion Scotland to find Eric a regular befriender to visit him at home.
Fares 4 Free
Fares 4 Free (F4F) is a charity that engages taxi drivers and taxi companies to give free fares to help veterans and their families access essential services and combat social isolation.
Since receiving funding from the Scottish Veterans Fund to employ an additional part-time Operations Co-ordinator, F4F have increased the number of taxi companies they work with from 19 to 33, therefore being able to cover the vast majority of Scotland. During 2018-19 they helped over 284 veterans, made 2,410 trips, drove 34,000 miles and saved veterans or service charities £62,000 in taxi fares.
The service F4F provides is a real enabler for veterans and other service providers alike.
Fares 4 Free - Grant £15,000
“Fares 4 Free is an invaluable service, not only for the pick-up of clients who are showing concern regarding travel, but also the experienced and gentle assistance F4F provides in reassuring clients while they travel to HorseBack UK.”
Lynn Artesse, HorseBack UK
“The veterans themselves have nothing but praise for the service F4F provide, and we are very thankful for it; as are they. It is collaborative efforts like this that help enable more veterans to access help.”
Andy Smith, Combat Stress (North)
“The fact that I can call on Fares 4 Free wherever I am throughout Scotland is reassuring, and the professionalism and attention to detail provided by F4F, and any of the taxi firms that are part of the service, is second to none. I would be lost without this service!”
Gerry McGregor, Help for Heroes