Scotland’s leading armed forces charity has offered support to dozens of veterans across the north as officials mark a successful first year for the scheme.
Poppyscotland has supported around 59 people in the north and north- east since the launch of their Welfare Support Service last year.
Across Scotland, a total of 340 individuals have accessed the service over the last 12 months, resulting in 990 visits.
People have received support on a wide range of issues including finance, mental health, isolation and homelessness.
A Royal Navy veteran has described how the service has changed the lives of him and his family forever after 27 years’ service left him with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and feeling “worthless.”
He said: “This time last year I thought I was worthless, that nobody cared.
“It was a bitter pill to swallow that in my own personal time of need, there appeared, at that time, to be no-one there for me.
“But, oh my how, that has changed. I will be eternally grateful to Poppyscotland. I wish I knew how to say ‘thank you’ more, as alone it feels inadequate. I’m blown away. I truly am. I cannot begin to explain how much this will improve the lives of my family and I.”
Poppyscotland launched its innovative Welfare Support Service in June last year with aims of transforming the aid available to the armed forces community.
The service is delivered by four welfare support officers alongside two Independent Living Advisers, each working with a geographical area, tailoring the needs of each individual in turn.
Laura Gavin, Poppyscotland’s Welfare Support Officer covering Highlands, Islands, Moray and Grampian said: “The introduction of the Welfare Support Service was a significant step for Poppyscotland’s Welfare Services.
“Fast forward nine months of delivery and the constraints of Covid-19 where all visits were halted. Despite the restrictions, our dedicated team has been able to develop new methods of contact and we have been creative in how we support individuals with their complex needs, resulting in many positive outcomes.”