Researchers from University of the West of Scotland (UWS) have joined forces with a consortium of 14 other organisations to review and enhance the support available to Scotland’s ex-Service personnel.
‘Unforgotten Forces’ is a three-year project which aims to evaluate and improve the care and support available to ex-Servicemen and Servicewomen over the age of 65, and involves some of Scotland’s leading organisations, including lead partner Poppyscotland, Defence Medical Welfare Service, and Legion Scotland as well as many other charitable organisations.
Researchers from the university are working closely with veterans and care providers to better understand Scotland’s current care provision, undertaking action-based research and delivering findings to lead partner Poppyscotland every six months. It is hoped these findings will support the project in developing services to better meet the needs of Scotland’s older veterans.
A number of UWS researchers have been involved in the project, which has been supported by a £4 million grant awarded by The Aged Veterans Fund funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds. The research team consists of Dr Liz Frondigoun, Dr Ross Campbell, Dr Murray Leith, Dr Allan Moore, Dr Rob Smith, John Sturgeon and Linda Thomas.
Dr Liz Frondigoun, project lead and senior lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at UWS, said: “As we get older, we unfortunately lose the close connections in our personal support network, which is why social and health care for the elderly is so important. We’ve found that some of Scotland’s veterans feel they must ‘make do’ and deal with issues such as loneliness because they are unaware of the services available to them.
“Unforgotten Forces isn’t just about evaluating the current work these organisations are doing, but also how we can spread the reach of these services to benefit those who have given so much for our country.”
Gary Gray, head of Welfare Services at Poppyscotland, said: “Having commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the end of the First World War, the welfare of our veterans is at the forefront of many people’s minds. The research group will be asking for feedback from those using the services throughout the process, ensuring we are delivering exactly the support that our ex-Service personnel need.”
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