I hope you all enjoyed participating in one Armed Forces Day (AFD) function or another. It is heartening to see the public supporting those who are in uniform and those who have served, both Regular and Reserve, as well as the Cadet Forces.
Among other activities on AFD, I attended the Bravehound Dog Show in Edinburgh; Bravehound provides training and dogs to support veterans and I was impressed by the relationship between veterans and their dogs, as well as the impressive capabilities of some dogs to provide emotional support and remarkable functional support and warnings of potential dangers to thier owners.
Bravehound has received grants from the Veterans’ Foundation in the past and I was able to have a look at their useful, dog-friendly minibus, adorned with the Veterans’ Foundation logo.
The Veterans’ Foundation supports other dog charities too such as Service Dogs UK, Veterans with Dogs and Canaine Partners for Independence and it is wonderful to see that the link between the soldier and dogs, so important on the battlefield, continues after service.
I was delighted also to meet Gary Seath from Forces Children Scotland and they are now in the process of submitting a bid for a grant through the Veterans’ Foundation’s online portal.
The Veterans’ Foundation supports people who are currently serving, including dependants if they have a need. Incidentally, we look forward to making practical and helpful changes to the online application process soon.
I also had the pleasure to meet Andrew McFarlane last week at the Dog Show; he was encouraging people to sign up to the Veterans' Lottery.
Not only do we have a very active online Veterans’ Foundation and Veterans’ Lottery capability, but there are a number of accredited sellers of the Veterans’ Lottery who meet the public around the country face-to-face and Andrew is one of them.
I am delighted that Andrew was having a successful day, attracting VL players from among the visitors to the Dog Show and I am pleased to report that he enjoys his job. If some of you are interested in being part of this Veterans’ Lottery team, please visit the 'Work For Us' page on the website.
Finally, the trustees awarded grants totalling about £1.2 million in June, covering the last quarter; we have given away £4.4 million in the last financial year, a wonderful total - thank YOU for supporting the Veterans’ Foundation and the Veterans’ Lottery as it really makes a difference to many people among the Armed Forces community who are, or have been, in need.
David Shaw - Founder & CEO, Veterans' Foundation