A DUMBARTON organisation which supports veterans and their families through life challenges has received funding from the Ross and Liddell community bursary scheme.
Armed Forces Veterans Association Dumbarton is a recipient of the property management company’s fifth bursary programme, which provides support to organisations all over Scotland.
The group assists anyone, of any age, who has served in the Armed Forces at any point in their life and also helps families to overcome difficulties.
Volunteers – many of whom are veterans themselves – provide support across a wide range of areas. Projects include helping people find employment, offering practical and emotional support after marriage breakups, assisting in finding accommodation, relieving the negative impact of social isolation, and directing individuals to where to find help and advice on benefits.
The association has been running from its office base on platform two at Dumbarton railway station since 2013. The funding received from Ross and Liddell will be used to purchase office equipment, including a printer, which will help the team design and produce marketing materials to raise awareness of the services provided by the association.
Chief executive officer Paul Cross said:
“We are here to help people through problems they encounter in life. If we can’t provide advice and practical help on a subject or a situation, we will direct people to where they can go for help.
“This funding will help us to develop the service we provide. It’s important that we get the message out there about what we do. A lot of people still think that veterans have to be over a certain age but that’s not the case. We need to let people of all ages who have served in the Armed Forces know that we can help them.
“The people and families we work with become our friends and it’s important to us that we do the very best for anyone who comes to see us for help. Seeing people we have helped go forward in life is just fantastic and gives everyone in the team a real buzz.”
The Dumbarton branch of the association – set up by John Ferris in 2009 – also sells books, toys and ornaments which have been kindly donated by members of the public, and has assembled a collection of memorabilia.
It’s also aiming to put all volunteers through relevant counselling and training courses – including bereavement and marriage guidance – in 2016.
Ross and Liddell specialises in property management and maintenance, as well as providing a comprehensive range of residential and commercial services, including sales, lettings, surveying and insurance.
Now in its fifth year, the Community Bursary Scheme was launched to provide support to organisations that make a vital difference in their community.
Armed Forces Veterans Association Dumbarton is one of 31 groups to receive funding in this bursary year.
Irene Devenny, managing director of Ross and Liddell, said:
“The bursary has really gone from strength to strength and the number of entries that we received for the 2015 scheme was fantastic.
“It’s so important that organisations like Armed Forces Veterans Association Dumbarton have access to funding sources to ensure ex-services personnel get the help and support they need to overcome problems in their lives.
“We are thrilled to offer our support and know that the funding will be put to good use.”
The Dumbarton station office is open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. To find out more, visit www.facebook.com/Armed-Forces-Veterans-Association-Dumbarton