Citizens Advice Scotland’s Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP) is teaming up with Police Scotland to provide more support for vulnerable veterans across Scotland.
Under a new partnership launched today Police Scotland will now refer vulnerable veterans on to the ASAP, so the project can help even more people get the support they need.
CAS Chair Dominic Notarangelo says:
“ASAP’s expertise, and the holistic nature of the Citizens Advice service, covering almost every community in Scotland, fits well with Police Scotland’s approach of continuing to support people and communities locally. And as vulnerable veterans are a hard-to-reach group, who often have reservations about coming forward to ask for help, the fact Police are able to act as an intermediary to put us in touch is a great stride forward.
“It’s a true example of smarter working between organisations. The expertise and facilities were all in place, and now we have a working partnership. It will help police to keep people safe, and allow us to reach out and help more vulnerable veterans, making sure they get the support they need and deserve.
“We will operate through a phoneline based at Citizens Advice Direct, our telephone helpline. Using this facility in conjunction with 9 regional support officers means we can deliver a whole range advice, suited to the needs of clients. CAD handled 400,000 calls during the last 12 months, and is a modern, accessible service, available to everyone in Scotland.”
Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick says:
“We know that the vast majority of veterans leave the army and make successful transitions to civilian life. In fact, many go on to have successful careers in the police. However, for a small number, a lot of extra support is needed. Police Scotland officers come across people in a range of situations, and if we assess them to potentially be vulnerable, we will now ask them if they have ever served with the armed forces and refer them onto ASAP. Hopefully, ASAP can then offer them the help and support they need to get onto an even keel.
“Now that we are able to offer services nationally, it has made the introduction of this partnership very smooth, and we have issued standard practices that all officers should follow, wherever they are in the country.”
Poppyscotland Chief Executive Ian McGregor says:
“Early intervention is at the heart of all Poppyscotland’s welfare services. This new partnership between Police Scotland and ASAP means we can identify and offer support at a much earlier stage to vulnerable veterans coming into contact with the police. ASAP is a project we are extremely proud to fund, and we are sure this partnership will add to its valuable work.”
The Armed Service Advice Project helpline is 0845 231 0300.
Notes to editors - click to expand/collapse
More information on the Armed Services Advice Project is available on the project’s website at http://www.adviceasap.org.uk/. The service is delivered by Citizens Advice Bureau services and funded by Poppyscotland. ASAP provides free advice to military veterans in Scotland, and takes a holistic view of any issue a veteran may have, which may include debt and money troubles, housing problems, relationship breakdowns and understanding welfare benefits.