Annual Review 2012/13
Since 1945, there has only been one year in which there have been no deaths on active service – 1968 – and the last decade in particular has been a period of intense military operations. The nature of Service life is unique and some veterans struggle to adjust to civilian life on leaving the military environment which, in many cases, has provided them with great purpose and structure in their lives.
The vast majority of people leaving the Armed Forces do so easily and smoothly and they thrive in civilian life. For others, the transition is not so seamless and they have to deal with a multitude of issues. They may have to cope with physical or mental health problems, or they may not be able to find the right house or job or know how to manage their finances. Sometimes life is alright for a while but then things spiral downwards, leaving them isolated and troubled. That’s where we step in. Whether someone left the Forces last week or 30 years ago, if they need help we will be here to give them a helping hand.
2012/13 was a successful year for Poppyscotland. We made great strides forward in providing support to the most vulnerable members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland. Some highlights included the opening of a brand new welfare centre in Inverness, which is delivering advice, information and support to the Armed Forces community living in the North of Scotland. We introduced three new employment services and we expanded our successful Armed Services Advice Project, a partnership between Poppyscotland and Citizens Advice Scotland. Partnership working is important to Poppyscotland as it enables us to work with specialist organisations who are experts in their field. This means we achieve synergies, avoid duplication of work and ensure that our beneficiaries receive the very best support available.
The general public, our supporters and volunteers got fully behind us once again and their hands-on support, as always, has been tremendous, whether it was by putting money in a poppy tin, organising a collection, entering our raffle, taking part in an event or simply engaging with us on social media.
The 2012 Scottish Poppy Appeal held up well. Although 1.7% down on the 2011 total we are extremely pleased with the result. The economic environment has been difficult and, for many, money has been tight. We have greatly appreciated, and are very grateful for, the strong, continuing support the Scottish public has given us. There is substantial demand on our services and without the Appeal we could not deliver the vital services that our beneficiaries need and deserve. Ex-Servicemen and women still need our support and we still need your support.
Our volunteers do a wonderful job and we thank each and every one of them; members or Branches of the Royal British Legion Scotland, community organisations, groups of friends or individual members of the public. We pass on our sincere thanks to them and to you. We are making a real difference to the lives of those we seek to help. I hope you will enjoy and find interesting our Annual Review, which will tell you in more detail exactly how we are making that difference.
Chief Executive, Poppyscotland