Almost 15,000 veterans helped by support service

Newsrelease-image1asap at work (1)

The Armed Services Advice Project has been called a "real success story".

13th August 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A support service has helped almost 15,000 armed forces veterans since being set up less than a decade ago.

The Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP) was launched in 2010 with funding from Poppyscotland and a range of armed forces charities.

Working in partnership with the Scottish Association of Citizens Advice Bureau (CAS), ASAP offers specialist guidance on issues including benefits, debt, housing and employment.

The service operates in 11 regions of the country and it is estimated that for every £1 of funding received, there is a client financial gain of £4.05.

CAS chief executive Derek Mitchell called the project a “real success story”.

He said: “The Scottish Citizens Advice network is there to offer advice and advocacy on behalf of everyone in Scotland, and we are proud that for almost a decade now we have run the specialist Armed Services Advice Project.

“Members of the forces and their families make tremendous sacrifices for their communities and their country. The least we can do is play our part in ensuring they get the advice and support they need.”

One veteran who has benefitted from the service is Peter Duff, from Stirling.

Mr Duff, who served in the Royal Engineers, was medically discharged after being injured in 1964. He had served for much of his time in Germany and settled there once he had left the forces.

On his return to Scotland, he found himself struggling to make ends meet until ASAP established he was eligible for a war pension.

He said: “(ASAP) has really helped me out of the bad financial situation I was in. It means that I can now pay my bills and buy the food that we need.

“The help is out there, and the Armed Services Advice Project can support veterans like me. I am more than certain that if it had not been for ASAP I would not have been where I am today.”

Gary Gray, the head of welfare services at Poppyscotland, said veterans face many specific challenges when they transition to civilian life.

“We know access to tailored information, advice and support is vitally important, and ASAP has made a massive difference to the lives of thousands of veterans and their families over the course of the past nine years,” he said.

“Since taking the service national, we have helped a total of 14,793 clients with almost 80,000 new and repeat issues.”

ASAP can be contacted via their helpline on 0808 800 1007 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or online at www.adviceasap.org.uk/.