Legion Scotland to raise funds for ex-servicemen and women

Veteran John Thompson (73), the President of Legion Scotland's Livingston Branch, launched the fundraiser with 6 year-old Lily Murray in Glasgow yesterday. Picture: John Devlin

Veteran John Thompson (73), the President of Legion Scotland's Livingston Branch, launched the fundraiser with 6 year-old Lily Murray in Glasgow yesterday. Picture: John Devlin

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A major fundraising drive to help Scotland’s ex-servicemen and women has been launched

The Give A Little For Veterans campaign aims to raise funds to support the more than 31,000 members of Legion Scotland (Royal British Legion Scotland).

The cash will provide befriending and comradeship support, grants,and disablement pension appeals advice to ex-servicemen and women of all ages.

Charlie Brown, Legion Scotland acting national chairman, said: "As a nation we are very good at remembering those who fell in conflicts but sometimes we forget those who survived, or are unaware of the difficulties some may face after leaving the Armed Forces.

"Some veterans struggle at different points in their lives and Legion Scotland is there to provide the support they need when they need it.

"It's also important to recognise that many veterans are young people, something that is not always appreciated."

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Former Royal Highland Fusilier John Thompson, 73, helped launch the campaign on Monday and also features in the TV adverts along with former Wren Debbie Whittaker, from Livingston, West Lothian, and ex-Royal Artillery Sgt Mark White, from Lanarkshire.

Mr Thompson has been a member of Legion Scotland for more than 40 years and is president of his home branch in Livingston.

He said: "I've seen veterans literally transform after they've joined the branch - feelings of isolation and loneliness begin to lift because they're surrounded by folk who understand them.

"What Legion Scotland does is vital but it needs support to continue the good work that it does, bringing veterans together and helping many of them get back on their feet after facing difficult times."

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The charity's chief executive officer Kevin Gray said inquiries to the head office's wellbeing team increased by 94 per cent in 2015 compared to the previous year and 230 veterans were supported through disablement pensions appeals tribunals which "helped secure around £350,000 of vital funds that otherwise they might not have received".

The charity campaign running throughout April asks people to consider donating by text or online.

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