Friday, 13 August 2010

The SPVA website boosts veterans support on 65th Anniversary of VJ Day

Jim Baker WWII D-Day veteran reviews new look website

Sunday 15th August marks the 65th anniversary of ‘VJ’ day, when the Japanese surrendered in 1945, bringing an end to World War II. 65 years later, our veterans still deserve our help and support, whether they served in the wartime years or in any other conflict right up to Afghanistan today.

In this anniversary year, our
website, the focal point for access to the special help and support provided to veterans and their families, has undergone a full redesign. Information can be found on Government compensation for those injured or bereaved through Service, special welfare support, a dedicated helpline and much more.

New features for 2010 include an online advice section, taking people through interactive questions to identify sources of help on issues such as housing, money matters, coping with crisis, caring responsibilities and much more. Remembering those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, a new section is dedicated to the Armed Forces Memorial, commemorating those killed by Service in the Armed Forces since 1948.

Recognition for veterans is an important aspect of our site, with information on medals, the HM Armed Forces veterans badge and other official emblems. On the social side, the new
Veterans Community section includes discounts and special offers for veterans, advice on tracing comrades and a ‘self service’ events calendar where organisers can promote their veterans related events.

If you are part of the Armed Forces community or you're interested in veterans' issues, then our website is worth a visit.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Not just for decoration

Our new SPVA videocast looks at the MOD Medal Office.

In the second of our series of videocasts, ‘Veterans Today’, presenter Don Goldie examines the work of the MOD Medal Office.

Based at Imjin Barracks in Gloucestershire, the Medal Office is the sole authority for the issue of Service medals authorised by Her Majesty to British Service personnel and veterans.

The programme traces the history of military awards and takes a behind the scenes look at the skilled and painstaking work undertaken by the office which receives hundreds of medal applications every week.

The latest videocast provides a fascinating insight into the workings of an office that, even today, is dealing with hundreds of applications for Second World War medals as well as those awarded in current campaigns.”

The videocast will be available to view on the Veterans-UK website, and on various social media sites such as iTunes and YouTube.

Advertising events for free

The calendar provides information on events being held across the UK

Are you planning an event or something that will be of interest to veterans or the organisations that help them?

SPVA have a free and ideal way of advertising your event on our website that's frequently visited by veterans and the Service community.

The National Calendar of Events holds details of activities to be held across the UK, such as reunions, Armed Forces Day events,advice days, air shows, in fact any event to do with the Armed Forces and the veterans community.

To advertise your event on the calendar simply visit our website click on Veterans Community and there you'll find the link to the Events Calendar. Access, complete and submit the on-line application form, then the event details will be entered onto the calendar.

Our website also holds a wealth of information for in-Service and ex-Service personnel, so don’t just stop at the Events Calendar keep exploring.

Changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

SPVA has created a communications toolkit to help explain the changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

The period in which anyone who has been injured in service can claim compensation will rise this month from five to seven years from point of diagnosis as part of a series of changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

The change came into effect on August 3, and is one of several to be introduced following the recommendations from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Review, carried out by former Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral the Lord Boyce last year.

The Review, which was assisted by an independent scrutiny group that included Service charities, medical experts, serving personnel and veterans, announced its recommendations for improvements in February this year.

The majority of these improvements require legislative amendment to the Scheme and will be implemented by February 2011, but some changes can be made more quickly and have taken effect from August 3.

These improvements include;

An increase in the maximum level of Bereavement Grant from £20,000 to £25,000 to reflect the increase in Armed Forces pay since 2005.
An increase in the maximum level of Bereavement Grant for Reservists who are not members of a reserve forces pension scheme to £37,500, to help bring their benefits in line with their Regular forces colleagues.
An uplift of the majority of awards for hearing loss by one Tariff level.

The full press announcement can be found on the MOD website.

To support and provide information on the changes, the AFCS toolkit has been created to allow you to view, listen to or download information via a bespoke webpage on the Veterans-UK website. The products have been designed to provide information for you or help you when providing advice about the scheme from a podcast to a poster for display in your office.