Renfrewshire Council

Firmbase

Have you served in the Armed Forces?

If you have, did you know about the help and support that's available for you?

Firmbase is a new joint initiative from East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and Renfrewshire councils. It aims to make sure that veterans and their families from all three local authority areas get the help they need, whenever they ask.

All three councils have signed a Community Covenant with the Armed Forces pledging their support.

A Veterans Support Advisor, Jane Duncan, works across the three councils. Jane served 22 years with the Army's Royal Signal Corps, which included tours in Kosovo and Bosnia as well as three tours of Northern Ireland.

Jane says: "When we use the word 'veteran', there's a common assumption that we're talking about an elderly generation who served in earlier conflicts. But 'veteran' describes anyone leaving the Services and, in the majority of cases, we're talking about young men and women in their late 20s or early 30s who have served for four to six years. We're also reaching out to reservists because there's also a common misconception that they don't need or deserve the same support.

"Many of those who serve are proud of how they can look after themselves, and reluctant to be seen as asking for a hand-out. But this is help and support they are entitled to, same as anyone else.

"It's not about seeking an advantage for those who have served, but making sure that they aren't disadvantaged."

"Also, our veterans have so much to offer their local communities. The community covenant is a two-way agreement, as much about how the Armed Forces community engages with the local community as the other way round. That's another important message I hope to help get across during my time in the job."

Getting help

The first people you contact should always be the Veterans Welfare Service (VWS).

They can help with the transition from service to civilian life, assist bereaved families and respond to any life events that present welfare needs.

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