Legion appeals for new blood to support its work

The Forfar branch of Legion Scotland is seeking new volunteers.
The Forfar branch of Legion Scotland is seeking new volunteers.

A long-established local charity is calling for new blood to help support its existing volunteers in their work with armed forces veterans.

*An open session for anyone interested in getting involved will be held this Sunday and chairman Charlie Brown said that the appeal has come at a “crucial time” for the legion.

The charity is working hard to reach veterans of all ages to emphasise that the organisation is for them.

Mr Brown said: “We’ve been here 94 years, let’s hope we can make it over 100. We invite everyone who’s interested in giving something back to the ex-services community in Scotland to come along and chat to us before our AGM.

“It’s a chance to see who we are and learn about what we do and how we help veterans. And it’s a chance for new people and new ideas to make Legion Scotland what it will be for the next 100 years.”

Recent research published by Poppyscotland has shown that isolation is one of the biggest problems facing veterans and their families and Legion Scotland has said that this shows how vital the community work of its branches is for veterans.

A variety of new services has been introduced of the last two years and the organisation now offers grants for visiting war graves and for financial hardship, as well as continuing to provide its core service of pensions disablement advice.

Comradeship events to counter the isolation affecting veterans are also being expanded, with different clubs doing everything from go-karting to archery. There is also a new befriending service,in which local volunteers can become involved.

Locally, however, the branch is keen to find volunteers to fill a number of roles including a bar manager, bus drivers, organisers, gardeners, bar staff, those with a knowledge of social media and willing to bring new energy to its work.

As well as its work with veterans, the Academy Street building is also a popular social and function venue.

Mr Brown added: “Volunteering for these roles is a great way to gain work experience as well as to put something back into the community and to make new friends.

“Legion Scotland is not just for servicemen and women, it’s for everyone who cares about those who have served and their families. We have an asset that with the right people on board can grow and thrive for years to come.”

Anyone interested in finding out about volunteering opportunities can talk to volunteers and veterans at the Forfar branch prior to its annual general meeting this Sunday, (January 11) any time between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.