Could you be­friend a lonely ex ser­vice­man or woman?

Rutherglen Reformer - - Election Special -

The Royal Bri­tish le­gion Scot­land are on the look­out for be­frien­ders to help com­bat lone­li­ness and iso­la­tion among vet­er­ans.

Over 2,000 ex-ser­vice­men and women con­tacted the or­gan­i­sa­tion, which has a branch in Cam­bus­lang, last year for their be­friend­ing ser­vice. Re­search through­out the years has shown that vet­er­ans of all ages and back­grounds can en­counter a range of chal­lenges upon leav­ing the Armed Forces in­clud­ing iso­la­tion, un­em­ploy­ment and hous­ing is­sues. Le­gion Scot­land well­be­ing co- or­di­na­tor, Wil­liam McMaster said: “Le­gion Scot­land’s be­friend­ing ser­vice makes a mas­sive dif­fer­ence to the gen­eral well­be­ing of the vet­er­ans. Some mem­bers of the exser­vice com­mu­nity have had no in­ter­ac­tion for months and it is heart break­ing. “Every­body needs to talk. I had to strug­gle on my own to get bet­ter while I bat­tled de­pres­sion and home­less­ness so I hate the idea of some­one hav­ing to go through a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion. “I’ve re­ceived let­ters, emails and nu­mer­ous phone calls from vet­er­ans thank­ing us for the work that we’ve done be­cause we’ve changed their lives com­pletely. Be­frien­ders re­ceive full train­ing and can give as lit­tle as two hours a week of their time vis­it­ing a vet­eran, many of whom have no one else to talk to. They can also pro­vide ad­vice and sign­post them to vi­tal sup­port ser­vices run by Le­gion Scot­land and other mil­i­tary char­i­ties which can have a long last­ing pos­i­tive change on their life. To find out more about Le­gion S c o t l a n d ’s be­friend­ing ser­vice in­clud­ing in­for­ma­tion on how to vol­un­teer con­tact Stephen Baird on 0131 550 1560 or s. baird@ le­gion­scot­land.org.uk

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