Could you befriend a lonely ex serviceman or woman?
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