Cabinet Secretary Applauds Rangers Charity Foundation's Life Changing Work

Wed 31st January 2018

Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work declared the Rangers Charity Foundation is “changing lives”, during a visit to Ibrox Stadium.

Keith Brown MSP, met with Rangers FC Managing Director Stewart Robertson and Rangers Charity Foundation Director Connal Cochrane, and was particularly keen to learn of the Foundation's veterans and employability programmes.

Mr Brown was given an overview of the Foundation before spending time speaking with participants on the Glasgow Veterans United (GVU) programme, a 12-week course run by the Foundation, in partnership with Glasgow’s Helping Heroes, in the Rangers Community Hub.

Participants told him the lure of coming to Ibrox each week was crucial in getting them involved in the first place and that they had enjoyed the camaraderie of the group. Some shared stories of how the programme had helped them work through issues such as PTSD and problems in their personal lives.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Brown said: “I meet a lot of veterans and the proof of the value of these programmes is always what the veterans themselves think of it. 

"They obviously value what is being offered to them here and the experience they’ve had has made a big difference to their lives, which is the best testimony to the work that’s being done here. This is clearly a safe place where veterans can come and identify with each other, a place where they are not being judged.

“There’s certainly an impressive portfolio of different initiatives going on at the Club through the Foundation.  Working with young people, working with people from residential care backgrounds – the Foundation is changing lives."

Glasgow Veterans United aims to improve the wellbeing of veterans who are struggling with mental health issues, addiction, social isolation and other problems associated with returning to civilian life.

The programme covers subjects such as alcohol, drugs, smoking, diet and other lifestyle choices, as well as offering participants the chance to channel their energy through football coaching, which sees them learn the skills to gain a SFA Level 1 coaching qualification.

Participants are given the opportunity to discuss issues with their peers in a safe, open environment and are encouraged to explore how their actions impact not only themselves but also their families and friends.

On completion of the course the veterans are introduced to various further training, employment and volunteering agencies to help them capitalise on the skills, knowledge and insight they have gained from the course.

Rangers Charity Foundation Director Connal Cochrane added: “We very much appreciate that the Cabinet Secretary today recognised how significant a role the Rangers Charity Foundation plays in so many lives. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to give him an overview of some of the more than 25 programmes focusing on health, employability, education and diversity and inclusion that we run, as well as informing him about many of our other initiatives, including our work with our local, national and international charity partners.

“With the Cabinet Secretary being a former Royal Marine we were particularly proud to introduce him to veterans from our Glasgow Veterans United programme as well as Rachel Tribble, Service Manager of Glasgow’s Helping Heroes. The impact the programme has on many of the veterans is staggering and I was delighted that the Cabinet Secretary got to see that at first hand.”

Tags: Cabinet Secretary / Economy / Jobs / Fair Work / Keith Brown / Glasgow Veterans United / veterans / GVU