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Celebrating our second anniversary

FiMT Birthday

CCBirthday

Celebrating our second anniversary, the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, has signed up to the Corporate Covenant

FiMT has already awarded project and research grants of over £2 million and, by signing the Covenant, is demonstrating its concrete support for the Armed Forces community.

During its first two years, FiMT has commissioned seminal research reports such as the Transition Mapping Study (TMS), which reviewed how the entire transition process from military to civilian life currently works and how it is viewed by stakeholders and recent Service leavers.  The economic model developed for the report calculated the total cost of poor transition to the UK as a whole to be £113 million in 2012, whilst the report itself has been discussed across Whitehall and debated in Parliament.

The concept of the Forces in Mind Trust arose from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (BIG), cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations.  In addition to cobseo Members, key supporting charities are: The Mental Health Foundation, Centre for Mental Health and the Shaw Trust.

As part of FiMT’s three-year partnership agreement with The Royal Foundation, a grant of £250,000 was awarded to the Foundation’s Endeavour Fund, supporting 2013 Endeavours including Toe in The Water, Flying For Freedom, Walking With The Wounded and Walk on Wales.

Other projects FiMT has funded include the Future Horizons Programme for Early Service Leavers at Catterick Garrison, development of an app for iPads and iPhones for the Big White Wall, the SSAFA Mentoring trial, and research and evaluation programmes for the University of the West of England, The Poppy Factory and Stoll.

Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, said: “In its first two years, FiMT has achieved a great deal, but this is just a starting point; we have some extremely interesting and timely projects which will be announced over the coming months.  The aim of FiMT is to ensure that we are able to provide the evidence needed to improve delivery programmes, either directly or in partnership with other charities and organisations, so that those ex-Service personnel and their families undergoing transition do so successfully.  Signing the Corporate Covenant is a small but important step forward for us as we grow in maturity, earn our credibility and play a more influential role across the sector.  And I can think of no better way to mark our second birthday than with a cupcake from our local bakery for every year of our operation!”

Notes to Editors: For interview requests, photos or more information, please contact Alice Farrow at The PR Office on afarrow@theproffice.com  / mobile:  07788 540 924 / direct dial: 027 284 6955.

The House of Lords debates FiMT’s Transition Mapping Study

The Lord Craig of Radley, Marshal of the Royal Air Force and a former Chief of the Defence Staff, led the debate about the Forces in Mind Trust’s Transition Mapping Study in the main chamber of the House of Lords last night.

The study, conducted by The Futures Company and launched on the 14th August this year, reviewed how the entire transition process from military to civilian life currently works and how it is viewed by stakeholders and recent Service leavers.

 Lord Craig’s introductory speech outlined why there was a need for the Forces in Mind Trust and its work, funding research and projects supporting ex-Service personnel and their families going through the process of transition from military to civilian life.

Contributors to the debate included Lord Walker of Aldringham, Lord Empey, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Rosser, and Baroness Garden of Frognal.  Throughout the debate the report was praised as an excellent and useful piece of evidence-based research, and underlined FiMT’s growing reputation for independent evidence-based work.

Employability and practical life skills featured prominently in the debate, and there were numerous calls to the business community to view ex-Service personnel as a superb resource which should be competed for.  There was also strong agreement that individuals needed to take greater responsibility for their own transition, recognizing that the third sector would provide both support and a safety net for those most at risk of failed transition.

Baroness Jolly closed the debate on behalf of the Government, and undertook to ensure that the report would be considered during the 2015 process to re-let the Career Transition Partnership.

Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, who attended the debate, said: “We were delighted that the House of Lords gave time to debate this important issue and believe that much can be achieved simply through a change in attitude towards transition.  Empowering, enabling and requiring the individual to prepare adequately for civilian life should come from a culture change throughout military service; this should be led by the MOD, supported by a deep collaboration across the military charities sector.  FiMT is working across the Armed Forces community, including with Lord Ashcroft’s Transition Review team, to understand the issues, and to lead change from an evidence-based perspective.  This debate continues the process we started in August, and provides a most welcome strategic engagement.”

The report is available to download here

A transcript of the debate is available to download here:http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/131105-0002.htm#13110585000205