latest news

FiMT has awarded a grant of £23,000 to the Institute for Local Governance to fund a Study into knowledge sharing processes and practices of organisations supporting the Armed Forces community

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) established to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, has awarded a grant of £23,000 to the Institute for Local Governance working on behalf of a public sector and voluntary body partnership. The grant will fund a research project which will investigate the knowledge sharing processes and practices of organisations supporting the Armed Forces community.

The research will include a systematic examination of the current systems and practices of organisations within both the public and private sectors, which provide advice, guidance and support to the ex-Service community and their families. Research findings will include recommendations as to how services could be developed in terms of sharing and streamlining information.

This research follows a report by the North East Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the health needs of the ex-Service community. One of the recommendations which came out of the report was the need for information sharing between the various public sector and voluntary bodies which support the ex-Service community. The work to develop this recommendation into the project was undertaken by a small task group of local authorities, the Royal British Legion and 15 Brigade which was led by the Association of North East Councils (ANEC).

The development of better information sharing and associated working practices between the Armed Forces, public sector service agencies and the voluntary and community sector will lead to both a better use of increasingly limited public sector funds and, more importantly, more effective and targeted support services for the ex-Service community and their families.

Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, said:  “The findings of this research will enable the many statutory, charity and voluntary organisations that provide support services to the Armed Forces Community to share and refine the flow of information and so better shape future planning.  We are very pleased to be working with the Institute for Local Governance on this regional project which will complement our other current and future projects across the UK, such as the Directory of Social Change’s online Guide to the Military Charity Sector, and Manchester Business School’s study of Integrated Support Networks.  By providing a firm evidence base, Forces in Mind Trust is advocating how the military services charity sector can improve its performance, and I expect this project in the North East to help us blaze that trail.”

Chair of ANEC, Cllr Paul Watson said: “We welcome the decision of the Forces in Mind Trust to recognise the importance of this project and the work that has been undertaken in the North East to improve the support given to the ex-service men and women who return to the region. The outcomes from the research will enable local authorities and its partners in the armed services, the voluntary sector and other statutory service providers to improve the guidance and support we give to ex-service men and women and their families. We also hope that the lessons we learn and the changes that we will make will lead to a model of information sharing and new service delivery that others will be able to follow.”

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 Association of North East Councils is the representative body for local government in the North East.  It encompasses the 12 local authorities in the North East, including Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and the Tees Valley, on issues of concern to them and the communities they serve.  It is a cross-party organisation, with all of its Members democratically elected and accountable politicians. Further details on the work of the Association can be found at http://www.northeastcouncils.gov.uk/

The Institute for Local Governance, based at Durham University, is a research and knowledge exchange partnership comprising North East England’s five universities, local authorities, police and fire and rescue services and other key public sector agencies. Further information on the work of the Institute can be found at https://www.dur.ac.uk/ilg/

FiMT has commissioned Manchester Business School (MBS) to research and build a picture of the support networks & assistance available to the serving and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces Community

Following a competitive tender process, the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has commissioned Manchester Business School (MBS) to research and build a detailed picture of the information, advice and guidance networks available to the serving and ex-serving members of the Armed Forces Community.

Recent reports, such as Forces in Mind Trust’s Transition Mapping Study, suggest those trying to access support find the landscape confusing and difficult to navigate.  There may also be some overlap and duplication in this rapidly developing sector.

The study will first identify, in-depth, the support networks that already exist.  It will also examine the problems and barriers surrounding current provision and the potential impact that they might have on the successful transition from military to civilian life.  The study will finally postulate an ideal state solution that would best serve the user community.

Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, said: “This project will give FiMT the tools it needs to provide the Military Charity sector with the evidence-base to improve the processes delivering information, advice and guidance.

“There is a large number of extremely worthwhile charities and organisations offering all types of assistance, but we know it can be hard to navigate and some of the most vulnerable people within this cohort find they have too many places to start.  The aim of this research is to make the support-finding process as easy and effective as possible.  Manchester Business School come to this with an outstanding reputation, a strong understanding of military transition, and, just as significantly, a completely independent approach.  These qualities are essential if we are to take a credible report and then encourage the sector to act upon its recommendations”

Chief External Officer of Manchester Business School, Dil Sidhu, commented:  “Manchester Business School is delighted to work with the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) on what we see to be a vital matter to those leaving the military. The altruistic work of FiMT, on behalf of exiting and retired military personnel, has attracted governmental interest and discussion across parliament. We are committed to making a difference to the social and economic well-being of communities, with considerable emphasis on military transition. The information, advice and guidance project will enable a better understanding of the current nature of support provided to those undergoing transition from the military, and to ensure that it better meets the needs of users.

This research is starting mid-January and findings will be available mid-year.

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 07788 540 924 / direct dial: 027 284 6955.

Manchester Business School was founded in 1965 as one of the UK’s first business schools and is one of Europe’s largest campus-based business and management schools.

Ranked 43rd in the world (Financial Times, 2014) its international footprint includes six global centres in the UAE, China, US, Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil.

MBS is also the UK’s leading centre for business research – according to the government’s most recent Research Assessment Exercise 2008.

Its programmes include:

  • Full-time MBA, Global part-time MBA and Global Executive MBA
  • Tailored executive business education for clients such as Tesco, BP and JCB
  • Doctoral (PhD) programme (ranked 3rd in the world, Financial Times, 2014)
  • Specialist Masters and undergraduate

Major new research project into military charities unveiled

DSC

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) is funding the Directory of Social Change (DSC) to conduct an independent and comprehensive review of the military charity sector, and to produce an authoritative on-line Guide to the Military Charity Sector.

There is currently no single independent source of information on charities in the UK that cater for serving and ex-serving personnel and their families – known as the Armed Forces Community.  The recently published Transition Mapping Study[1], and other studies, have highlighted a number of areas where this lack of understanding causes confusion, affecting policy makers, funders and the charities themselves, as well as those individual members of the Armed Forces Community who are seeking help.

The Confederation of Service Charities, cobseo, is a key stakeholder in this project.  Its current directory[2] lists only basic details of its members and their functions, but there are many relevant organisations outside the Confederation, and cobseo is working with FiMT to increase the effectiveness of all involved in supporting the Armed Forces Community.

The DSC/FiMT Guide will include: a breakdown and analysis of money raised; good practice; distribution of funding for grant-making versus service delivery; types of organisations within the sector; an analysis of geographical distribution of support versus need; performance comparisons with other sectors; contact information.  The Guide will be publically accessible via DSC’s sophisticated on-line searchable website.

Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, said:  “This unique project is fundamental to the continued health and development of the military charity sector as we approach drawdown from Afghanistan and a lower profile for our Armed Forces Community.  The aim of FiMT is to provide independent, evidence-based knowledge that is used to improve every aspect of the sector, from policy to delivery, and the reputation and track record of DSC made it the obvious partner for this seminal guide.”

Chief Executive of the Directory of Social Change, Debra Allcock-Tyler, said: “This is a hugely exciting project.  Working with cobseo and FiMT, we’ll be able to map an incredibly important and valuable part of the charity sector in a way that potentially exposes good practice, demonstrates reach and effectiveness and opens access to services to vulnerable servicemen and women and their families. ”

FiMT has already awarded project and research grants of over £2 million and has recently signed up to the Corporate Covenant, demonstrating its concrete support for the Armed Forces Community.

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