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GLYNDŴR UNIVERSITY WREXHAM HAS BEEN AWARDED A GRANT OF OVER £210,000 TO HELP EX-SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN MAKE A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION BACK TO CIVILIAN LIFE

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), has continued to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, by awarding a grant of £210,859 over 2 years to Glyndwr University. The findings of the two-year research project will be used to develop future strategic policies.

Dr Nikki Lloyd-Jones, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Life Sciences said the idea came about after the North Wales Armed Forces Forum identified a need to fill the gap in the cultural differences between military and civilian life.

The university will complete the project in partnership with members of the Forum, including representatives from the Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board and local authorities in the region.

 “This is an exciting opportunity to undertake research intended to inform future public service deliverers,” said Dr Lloyd-Jones. ”From anecdotal accounts we know about service leavers’ experiences of navigating cultural differences when leaving the Armed Forces, we also know that those in the wider community who regularly interact with ex-Service personnel could improve how they respond to everyday needs.”  She added: “The research will explore this further, mapping out some of the significant decision-making issues experienced when becoming a civilian.” Based in North Wales, the research team will be looking to recruit people to engage in this project, if you have left the Armed Services and live in the area we would like to hear from you. You can contact us through main reception at Glyndwr University.”

 Dr Peter Higson, Chair of the North Wales Armed Forces Forum said ‘The Forum strongly supported the bid from Glyndwr University and we are delighted that this has been successful. This work will make a huge and important difference to the support that we give the Armed Forces Community both in North Wales and across Wales generally.’

The initiative will enable the university and FiMT to gain a better understanding of current perceptions of public sector provision and any potential contrast with reality, through the development of an engagement model.

The aim is to enhance cultural understanding and integration which will help inform and influence policy makers and service deliverers who regularly interact with ex-Service personnel and their families.

The project will develop a tool to evaluate integration, exploring the experiences of ex-Service men and women when going through the transition process, whilst also aiming to help generate a programme that will eradicate the sense of exclusion felt by some ex-Service personnel.

The study will be conducted in North Wales, but the findings should be applicable more widely by providing empirical evidence to develop strategic policies about facilitating and evaluating successful integration into civilian life for ex-Service personnel.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Although many of the research projects we have funded so far have included Wales within the scope, this is the first project that Forces in Mind Trust is funding based in Wales. Understanding the cultural differences is an important step towards improving the chances of a successful transition to civilian life, and so we are delighted to be funding this important research at Glyndwr University.  The findings will lead to a better understanding about transition both in North Wales and more widely.”

– Ends –

 Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact: Talia Cohen at The PR Office on tcohen@theproffice.com / direct dial: 0207 284 6957

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

  • FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund, Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. Since 2004 the Fund has given more than £88 million to programmes supporting veterans. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.
  • The aim of the FiMT is to provide an evidence base which will influence and underpin policy making and service delivery in order to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives.
  • FiMT awards grants (both reactive and proactive) and commissions research along three key themes: Evidence, Innovation and Collaboration. All work is published to a high standard of reportage to add to the evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made. Read more about those FiMT have helped and reports they have published at the links below:

About Glyndŵr University: Glyndŵr University has campuses in Wrexham, Northop, St Asaph and London, offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, as well as professional courses. The institution is internationally connected, with more than 1,000 overseas partners and close links with industry in north east Wales and across the UK. The origins of Glyndŵr date back to 1887. Formerly known as Wrexham School of Science and Art, it later became the North East Wales Institute (NEWI) and was granted full university status in 2008.

 

THE FORCES IN MIND TRUST SHOWCASES ITS GROWING ACHIEVEMENTS IN ITS LATEST IMPACT REPORT

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, marks the end of its third year as a grant-awarding, evidence-generating Trust with the release of its second Impact Report.

The report highlights FiMT’s impact on the Armed Forces Community, which has been achieved through a targeted, evidence-generating ‘research commissions and grant awards’ programme.  Among the Trust’s 2014 funding success stories are three influential policy-informing reports:

  • By Directory of Social Change, who provided a key source of influence through the publication of the report: ‘UK Armed Forces Charities: An overview and analysis’; and an accompanying searchable website. This was the first time that work of this kind had ever been done and its value as an independent resource has been underlined by the wide range of its users.
  • By Stoll, Riverside and the University of York, who researched housing issues affecting single veterans and homelessness, and published ‘Meeting the Housing and Support Needs of Single Veterans in Great Britain’. The report provided robust evidence for all those involved with veterans’ housing and was the subject of a Ministerial Parliamentary discussion.
  • By The Royal British Legion, who produced their latest Household Survey. FiMT’s co-funding enabled a substantial increase in the number of people surveyed, and resulted in the most comprehensive survey into the needs of the ex-Service community that has been undertaken in ten years.  Entitled ‘A UK Household Survey of the ex-Service community’, the report has been widely used by a myriad of organisations for planning and decision-making.

New in 2014, FiMT’s ‘Innovative Social Investment’ strand offered a further three success stories:

  • A 24-hour consultation at St George’s House entitled, ‘Back to Civvy Street’, where 35 carefully selected stakeholders discussed transition-related issues around employment, social networks and societal perception, sparking original thinking and a series of improvement recommendations.
  • Production of a short film, ‘Beth’s Story’, for SkillForce, which portrays positive opportunities in transition and how SkillForce supports Service personnel in the workplace.
  • A new FiMT Specialist Fellowship to help foster and promote leadership connections between military charities and the wider social sector through the Clore Social Leadership Programme.

2014 was also marked by FiMT’s ground-breaking approach to understanding ‘families’ and their role in achieving successful sustainable transition.  Following the Trust’s Transition Mapping Study (August 2013) which, among its 26 recommendations, stressed the need to better support families during and after transition, FiMT launched a UK-wide family stakeholder engagement programme which culminated in a report, ‘Better Understanding the Support Needs of Service Leaver Families’.  The report is proving invaluable in helping to shape FiMT’s strategy for funding and commissioning work for the next couple of years.

Looking ahead, FiMT’s future plans are ambitious and include two core changes:

  • Switching from being mainly a reactive funder to one that intelligently and proactively commissions work in the knowledge of where the need lies. This switch involves establishing a new Policy, Influence and Evaluation function.
  • Developing a full ‘Theory of change’ model, based upon the charity sector’s best practice, modified to reflect FiMT’s requirements.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Our second impact report describes how we have consolidated and evaluated our approach, and continued to act as a credible and independent member of the Service charities sector.  We achieved our target of increasing our awards over last year, and we received many more grant applications.  We are building on the solid foundations of our early years, so as to increase our capacity to effect change, and in a more proactive, targeted, innovative and intelligent manner.”

– Ends –

Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact: Talia Cohen at The PR Office on tcohen@theproffice.com / direct dial: 0207 284 6957

  • About the Forces in Mind Trust: The Forces in Mind Trust came about  from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund, Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. Since 2004 the Fund has given more than £88 million to programmes supporting veterans. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.  The aim of the Forces in Mind Trust is to provide an evidence base that will influence and underpin policy making and service delivery in order to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives.  All work is published to a high standard of reportage to add to the evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.  Read more about those FiMT has helped and reports they it published at the links below.

THE FORCES IN MIND TRUST AWARDS GRANT OF £31,729 TO NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY

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 £31,729 to Newcastle University to carry out a systematic review of alcohol screening and brief interventions (SBIs) for Service personnel prior to their transition to civilian life.

The project aims to increase the understanding of the utility of well-being interventions, including alcohol screening and brief interventions during the time leading up to transition into civilian life.  For example SBIs are low intensity early interventions for identifying risky levels of alcohol consumption combined with information or advice. The evidence from this review will be used to influence policy makers, and inform researchers, clinicians and service providers in their work with the Service and ex-Service community.

Most Service personnel make the transition back to civilian life very successfully. However, for the small number who experience difficulties, the period of transition may be a particular time of susceptibility to reduced well-being because of the associated adjustments to a number of life changes required.

The study, which is led by Dr Sarah Wigham (Newcastle University’s Institute of Neuroscience); with Shannon Robalino (Newcastle University’s Institute of Health & Society) and Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch from Teesside University, will be carried out over several months (due to be published in September 2016) and will summarise existing research and reports on the effectiveness of SBIs. It will serve to inform the signposting of healthy coping strategies when transitioning to civilian life. It will also identify gaps in current knowledge to date on this topic and therefore highlight future research priorities.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust said: “An individual’s sense of wellbeing is an important aspect of transition. This systematic review will make a valuable contribution to our understanding of how earlier interventions could lead to a more successful transition for those who may be vulnerable to difficulties.”

Dr Sarah Wigham at Newcastle University said: ‘’I am delighted that our application to Forces in Mind Trust has been successful. For the small number of Service personnel who find transition to civilian life challenging this review will gather evidence of interventions, which can be implemented prior to transition to best facilitate well-being.”

– Ends –

Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact: Talia Cohen at The PR Office on tcohen@theproffice.com / direct dial: 0207 284 6957

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

  • FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund, Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. Since 2004 the Fund has given more than £88 million to programmes supporting veterans. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.
  • The aim of the FiMT is to provide an evidence base which will influence and underpin policy making and service delivery in order to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives.
  • FiMT awards grants (both reactive and proactive) and commissions research along three key themes: Evidence, Innovation and Collaboration. All work is published to a high standard of reportage to add to the evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made. Read more about those FiMT have helped and reports they have published at the links below:
  • Useful links

About Newcastle University

  • Newcastle University is a Russell Group University
  • Ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2014)
  • Ranked 16th in the UK for global research power (REF 2014)
  • Ranked 10th overall in the UK and 3rd for quality of staff/lecturers in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015
  • Winner: Outstanding Leadership and Management Team and Outstanding Procurement Team, Times Higher Leadership and Management Awards 2015
  • Amongst our peers Newcastle is:
    • Joint 6th in the UK for student satisfaction
    • Ranked 1st in the UK for Computing Science research impact, 3rd in the UK for Civil Engineering research power and 11th in the UK for Mathematical Sciences research (REF 2014)
    • Ranked 8th in the UK for Medical and Life Sciences research quality (REF 2014)
    • Ranked 3rd in the UK for English, and in the top 12 for Geography, Architecture and Planning, and Cultural and Media Studies research quality (REF 2014)
    • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) top 20 strategic partner
  • 94% of our students are in a job or further training within six months of graduating
  • We have a world-class reputation for research excellence and are spearheading three major societal challengesthat have a significant impact on global society. These themes are: Ageing, Sustainability, and Social Renewal
  • Newcastle University is the first UK university to establish a fully owned international branch campus for medicine at its NUMed Campus in Malaysia which opened in 2011
  • 90% Satisfaction level from our international students (ISB 2014)
  • Newcastle University Business School is one of 20 Triple Accredited Business Schools in the UK

 

THE FORCES IN MIND TRUST AWARDS GRANT TO ULSTER UNIVERSITY

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 £355,262 to Ulster University – working in partnership with the Northern Ireland Veterans Support Committee – for a three year project in Northern Ireland. The purpose of the project is to generate a comprehensive understanding of support available to the Northern Ireland veterans’ community (comprising ex-Service personnel and their families) that will be used by policy makers and service deliverers across the sector.

Dr Cherie Armour from the School of Psychology on the Coleraine campus of Ulster University will lead on the research project, which will deliver reports with recommendations throughout the three-year period concentrating on how existing support can be utilised further, in particular increasing broad awareness of support and developing better on-line access to information, advice, and guidance across the region.

A number of existing and newly appointed academics from Ulster University will work in very close partnership with the Northern Ireland Veterans Support Committee (NIVSC) throughout the project. The NIVSC – which is facilitated by the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association NI – was created in direct response to an array of complex and unique socio-political factors that have impacted on the veteran community; a lack of clarity of their number and needs, and the corollary recognition that those concerned with veterans’ welfare need to adopt, as much as possible, a fully co-ordinated and coherent approach to supporting veterans. The NIVSC is comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces charity sector.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust said: “We are delighted to be funding this timely and important project in Northern Ireland.  I know that the results of the work by Ulster University working in close partnership with NIVSC, will provide an important evidence base for policy makers and service deliverers alike.’’

Dr Cherie Armour from Ulster University stated: “Myself and the NIVSC are delighted to lead on this important project which will review existing supports available to the veteran community in Northern Ireland. We aim to increase the wider awareness and accessibility of supports available to the veteran community, and when needed, we will make recommendations on how existing supports can be improved. We look forward to working with veteran organisations and the veteran community across Northern Ireland.”

UK-wide awareness of the needs of the ex-Service community has been raised in recent times and is now articulated in the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant.  There is a lot of practical support available to veterans and their families but direct access is often obscured by lack of detailed information or conversely shrouded by information overload.  NIVSC was set up to develop better coordination of response to demand, to ensure that anyone in need could be assisted by those best placed to deliver support services.

The NIVSC co-Chairmen have welcomed the award:  “We know that there is still a lack of knowledge about the numbers of veterans, that assumptions are made about their current and future needs, and we accept that coordination is the key to address these.  This academic research project by Ulster University funded by Forces in Mind Trust should provide exactly the evidence we need to plan for the future.”

– Ends –

Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact:

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

  • FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund, Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. Since 2004 the Fund has given more than £88 million to programmes supporting veterans. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.
  • The aim of the FiMT is to provide an evidence base which will influence and underpin policy making and service delivery in order to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives.
  • FiMT award’s grants (both reactive and proactive) and commission’s research along three key themes: Evidence, Innovation and Collaboration. All work is published to a high standard of reportage to add to the evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made. Read more about those FiMT have helped and reports they have published at the links below:

 

THE FORCES IN MIND TRUST HAS AWARDED A GRANT TO QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST TO RESEARCH HOW COUNTER-INSURGENCY WARFARE EXPERIENCES AFFECTS TRANSITION TO CIVILIAN LIFE

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 £96,201 to the Institute for Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, based at Queen’s University, Belfast to research how counter-insurgency warfare experiences impact on the transition of land-based personnel.

The two-year project, prompted by a call for further ‘results-focused research’ within FiMT’s Transition Mapping Study published in 2013, will focus solely on the experiences of armed forces who took part in counter-insurgency (COIN) operations, which are believed to be distinctly different to those of personnel who took part in more ‘conventional’ forms of conflict.

As well as the UK’s regular forces, the project will also incorporate the experiences of reserve forces.   It is intended that the research findings will be used to help influence policy makers and service deliverers in their work with the ex-Service community.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust said: “The UK’s armed forces have considerable experience of both counter insurgency and major combat operations.  This project for the first time will allow us to understand how the very different characteristics of the two types of operations, affect people’s ability to transition successfully into civilian life.  I’m certain the findings will provide clear insights for both policy makers and service deliverers.”

Professor John D Brewer, Principal Investigator at Institute for Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice said: “Queen’s University is delighted to receive this award and for the opportunity to work alongside the Forces in Mind Trust in understanding the experiences of counter-insurgency soldiering. The research will help us in trying to make a difference to the lives of armed force personnel and their families when coping with a return to civilian life.”

– Ends –

Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact:

Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact:

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

  • FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund, Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. Since 2004 the Fund has given more than £88 million to programmes supporting veterans. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.
  • The aim of the FiMT is to provide an evidence base which will influence and underpin policy making and service delivery in order to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives.
  • FiMT award’s grants (both reactive and proactive) and commission’s research along three key themes: Evidence, Innovation and Collaboration. All work is published to a high standard of reportage to add to the evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made. Read more about those FiMT have helped and reports they have published at the links below: