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THE FORCES IN MIND TRUST STRENGTHENS POLICY AND GRANTS TEAMS

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, has strengthened its policy and grants functions with the addition of two new staff.

Lucy Caruana joins FiMT as Grants Manager and brings more than 12 years’ experience of working in grant-making to the role.  She previously worked at the Heritage Lottery Fund advising on all areas of grant-making from project conception through to project completion.

Sam Freston has joined as Assistant to Head of Policy, Meri Mayhew, former Development Manager.  Sam joins FiMT on a 12-month placement through the Charityworks graduate scheme, which aims to place graduates who are keen to pursue a career in the third sector within their charity partner organisations.  Sam has already worked with a number of non-profit organisations in the UK and overseas, including the International Citizen Service, National Citizen Service and TREE AID.

Lucy Caruana and Sam Freston

Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, said: “After 3 years substantial growth in disbursement and influence, it is time now for the Trust to build a more sophisticated approach.  As part of our plan to deliver 85% of our annual awards from 2016 proactively, developing a coherent theory of change model to underpin as well as to guide all our work is the key strategic enabler.  The Board has been highly supportive of the creation of the Policy, Influence and Evaluation branch, led by Meri Mayhew, and I warmly welcome our first Charityworks graduate trainee Sam to the Trust, where an idealistic and unpolluted approach will provide challenge and innovation.  Equally, with 29 projects currently underway, the experience Lucy brings to the Grants Manager position will ensure that our own policies result in the most coherent and effective programme possible.

“Taken together with the recently announced Mental Health Research Programme, coordinated by Research and Support Manager Kirsteen Waller, Forces in Mind Trust has moved decisively to capitalise on our burgeoning reputation as an independent and credible evidence generator, and to ensure we are best configured going forward to fulfil our aim to inform and influence policy makers and service deliverers, so as to help ex-Service personnel and their families lead successful civilian lives.”

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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 (The 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 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 Charityworks

 For more information about Charityworks visit www.charity-works.co.uk

Army veteran appointed to lead research project

New Project Director was involved in Government-commissioned review

Armed Forces veteran, Alex Cooper, who worked on Lord Ashcroft’s Veterans’ Transition Review, has been appointed to the role of Project Director for the establishment of the Veterans’ Research Hub (VRH) at Anglia Ruskin University.

The Veterans’ Transition Review, published in February 2014, was commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron to look at what could be done to improve the experience of service personnel when they leave the Armed Forces and return to civilian life, and to improve understanding amongst the public, employers and policy makers about their transitions and what veterans can offer.

The VRH was established by Anglia Ruskin University’s Veterans and Families Institute (VFI) following recommendations in the review and was jointly funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC. Alex Cooper, who was in the Army for 23 years, will be taking up his new post in November and will lead the project, which will collate research on issues facing the Armed Forces, veterans and their families and make it accessible to policy makers, service deliverers and the wider public.

During his time in the Army, Mr Cooper served in several locations across the world including Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and, on leaving in 2013, he became involved with the Veterans’ Transition Review. He has worked subsequently as a consultant and columnist on transition and has been employed in emergency planning in the nuclear industry. He is also a member of Serve On, a voluntary resilience organisation with a strong veteran membership.

Mr Cooper said: “It is an honour to have been appointed as Project Director of the VRH. Since leaving the Army I have maintained a strong interest in the wellbeing of veterans and this is an opportunity to support understanding, policy and provision to improve the lives of our former military personnel.”

Enhancing research on military veterans is a challenging but exciting task and I am looking forward to building links with other organisations to get the job done.”

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Notes to Editors

Anglia Ruskin University

  • Anglia Ruskin is a modern, global university with 35,000 students from 177 countries studying with us across four continents.
  • 12 of our research areas across our five faculties were classed as world-leading by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.
  • Our graduate prospects are among the best in the UK, with 9 out of 10 starting their career or in further study within six months.
  • We have three main campuses, in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough.
  • Anglia Ruskin University is the Times Higher Education’s Entrepreneurial University of the Year.

For more press information please contact:

Jon Green on t: 01245 684717, e: jon.green@anglia.ac.uk

Jamie Forsyth on t: 01245 684716, e: jamie.forsyth@anglia.ac.uk

 

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

For further information on Forces in Mind Trust, please contact Talia Cohen at The PR Office on tcohen@theproffice.com / mobile:  07887 512 840 / direct dial: 027 284 6957.

  • FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (The 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 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:

 

An Invisible Failing: Veterans Need Targeted Support to Rehabilitate and Fulfil their Potential

A new report from cross-party think tank Demos calls for the Government to urgently address the care and rehabilitation of ex-Service personnel, to help them to live more fulfilling and dignified lives.

Focusing on the experiences of working-age ex-Service personnel, Under-Served shines light on the difficulties they face on leaving the Armed Forces, and after their admission into residential care facilities.

Under-Served was prepared after extensive consultation with two distinct groups of working-age veterans – those who have been injured during their service, and those who have acquired an illness after returning. Both groups are entitled to care and support from veterans’ charities, yet face challenges in being connected to the right suite of services to meet their varied needs.

It is the first detailed examination of these individuals – who have remained largely ‘invisible’ to policy-makers due to their relatively small number and a lack of understanding about the issues surrounding their care needs.

The report, supported by the Forces in Mind Trust, comes in the wake of the end of a series of recent military operations, which have seen over 20,000 servicemen and women medically discharged from the Armed Forces for physical and mental health reasons – including 840 who have sustained serious or very serious physical injuries.

The report also highlights issues in the quality of care – including instances where it is insufficiently tailored or empowering to individuals’ aspirations for their quality of life.

In researching the report, the authors conducted eight in-depth interviews with working-age ex-Service personnel in residential care, and semi-structured interviews with 15 staff involved in supporting them.

While ex-Service personnel were largely happy with the quality of the care they received, these interviews helped the authors to establish a much clearer picture of the areas needing urgent improvement.

In particular, they found problems arising from the fact that ex-Service personnel are much younger than most other residents in the care homes in which they live. Activities in these homes are often tailored to the larger, older population, while younger ex-Service personnel can be left feeling under-stimulated. The lack of peers was in some cases leading to loneliness and isolation, or even to experiences of depression and declining medical conditions.

Other issues related to the pressures of their care situations on their families, with some having to travel long distances to visit, and in some instances, ex-Service personnel had experienced marriage or relationship breakdowns as a result of their injury or illness.

To address the issues facing working-age ex-Service personnel in the UK, Demos recommends:

  • Every local authority in the UK should have a designated ‘Armed Forces and Veterans Champion’ with a combined remit for health, social care, housing, employability and education.
  • Veterans UK should work with Armed Forces charities to establish and maintain a database of all UK ex-Service personnel in residential care.
  • Health and social care professionals should proactively identify ex-Service personnel with whom they come into contact.
  • A best practice network in residential care for ex-Service personnel should be established, and a best practice guide produced.
  • Armed Forces charities should sponsor an annual ‘Veteran’s Voices’ review of ex-Service personnel in residential care.
  • Residential care settings should conduct ‘skills audits’ for their working age residents, encouraging contribution to the care home and wider community.

  Commenting on the report, its co-author, Louis Reynolds, said:

“Working age ex-Service personnel in residential care settings can benefit greatly from the support on offer from government departments, Armed Forces charities, and across civil society. Yet for too long, despite their often-great levels of need, this small and hidden population has been almost invisible to policy-makers. The Armed Forces Covenant places new duties on the whole of UK society to ensure that those who have served their country are not under-served when they return to civilian life. Our report not only provides the first detailed examination of ex-Service personnel in residential care, but also demonstrates how the UK can step up and meet its obligations under the Covenant. A few changes in how we share information, connect people with support, and tailor that support to individuals’ needs could significantly improve the situation, both for current veterans and those leaving the Armed Forces in the future.”

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive, Forces in Mind Trust, said:

“As this report makes clear, the number of working age ex-Service personnel in residential care is thought to be very small, which means that the that the level of evidence provided here is necessarily limited. Nonetheless, assessing the full scale of this population would be a great step forward, and we particularly support the recommendations on sharing best practice and offering residential care more suited to the needs of the younger ex-Service person. Forces in Mind Trust has as its primary aim the generation of evidence that will influence policy makers and service deliverers, and we would invite all involved in residential care to look closely at this report and enact the changes that would improve the lives of this small, but extremely deserving, cadre of ex-Service personnel.

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Notes to Editors

Demos is Britain’s leading cross-party think tank. We are an independent, educational charity, which produces original and innovative research. Visit: www.demos.co.uk.

This report was supported by the Forces in Mind Trust. Forces in Mind Trust improves the civilian lives of ex-Service personnel and their families by providing evidence to deliver transformational and sustained change.  Visit: www.fim-trust.org

MEDIA ENQUIRIES AND INTERVIEWS

Sophie Gaston – Press and Communications Manager, Demos
sophie.gaston@demos.co.uk
0207 367 6325 | (Out of Hours) 0747274

FIMT ANNOUNCES ITS 2016 SPECIALIST FELLOW ON THE CLORE SOCIAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, is delighted to announce that Marie-Louise Sharp, National Policy Adviser for the Royal British Legion in Armed Forces Health and Social Care, has been selected as the FiMT Specialist Fellow on the 2016 Clore Social Fellowship.

Marie-Louise is in the final stages of a PhD at the King’s Centre for Military Health Research at King’s College London in Psychological Medicine and will complete her PhD in Dec 2015. Her research focuses on the social influences and barriers to seeking mental healthcare amongst the UK military, and she continues as an honorary research fellow at the Centre. Previously she worked in Adult Health, Social Care and Local Government Finance policy at London Councils.

A record 239 aspiring social leaders from across the UK competed for a place on the 2016 Fellowship (33% up on last year), and this year 24 Fellows have been appointed, increasing the size of the annual cohort by a third.

Having had a successful experience funding its first FiMT Specialist Fellow on the 2015 Clore Social Fellowship, the Trust announced earlier this year that it would fund a further three annual FiMT Specialist Clore Fellowships for 2016, 17 and 18 as part of its continued aim to deepen connections and shared learning between military charities and the wider social sector. These connections will enable FiMT to become more innovative and collaborative in service delivery, and ensure that future policy is supported by a sound evidence-base.

This one-year Programme identifies, connects and develops individuals who have ambition to lead social change in their communities, organisations and the world around them, through a combination of activities including coaching, mentoring, residential weeks and a secondment.

Marie-Louise Sharp will follow FiMT’s 2015 fellow, Dr Jane Rowley, who was selected in the 2014 applications round. Meet our 2015 Fellow, Jane Rowley.

Applications for FiMT’s 2017 Specialist Fellowship will open in Spring 2016. Visit http://cloresocialleadership.org.uk for further information.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “We are pleased that our first year of offering a FiMT Specialist Fellowship has been such a positive experience, and that once again we have attracted such a high-calibre and worthy individual as Marie-Louise Sharp. The knowledge, experience and network Marie-Louise brings with her from her work with the Royal British Legion in Armed Forces Health and Social Care, together with her research interests and connections at the King’s Centre for Military Health Research at King’s College London, will provide an excellent foundation from which to make the most of this leadership development opportunity. I have no doubt that over time, Marie-Louise will make a significant and innovative contribution to the work of the Armed Forces charities sector.”

Marie-Louise Sharp, FiMT Fellow for the 2016 Clore Social Fellowship, said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with FiMT throughout my Clore Social Fellowship.  I hope to explore ways to develop collaborative networks between Armed Forces charities and other organisations in the social sector whilst finding ways to investigate and develop the evidence base around mental health help-seeking and practical routes to aid transition for those entering civilian life.  I plan to use the Fellowship to develop my leadership skills and learn from new colleagues both in the Fellowship and across the sector.”

Shaks Ghosh, Chief Executive of the Clore Social Leadership Programme, said: “At Clore Social we are constantly striving to improve our offer. We want to do what we do better, have more impact and reach more people, so I am delighted to be announcing our biggest ever cohort of Fellows today. The social sector is one of the UK’s most important assets, but it will face unprecedented challenges in the years to come. Building leadership capacity is critical, and Clore Social has a significant role to play in this.”

 

– 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 (The 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 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:

 

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