latest news

We are recruiting for an Operations Manager

We are recruiting for an experienced Operations Manager to work for a charity based in Victoria, London. The Operations Manager (OM) reports to the CE and is responsible for the effective and efficient operation of the office and the execution of other supporting functions.

Key responsibilities

This will include working in conjunction with other members of the small Executive Team, as well as the Financial Controller. OM shares the responsibility for conducting Trust operations and working with the sector and other organisations to ensure that the Trust is fulfilling its charitable objects, following the Board’s strategy, and executing the Grants and Commissions Plan. OM leads the organization of external events such as briefings and report launches.

The main effort of OM is the efficient operation of all aspects of the office, notably financial management and Board/CE support.

About the Person

You must have excellent organisational skills including time management, excellent interpersonal and communication skills (verbal and written) and attention to detail with a high level of accuracy. Ability to manage financial information, including processing invoices and expenses. You must have basic data entry skills.

You also will be IT literate with proficiency in all Microsoft office programmes and experience of, or aptitude to learn, simple website skills to maintain information on the website (ideally knowledge of WordPress). The Trust is introducing a Customer Relationship Manager software package (Microsoft Dynamics) with which you will need to become highly proficient. You must be able to work without constant supervision and be able to plan and prioritise workflow. You will have empathy with the UK Armed Forces and an appreciation of their particular characteristics.

Benefits include: 30 days holiday plus Public/Bank holidays, Group pension plan, greater than statutory sick pay provision, interest free season ticket loan.

Closing date Monday 14th March.

Salary: £27,000 per annum with anticipated incremental increase over a 3-year period to £31,750

Apply: If you would like to make an application, please click here

Substance abuse and addiction among ex-Service personnel: Forces in Mind Trust issues call for research proposals

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), in collaboration with Centre for Mental Health and King’s Centre for Military Health Research, has issued its first highlight notice under its recently launched multi-million pound Mental Health Research Programme, a 5 year programme established to encourage high quality research in the field of veterans’ and their families’ mental health.

The aim of this highlight notice is to encourage applications through the Mental Health Research Programme (MHRP) that propose innovative ways to understand and address substance misuse and addiction amongst ex-Service personnel. This includes alcohol, legal and illegal drug use, and the impact on former Armed Forces personnel and their families.

A FiMT-commissioned review of serving and ex-Service personnel’s mental health identified alcohol misuse as a key priority for veterans’ mental health, describing it as a ‘major public health issue’.  The review highlighted the need to address:

  • causes of alcohol use and misuse
  • the effectiveness of alcohol-related interventions
  • the relationship between alcohol consumption and other mental health conditions
  • issues of long term alcohol misuse and dependency
  • the lack of existing evidence on other types of substance misuse and addictive behaviours beyond alcohol including recreational drug use, self-medication, gambling, and misuse of prescription medicines or ‘body enhancement’ substances

The MHRP welcomes research proposals that address any of these aspects of substance misuse and addiction in relation to UK ex-Service personnel and their families.

FiMT’s MHRP plans to issue highlight notices every six months to encourage research in priority areas around veterans’ mental health, taking into consideration other research taking place in this field, service user and deliverer feedback, and any other contextual factors that may affect the Programme’s priorities.

All funding opportunities relating to the MHRP can be found at this link: http://www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/funding/funding-opportunities/

– 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 (‘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:

LAST FEW TICKETS: ‘VETERANS’ MENTAL HEALTH – THE ROAD AHEAD’ (Thursday 10 March)

Following the great success of the inaugural ‘Veterans’ Mental Health – Fact, Fiction and Future’ conference of March 2015, this follow on one-day event takes place on 10th March 2016, hosted by the King’s Centre for Military Health Research, under the sole sponsorship of the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT).

Mental Health is a well-known but frequently misunderstood topic in the national and international media, with often anecdotal evidence being given precedence over research, evidence or fact.

The aim of the conference is to focus on how best to improve services for Veterans and Service Families and will include presenters with world-class reputation from King’s College London and other leading UK institutions.

Speakers include:
• Kate Davies OBE, Head of Public Health, Armed Forces Health and Offender Health, NHS England
• Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
• Professor Neil Greenberg, Professor of Defence Mental Health, King’s College London
• Professor Edgar Jones, Professor in the History of Medicine and Psychiatry, King’s College London
• Lieutenant General Sir Andrew Ridgway, Chairman of Cobseo
• Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive, Forces in Mind Trust

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “There is much misinformation surrounding the subject of mental health, and particularly around the mental health of veterans. Amongst the founding priorities of the Trust are ‘to promote better mental health and well-being’ and ‘to build organizations’ capacity to deliver evidence-based prevention and rehabilitation’. These priorities represent key aspects of our ultimate aim, which is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families lead successful civilian lives. We are therefore very proud to sponsor such a relevant and prestigious conference.”

The event takes place between 9.00am-5.15pm (followed by a networking reception) in The Great Hall, King’s College London, Strand Campus, WC2R 2LS. The standard fee to attend the event is £99 and includes all refreshments, lunch, drinks, canapé reception, free WiFi and a certificate of attendance.

Booking is available via the King’s College London’s e-store:
http://estore.kcl.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=2&catid=131&prodid=555

– 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 (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 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
o Website: www.fim-trust.org
o Mental Health Research Programme: http://www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/
o Reports: http://www.fim-trust.org/reports/
o Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/
o Twitter: www.twitter.com/FIMtrust

ANGLIA RUSKIN UNIVERISTY TO EVALUATE TRIAL OF MOD’s SPOUSAL EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT PROGRAMME

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded £199,229 to Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) to conduct a two-year evaluation of a Ministry of Defence-led programme to support the spouses of serving personnel looking for work.

The evaluation will be carried out by ARU’s Veterans and Families Institute led by director Matt Fossey. It will assess the effectiveness of the MOD’s ‘Spousal Employment Support Programme’ (SESP) in assisting the spouses of serving personnel who are seeking employment.

Building on FiMT’s publication entitled ‘Better Understanding the Support Needs of Service Leaver Families’ (March 2015), this evaluation will also continue FiMT’s work in supporting families by providing a thorough analysis of the employment support needs of the spouses of Service Personnel.

A trial of SESP is currently underway and is funded by two front-line formations: RAF Air Command (AIR) for RAF spouses in selected locations across the UK; and Joint Forces Command (JFC) for all spouses living in Cyprus. It offers employment support that is delivered via the new Career Transition Partnership (CTP) contract.

The comprehensive evaluation will be conducted using a number of qualitative and quantitative methods, drawing on data provided by the CTP and complemented by focus group sessions and in-depth interviews. It will aim to answer the following questions:

• What are the employment support needs of spouses of Service Personnel?

• How far is SESP able to meet these needs?

• How does the programme influence Service families’ preparations for, and experience of, transition from the military into civilian life?

The evaluation will be published by Anglia Ruskin University in December 2017.

Matt Fossey, Director, Veterans and Families Institute and Visiting Principal Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University, says: “There is a lack of good quality research to understand the efficacy and effectiveness of programmes designed to offer employment support to the partners of serving personnel. In the US similar programmes have been running since 2007 and have been criticised for not being properly evaluated. In the UK we want to ensure that the SESP meets the needs of military spouses and this trial is an opportunity to really understand the impact of employment support on both the spouse and the consequential impact on the serving partner.”

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, says: “Nobody should underestimate the role played by the spouses of serving men and women, both during and after military life. We know from our existing work that effective support for the families of serving personnel significantly increases the likelihood of a successful transition. As part of FiMT’s focus on employment and skills as a key component of successful transition, employment support for spouses has been identified as an important area in need of effective and evidence-based service delivery. This research will directly address an important aspect of this need.

“Anglia Ruskin University is rightly recognised for the quality of its research in the military field and I am confident that this comprehensive evaluation will deliver valuable insight into how the spouses of Serving Personnel can be supported effectively to find and stay in work. We look forward to its conclusions.”

ENDS
Matt Fossey and Ray Lock are available for interview. To arrange, or if you need anything more, please contact Alex Goldup at The PR Office on agoldup@theproffice.com / mobile: 07791 765 915/ direct dial: 020 7284 6941.

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 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.

• Useful links

o Read our report ‘Better Understanding the Support Needs of Service Leaver Families’

o Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/

About Anglia Ruskin University

• Anglia Ruskin is an innovative, global university with over 39,000 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. 3 out of 4 of our students secure professional jobs, outperforming most other graduates.

• We have three main campuses, in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough.

• Students, businesses and partners benefit from our outstanding facilities; we’ve invested £122 million in our campuses over the last five years and will be investing £98 million over the next five years.

RFP ISSUED FOR LOCAL COVENANT RESEARCH PROJECT

Forces in Mind Trust has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a research project in partnership with the Local Government Association that aims to improve the delivery of local covenant pledges.  The RFP can be found here and members are invited to circulate it widely to organisations they believe might wish to submit a proposal, by Monday 22nd February.  The project will be advised by a group including Cobseo and other military charity representatives.

NEW INVESTIGATION INTO SUPPORT FOR EX-SERVICE PERSONNEL RECOVERING FROM TRAUMA

The support needs of ex-Service personnel who have experienced trauma is the subject of an investigation published today (Thursday 11 February 2016) by Dr Jane Rowley, a Senior Research Fellow at Staffordshire University, and the first to be awarded Forces in Mind Trust’s Specialist Fellowship on the Clore Social Leadership Programme.

The report, entitled ‘What more can we do to support ex-Services personnel? An investigation into Post Traumatic Growth and the role of Expert Companions’, charts Dr Rowley’s findings from a personal learning perspective, as she explores several US and UK ‘trauma’ support system models, all of which have been tailored to the needs of ex-Service personnel and their families, and which are based on an existing framework known as Post Traumatic Growth (PTG).  PTG is a process which helps people make meaning of and cope with traumatic experiences by using their own language to express that experience and in their own way, use PTG techniques to turn that experience into an opportunity for personal growth.

At the core of Dr Rowley’s learning is an exploration of the ways in which this PTG process is being applied to help the ex-Service community, with a particular focus on the role of the ‘Expert Companion’.  Dr Rowley describes this role as “challenging” and one that requires a broad range of skills, such as:

  • listening with patience, and without passing judgment of giving advice, as people try to find their own words to describe some of the worst experiences imaginable
  • encouraging people to acknowledge that their reactions to traumatic experiences are not abnormal but rather normal responses to abnormal experiences
  • allowing the powerful experience of being heard to help repair the damage

The report is founded on literature reviews, field-based research and over a dozen interviews with individuals ranging from the Ministry of Defence, Clinical Practice and the Armed Forces charity support sector, to others who offer (and who have received) support following injury, trauma and transition difficulties in both the UK and US.  The subject matter also complements Dr Rowley’s experience as a social researcher and lecturer in addiction, and particularly her specialism in developing work that aids people who struggle to access social support networks or feel excluded from their communities. Dr Rowley is now on a three-month secondment with SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity, focusing on building her PTG learning into the Families of the Wounded, Injured & Sick Personnel Support groups.

Dr Jane Rowley says: “My research shows that we can find and effectively use different methods to help those in transition move forward. We can support people to find new meaning in their lives after trauma and aid them to recognise that distress can co-exist with growth”.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, says: “Our first FiMT Fellow has delivered an insightful and thoughtful piece of investigative research on Post Traumatic Growth.  Drawing attention to the techniques used in the UK and US will benefit UK ex-Service personnel who have suffered traumatic experiences during their Service career, and the families who support them.   The connections Jane has made through her investigative research activities, and the potential for shared learning and improved services suggested by this report, are of value to both the military charity and wider social sector.”

To read and download the full report visit http://www.cloresocialleadership.org.uk/Supporting-ex-services-personnel

ENDS

Dr Jane Rowley and Ray Lock are available for interview.  To arrange, or if you need anything more, please contact Alex Goldup at The PR Office on agoldup@theproffice.com / mobile:  07791 765 915/ direct dial: 020 7284 6941.

 

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 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.

Useful links

About Clore Social Leadership Programme

 The Clore Social Leadership Programme develops leaders with a social purpose so that they can transform their communities, organisations and the world around them.

The organisation helps make social change happen by supporting and investing in people – people who can become leaders with the resilience, self-awareness and capabilities to tackle the social challenges of the 21st century.

It was initiated by the Clore Duffield Foundation in 2007 with the aim of strengthening leadership across the third sector, and officially launched in 2009 later becoming a separate charity in 2010.

www.cloresocialleadership.org.uk

FORCES IN MIND TRUST (FiMT) CONTRIBUTES TO GUIDE EXAMINING THE PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH OF MILITARY PERSONNEL

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) is delighted to announce it has contributed to a new guide, highlighting the psychological health of military personnel.

The guide, a research briefing note for Parliament, published on the 3rd February 2016, is a well-balanced, credible and easily readable guide for lay audiences. It examines what is known about the impact of military service on the psychological health of serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families, including the effectiveness of interventions areas for further research.

Monitoring the mental health of the military is the focus of much research carried out by the Ministry of Defence, Academia, Charities and by other organisations working in this field, many of whom have contributed to this guide. Two particularly successful pieces of FiMT’s research mentioned include the Transition Mapping Study, published in August 2013 (read more here) and the Future Horizons Programme in 2013 (read more here).  Investing further in the psychological health of veterans and their families, FiMT has recently established a multi-million pound Mental Health Research Programme in partnership with Centre for Mental Health and King’s Centre for Military Health Research.  Read the launch announcement here.

The briefing note is at link: http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/POST-PN-0518/POST-PN-0518.pdf

THE FORCES IN MIND TRUST AWARDS £75,000 TO RAND EUROPE FOR RESEARCH ON SUPPORTING FAMILIES OF SERVICE PERSONNEL TRANSITIONING 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 £75,000 to RAND Europe to review the relevant literature available concerning several aspects of the transition process for military families.

Each year, 20,000 personnel leave the Armed Forces and this transition affects both Service leavers and their families.  There is growing recognition that families of Service personnel could be better supported in their transition from military to civilian life.

Building on FiMT’s publication entitled ‘Better Understanding the Support Needs of Service Leaver Families’ (March 2015) , RAND Europe has been engaged to conduct a systematic review to help FiMT develop a better understanding of the existing evidence base and gaps in the available literature on several important issues.

The systematic review will focus on four areas:

  1. Engagement with families – A recurring theme throughout the stakeholder engagement programme was the lack of engagement with families before and during transition. The systematic review here will focus on understanding families’ engagement with service providers, barriers to successful engagement and ways to overcome them
  2. Family breakdown – This element of the systematic review will focus on research around relationship breakdown between a serving person and their spouse with particular focus on the comparisons with the civilian population and whether military transition acts as a trigger for a relationship breakdown
  3. Family housing and support needs – Another recurring theme of the stakeholder engagement programme was the difficulty some families reportedly experienced in finding suitable housing when leaving MOD-provided Service Families Accommodation, whilst undergoing transition. The focus here will be on families’ access to information before and during transition.
  4. Spousal employment – The final area of the review will look at spousal employment, focusing on understanding potential barriers to spousal employment and ways to overcome them, and also the benefits to ex-Service personnel of having a spouse in employment.

RAND Europe is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to help improve policy and decision-making through research and analysis.

This study was commissioned following FiMT’s Families Engagement Programme and to continue FiMT’s work in supporting families.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working with RAND Europe, who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to this important area of research. The findings from this research will enable us to further build on our evidence base by commissioning a coherent programme of projects that will provide the evidence necessary to influence how the families of Service personnel transitioning back to civilian life can best be supported.”

Dr Susanne Søndergaard, the project leader at RAND Europe, says: “We are delighted that the Forces in Mind Trust have awarded us this grant to undertake this important research. We will be combining expertise from multiple research areas to provide a robust systematic review of the evidence base, focusing on the understanding of the issues experienced by military families as they transition into civilian lives. The project is still in its early phase, but we expect the project to identify potential evidence gaps in the literature, which will enable Forces in Mind Trust and other organisations working with military families to understand better where more work is needed.”

 

– Ends –

Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact:

To download the Families Engagement Programme Report please click this link: http://www.fim-trust.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Families-Engagement-Programme-Report.pdf

 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: