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Veteran who suffered life-changing brain injury recognised with national award

A former soldier who overcame a life-changing brain injury, and now helps other ex-Service personnel with serious injuries, has been recognised at a national awards ceremony in London.

Rob Cromey-Hawke, from Cowling in North Yorkshire, was named last Friday evening (22 April 2016) as the winner of the ‘Working Together (Individual)’ category in the prestigious 2016 Soldiering On Awards – national recognition for the whole Armed Forces Community run by the Soldiering On Through Life Trust.

The Working Together category is sponsored by the Forces in Mind Trust, which was established to help ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful transition back to civilian life, and recognises an individual, team or organisation that has demonstrated a commitment to collaboration with the Armed Forces Community.

Rob was injured in 2012 during a second tour of Afghanistan after the vehicle he was travelling in drove over an Improvised Explosive Device. He sustained serious brain and spinal injuries that left him with memory and concentration difficulties, and chronic pain.

Despite his injuries, Rob has overcome the challenges he has faced to excel in sport, competing in the 2015 Warrior Games. He also helped establish the Headway Forces Support Group – the first group of its kind to offer dedicated support to service personnel and veterans with a brain injury.

Rob was presented with his award by Major General Martin Rutledge at an awards ceremony held in London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel.

Rob says:  “I am honoured to be recognised in the ‘Working Together’ category. I could not have achieved all I have since my injuries and through the establishment of Headway Forces Support Group without the amazing support from my family, HeadwayUK, Help for Heroes and my current employer Deloitte. I hope we can help and support many more veterans and their families affected by brain injury”.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “We are delighted to recognise those who, like Rob, have altruistically worked together to help people make the journey from military to civilian life. Most Service personnel and their families make the transition successfully, but a few need a bit more support. Working collaboratively – whether as an individual, team or organisation – is key to making sure that those vulnerable to failed transition receive the help they need.”

ENDS

For more information 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/.
  • Our Vision is that all ex-Service personnel and their families lead successful and fulfilled civilian lives. Our Mission is to enable them to make a successful and sustainable transition. Our Strategy is to use our spend-out endowment to fund targeted, conceptually sound, evidence generation and influence activities that will cause policy makers and service deliverers to support our Mission.
  • 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

 

 

 

THE FORCES IN MIND TRUST TAKES ITS SECTOR BRIEFING PROGRAMME TO THE WEST MIDLANDS

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) held a briefing event in Birmingham on Friday 8th April which was attended by around 30 people from a wide range of sectors including representatives from the public sector, Armed Forces charities and other organisations which work to support Service and ex-Service personnel, and their families.

The event, which was the latest in a series of briefings, was led by Chief Executive FiMT, Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, and supported by his executive team. The presentation given at the event covered FiMT’s work to provide an evidence base which aims to influence policy making and service delivery in order to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives.

The briefing event included an update on FiMT’s strategy, current work and priorities, and the Mental Health Research Programme. There was a chance for those attending to ask FiMT’s executive team questions before an opportunity for further discussion and networking over lunch. FiMT would like to thank everyone who attended and made the event so interesting and enjoyable.

A further FiMT sector briefing event will take place in Plymouth on 22nd July 2016 (please contact events@fim-trust.org for more details or to register).

~ENDS~

 For more information please contact Talia Cohen at The PR Office on tcohen@theproffice.com / direct dial: 020 7284 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/.
  • Our Vision is that all ex-Service personnel and their families lead successful and fulfilled civilian lives. Our Mission is to enable them to make a successful and sustainable transition. Our Strategy is to use our spend-out endowment to fund targeted, conceptually sound, evidence generation and influence activities that will cause policy makers and service deliverers to support our Mission.
  • 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

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) awards £57,150 grant, in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA), to improve the delivery of local covenant pledges

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), has awarded funding for a research project, in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA), which aims to improve the delivery of local covenant pledges.  The research contract was awarded to Shared Intelligence following a competitive tender process.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.  Community Covenant pledges at a local level complement the Armed Forces Covenant.  However, there is a lack of understanding as to how various local covenant pledges are being delivered in practice, and how their delivery could be supported and improved.

At the heart of the co-commissioned project will be a survey of how the various local covenant pledges are being delivered across Great Britain from the perspectives of all stakeholders, followed by an analysis and subsequent promotion of good practice.  Priority areas the project will examine include education, health and social care, housing, employment, front-line staff awareness and training, wider communications, and community integration; the co-commissioners also anticipate other aspects to emerge and to be recognised.

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) was established in 2012 with a £35 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund.  The mission of FiMT is enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition into civilian life, by providing an evidence base that will influence and underpin policy making and service delivery.

The Local Government Association (LGA) is a politically-led, cross-party organisation that works on behalf of councils to ensure local government has a strong, credible voice with national government.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust said:  “A successful and sustained transition into civilian life after a time in service can require the support of a myriad of agencies.  Many provide this support within the framework of the Armed Forces Covenant.  We know, however, that there are differences in expectation, perception and delivery of local covenant pledges across Great Britain.  By funding an independent study, in partnership with the LGA, we expect to provide policy makers and service deliverers with the tools to improve that delivery, and we are delighted to have awarded the contract to Shared Intelligence, whose experience in this field is extensive.  The project will complement our ongoing work with Ulster University, whose study on veterans’ support in Northern Ireland we announced in August last year, to provide the first comprehensive overview of the Armed Forces Covenant in the United Kingdom.”

Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “Local government has a long and lasting relationship with our Armed Forces and we are deeply grateful to our servicemen and women for their commitment, service and sacrifice to our country. The Armed Forces are an integral part of who we are as a nation and an inspiration to us all. All councils across the country have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant, which demonstrates their commitment to supporting those in service, as well as our veterans and reservists. We’re delighted to be working with the Forces in Mind Trust to help councils improve the support they are able to provide our servicemen and women, and their families, when they come into contact with our public services.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Talia Cohen at The PR Office on tcohen@theproffice.com / direct dial: 020 7284 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/.
  • Our Vision is that all ex-Service personnel and their families lead successful and fulfilled civilian lives. Our Mission is to enable them to make a successful and sustainable transition. Our Strategy is to use our spend-out endowment to fund targeted, conceptually sound, evidence generation and influence activities that will cause policy makers and service deliverers to support our Mission.
  • 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 Shared Intelligence

Si a social policy and research consultancy working with a wide range of clients in local and central government, other public bodies and voluntary and community sector organisations. www.sharedintelligence.net

‘On the job’ support key to helping veterans find and stay in work, report finds

Ex-Service personnel with a serious mental health condition are nearly three times more likely to find and stay in work if they are supported through a method known as ‘Individual Placement and Support’ (IPS), rather than other methods of support, an in-depth report published today (Tuesday 12 April 2016) finds.

Today’s report, entitled ‘Employment in mind’, was commissioned by The Poppy Factory, a leading charity that supports wounded, injured or sick (WIS) ex-Service personnel into employment, to research into the barriers to employment faced by ex-Service men and women with mental health conditions.  Produced by Centre for Mental Health, the report identifies the IPS model as the most effective method of supporting these veterans into work.

The report finds that IPS is more effective than the other main approach of getting people into work, ‘train then place’, which involves training, development and sheltered work, then placing the person in paid employment.  IPS, in contrast, gets people into competitive employment first with training and support provided ‘on the job’.

‘Employment in mind’ will be used to create a toolkit that will provide guidance for employers on supporting veterans with mental health conditions.  The free toolkit will be made available by The Poppy Factory later this summer.

The report was funded by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), whose mission is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition into civilian life, by generating evidence that will influence policy makers and service deliverers. This research by Centre for Mental Health and The Poppy Factory complements FiMT’s Transition Mapping Study Report (published in 2013), which underlined the importance of individually tailored transition pathways.  The report pulls together existing research to create a profile of veterans with mental health conditions, the challenges they face when trying to find or remain in employment, and the skills they bring to the workplace.

It finds that all Armed Forces veterans can face a range of challenges and obstacles to gaining and maintaining civilian work.  This includes: inadequate preparation for civilian employment; low transferability of qualifications and skills; difficulties adjusting to new workplace cultures; and myths and negative stereotypes.

Veterans with mental health conditions though face additional barriers to employment, the report finds. Assumptions about the employability of those with mental health conditions, as well as assumptions among employers about veterans’ mental health, can have an adverse impact on their employment prospects.

As with the one in four people in the general population who experience a mental health problem at any given time, it is likely that many unemployed WIS veterans are experiencing psychological distress.  Existing research has suggested that the prevalence of common mental health conditions amongst serving military personnel is twice that of the general working population.  There is also evidence that mental health problems can be triggered, or exacerbated, by unemployment.

The report identifies the IPS model as the most effective way of supporting wounded, injured or sick veterans into employment.  It shows that:

  • the employment rate for IPS is twice that of usual high quality vocational support for people with serious mental illness
  • Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are nearly three times more likely get into open employment, which has no terms or periodsdefined in the contract itself, if they access IPS instead of supported employment

The Poppy Factory, which supports hundreds of disabled veterans across the country into life-changing work each year, is using the report to shape its Getting You Back to Work employability programme to provide the best possible evidence-based support to disabled veterans. It is commissioning additional research to further shape the development of its employability support and ensure it is underpinned by a sound evidence base.

Melanie Waters, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory, said: “Despite the myths and negative stereotypes, veterans have a tremendous amount to contribute to the workplace. However for a small but important minority struggling with mental health problems, finding and staying in work can be challenging. They can and should be supported back into work as part of their road to recovery and this exciting and comprehensive piece of research shows a clear way forward. Much of our work and approach already mirrors closely the IPS approach, and we will use this report to further hone and refine our models of support so that veterans are given and even better chance to apply their skills and reach their potential in the workplace, regardless of background or disability.”

Melanie will be giving a talk about the findings of this report at the Combat Stress “Military Mind” Symposium on Tuesday 19th April, along with Stephany Carolan, the report’s author. Together, they will hope to persuade the rest of the sector to join The Poppy Factory in taking the IPS approach to employment support for veterans.

Sean Duggan, Chief Executive of Centre for Mental Health, said: “The veterans that the Poppy Factory has supported into employment have shown that they bring a wide range of skills and qualities to their employers. With support from the Poppy Factory, they have shown that stereotypes about veterans with mental health conditions are outdated and incorrect. Our research shows that the Individual Placement and Support approach holds great promise for supporting more veterans with mental health conditions into employment.”

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, says: “For ex-Service men and women, employment is a key component of successful transition back to civilian life. It is important that the type of support provided to ex-Service personnel to help them find and stay in employment is based on sound evidence. ‘Employment in mind’ provides a good deal of insight into this important area, and it will contribute to the development of much-needed employment support services based on a clearer understanding of what works.”

ENDS

Spokespeople from the Forces in Mind Trust, The Poppy Factory and the Centre for Mental Health are available for interview. To arrange an interview, or for a copy of the full report, please contact Talia Cohen at The PR Office on tcohen@theproffice.com / mobile:  07887 512 840/ direct dial: 020 7284 6957.

To download a PDF of the ‘Employment in Mind’ report, please click the following link:

http://www.fim-trust.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Poppy-Factory-Employment-in-Mind.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 mission of the FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful and sustainable transition into civilian life, by generating evidence that will influence policy makers and service deliverers.
  • 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 The Poppy Factory

  • The Poppy Factory provides bespoke employability support to help disabled ex-Service men and women back into meaningful employment.
  • Founded in 1922 to provide employment for wounded soldiers returning from WWI – it works with ex-Forces personnel with a variety of health challenges from all corners of England and Wales.
  • From physical challenges such as blindness and limb loss to mental health conditions, the charity has nearly a century of experience employing veterans with health challenges. This knowledge helps to inform employers so that they can make any reasonable workplace adjustments, raising the standards to ensure veterans thrive in their new jobs.
  • Veterans have a wealth of transferable skills from their time in the Armed Forces, but some will find it difficult to translate these valuable skills into the ever-changing civilian jobs market. The Poppy Factory works with other military and welfare charities to provide holistic support, transforming the lives of veterans with disabilities and their families.
  • It is estimated that, by supporting over 500 veterans with health challenges into sustainable employment, The Poppy Factory’s programme has saved society over £11m. This is based upon the 2013 Social Return On Investment report score of £2.23 for every £1 spent on the Getting You Back to Work service (Poppy Factory SROI Report, Krystyna Szplit 2014), multiplied by the average cost of supporting a disabled veteran into sustainable employment that year  (£10,000), multiplied by 500 people.
  • The Duchess of Cornwall became Patron of The Poppy Factory in 2013
  • It is estimated that there are 17,500 unemployed ex-Services personnel who have a disability of working age, so there is a great need for the ‘Getting You Back to Work’ The Poppy Factory believes that disabled veterans should never be denied the opportunity for rewarding employment.
  • The Poppy Factory also provides employment at its Richmond factory for veterans with health challenges, producing remembrance products under special arrangement with The Royal British Legion.
  • poppyfactory.org

About Centre for Mental Health

Centre for Mental Health changes the lives of people with mental health problems. We are the UK’s leading authority in mental health research. We use research to change people’s lives.

  • We identify the biggest gaps in support.
  • We discover how this can be fixed and provide the evidence for it.
  • We work with government, policymakers, service providers and commissioners to create social change.
  • We save society money and we improve people’s lives.

For more information visit www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk.