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Forces in Mind Trust host Edinburgh event showcasing their work with the Armed Forces Community in Scotland

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) last night hosted an event in Edinburgh showcasing their work supporting the Armed Forces Community in Scotland. The event was attended by over 70 people and saw members of the Scottish Parliament – including MSPs Keith Brown and Maurice Corry –  as well as policy makers and service deliverers come together to network and learn about the findings of two new FiMT funded reports, Call to Mind Scotland and Sector Insight:  Armed Forces Charities in Scotland. The findings from the influential Our Community – Our Covenant report were also presented at the event.

The Call to Mind Scotland report, presented by lead author Dr Jon Bashford, highlighted that while Scotland has one of the most robust mental and related health support structures for veterans in the UK, there are gaps in provision and it identifies specific areas where further improvements could be made. The overall aim of his report was to review the mental health and related health needs of veterans and their families in Scotland, and to consider opportunities for further development.

The Sector Insight: Armed Forces Charities in Scotland report, presented by Debra Allcock Tyler, called for more transparency about the finances and functions of Armed Forces charities in Scotland and dispelled some public misconceptions about the third sector. It is the first report to focus specifically on armed forces charities registered in Scotland, which follows on from the Sector Insight, UK Armed Forces Charities report, published in November 2014 – and will help to inform Scotland’s policy direction and those working within the charity sector. It delves into the finances, purposes and functions of over 300 armed forces charities, including those operating on both sides of the border. The report focuses on how charities in Scotland are categorized, what provision they make for their beneficiaries, and offers an overview and analysis of these charities.

The Our Community – Our Covenant report, which was presented by Phil Swann (and published in August), suggested areas where the delivery of local Covenant pledges could be made.  The report’s recommendations are based on examples of best practice from across Great Britain and apply to Government, local councils, the Ministry of Defence, military charities and the Armed Forces community itself.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive FiMT says: “We were absolutely delighted with the number of people who came to our event, and their enthusiasm and commitment to supporting the Armed Forces Community in Scotland.  The aim of FiMT is to provide independent, evidence-based knowledge that can be used to influence and bring about change where needed, from policy to service delivery. The detailed evidence in these three reports offers important and unique insights into the Armed Forces Community in Scotland, and how it is supported by military charities, the NHS and local councils.  Scotland provides a great example in many areas; but there is still much more that can be done, and I would urge all those involved to consider the findings carefully.  We very much hope that we have provided credible evidence and will act as a valuable catalyst to encourage further partnership working, collaboration and effective communication.”

You can read the Call to Mind Scotland report here, the Sector Insight: Armed Forces Charities in Scotland report here and the Our Community – Our Covenant report here.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editor

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.  http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.
  • The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.
  • FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships.
  • All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub.  A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

 

Useful links

Forces in Mind Trust releases next Call to Mind Review in the UK Series: meeting the mental and related health needs of veterans and families – Scotland

Scotland has some of the UK’s better support systems for meeting the mental health needs of veterans a new review, released today 25th October 2016, finds.  It makes 16 key recommendations that could help further strengthen the nation’s strategy to meet the complex needs of veterans and their family members.

The report, entitled ‘Call to Mind: A Framework for Action’, highlights that while Scotland has one of the most robust mental and related health support structures for veterans in the UK, there are gaps in provision and specific areas where further improvements could be made. The overall aim of the report is to review the mental health and related health needs of veterans and their families in Scotland, and to consider opportunities for further development.

Key areas highlighted in the report include appropriately targeting and maximizing existing resources in order to support veterans and their families and carers, particularly those who are most in need. Scotland should continue to focus on developing a ‘mixed economy’ of service provision (and avoid switching to a ‘one size fits all’ model), which is based on local need and ease of access to services and caters both to those living in remote rural locations as well as to those in urban areas. There is also a need for greater collaborative partnerships to improve efficiency and effectiveness between the statutory and voluntary sectors; the same can also be said for within the voluntary sector itself, in order to ensure that those with multiple complex issues, including mental health, alcohol and those engaged with the criminal just system, are met.

The report is based on a range of qualitative research with 37 stakeholders from 24 statutory and voluntary/third sector organizations and veterans, as well as reviews of key documents including relevant national policies and strategies, Scottish Health and Social Care Partnership Strategic Plans, and existing research and evidence on veterans in Scotland and on their mental health and related health needs.   It captures stakeholder views on areas where improvement could be made and highlights opportunities for further development between the Scottish Government, NHS Health Boards and Integration Joint Boards, specialist statutory and voluntary sector service providers, and veterans.

A few examples of suggested improvements include:

  • More research on the emotional and support needs of the families of veterans
  • Increasing awareness and understanding of the local systems and provision of safeguarding children to ensure families and children have access to any help they need, when they need it
  • A more strategic and coordinated partnership approach to supporting veterans with the most complex needs
  • Improving access to information for veterans to help overcome difficulties in navigating between numerous websites to find the information they need
  • Refreshing Health Boards’ understanding and application of The Armed Forces Covenant and the needs of the veterans to address inconsistencies in services and manage veteran expectation
  • Improving monitoring around the standards and quality of veteran’s mental health services.

The Scottish report, which was conducted between March and June 2016, is part of a wider one-year review covering each of the three devolved nations.    It was commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and conducted by Community Innovations Enterprise to build on a similar and well-received review carried out in England in 2015.   The end result will be the first comprehensive review of the degree to which the mental and related health needs of UK veterans and their family members are assessed and supported throughout the UK.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of FiMT, says: “Scotland has thriving specialist statutory and voluntary sectors which have been well supported by the Scottish Government.   Much effort and investment have been put into these support systems over the years, but this report highlights the opportunities for further development and improvement that will ensure Scotland builds on its enviable reputation in this area.”

Dr Jon Bashford, who led the research for Community Innovations Enterprise, says: “Scotland has an excellent national service model for helping veterans with mental health problems and there is much that can be learned from this for the UK as a whole. There are also new opportunities in Scotland to strengthen this model and in particular to provide more help for the families of veterans who themselves may have mental health problems but who are also a key support for veterans.”

Read the full report here.

ENDS

Ray Lock and Dr Jon Bashford are available for interview.  To arrange, or for a copy of the full report, please contact Kate Turner at The PR Office on kturner@theproffice.com or on 0207 284 6944.

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:

 

FiMT and DSC release “Sector Insight:  Armed Forces Charities in Scotland” report

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and the Directory of Social Change (DSC) today release the Sector Insight:  Armed Forces Charities in Scotland report, calling for more transparency about the finances and functions of Armed Forces charities in Scotland and dispelling some public misconceptions.

The report – the first to focus specifically on armed forces charities registered in Scotland, which follows on from the Sector Insight, UK Armed Forces Charities report, published in November 2014 – will help to inform Scotland’s policy direction and those working within the charity sector.   It delves into the finances, purposes and functions of over 300 armed forces charities, including those that operate on both sides of the border. The report focuses on how charities in Scotland are categorized, what provision they make for their beneficiaries, and offers an overview and analysis of these charities.

Scottish armed forces charities have historically lacked the same level of publicly-availability information as charities registered in England and Wales, an issue identified by the first Sector Insight, UK Armed Forces Charities Report. FiMT and DSC concluded that further research was necessary to develop a comprehensive evidence base, and so commissioned this further report dedicated to the Scottish Armed Forces charity sector. Together, these two reports form a body of work illuminating Britain’s Armed Forces charity sector through unique evidence, extensive knowledge and insightful analysis.

The report challenges commonly held public misconceptions that there are too many armed forces charities, as did the 2014 report that covered England and Wales.  The total number of armed forces charities registered in Scotland is 320, accounting for just 1.3% of the 23,971 charities registered and operating in Scotland.

The report also identifies the difficulties of assessing cross-border charities, of which 32 are registered in Scotland, as they do not provide income and expenditure figures reliably attributed to Scotland, skewing the financial size of the sector. The report suggests that for cross-border charities, 3% of expenditure is spent on activities in Scotland, whereas 2.2% of income is generated.  Whilst it could be argued that this percentage is reflective of the Scottish population size, these figures must be treated with extreme caution.  What is clear is that the financial impact of cross-border charities remains opaque and there are no current means to accurately assess the financial size of the sector. To address this evidence gap, the Report recommends cross-border charities should be required to produce separate annual reports that includes accounts detailing activities and expenditure in Scotland to signpost the investment and effect of charities’ programmes.

The report finds that that majority of income and expenditure is associated with welfare charities.   Provision by charities that support ex-Service personnel and their families is primarily focused on relief in need (82.7% of all charities), with the number of charities providing support for health (16%), education and employment (13%), advice and advocacy (12.3%), and housing (6%) all providing a much needed and highly regarded service to ex-Service personnel in Scotland.  A great deal of cooperation is also observed between armed forces charities in the form of grant-making habits and collaborative effort between charities which is consistent with the rest of the UK armed forces charity sector.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive FiMT says:  “The aim of FiMT is to provide independent, evidence-based knowledge that can be used to influence and bring about change where needed, from policy to service delivery. The clearly detailed evidence in this report offers an important and unique insight into the armed forces charity sector in Scotland, and will provide a guide for anyone wishing to better understand the armed forces charities sector, particularly those who work in the sector such as policymakers, government officials and media organizations.  We hope that the report will be a valuable catalyst to encourage further partnership working, collaboration and effective communication.”

Stuart Cole, Senior Researcher at DSC, says: “DSC is delighted to present this report, which for the first time details the armed forces charities sector in Scotland and reveals the extent of the invaluable support given to the ex-services community there. These charities provide vital help and support, without which many ex-service personnel and their families would be disadvantaged and struggle in their day-to-day lives after serving their country. We hope that the information presented in the report will provide the evidence for policymakers, the government and the charities themselves to enable them to continue and develop provision for the ex-services community into the future.”

Read the full report here. 

ENDS

Ray Lock CBE from FiMT and Stuart Cole from DSC are available for interview.  To arrange an interview or for a copy of the full report, please contact Kate Turner at The PR Office on kturner@proffice.com or on 0207 284 6944 or 07919 887 036.

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.  http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.
  • The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.
  • FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships.
  • All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub.  A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links

About the Directory of Social Change (DSC):

DSC has a vision of an independent voluntary sector at the heart of social change. The activities of independent charities, voluntary organisations and community groups are fundamental to achieve social change. DSC exists to help these organisations and the people who support them to achieve their goals. It does this by:

  • providing practical tools that organisations and activists need, including online and printed publications, training courses, and conferences on a huge range of topics
  • acting as a ‘concerned citizen’ in public policy debates, often on behalf of smaller charities, voluntary organisations and community groups
  • leading campaigns and stimulating debate on key policy issues that affect those groups
  • carrying out research and providing information to influence policymakers.

DSC is the leading provider of information and training for the voluntary sector and publishes an extensive range of guides and handbooks covering subjects such as fundraising, management, communication, finance and law. Since 2014, DSC has worked with the Forces in Mind Trust to research and analyse the armed forces charities sector in the UK, and has become the foremost expert in this field.

Volunteer mentoring addresses a gap in provision for ex-service men and women

Shoulder to Shoulder, a unique volunteer mentoring project which supports ex-service men and women who are struggling to adjust to civilian life, is meeting a need and addressing a gap in service provision, says an external evaluation from research consultancy The Lines Between.

Speaking at the launch of the report at Westminster today (October 18), Helen Walker, Chief Executive of TimeBank, the volunteering charity which runs the project, said: “Many service veterans are in a state of crisis in their lives, with complex problems including financial hardship, homelessness, alcohol dependency and health issues. The struggle for them is to move on from the military and settle into civilian life, so support from both military and civilian charities, working in partnership, is vital to address their range of needs.  We need to ensure we work together so that each veteran gets the support they need, whoever is delivering it.”

Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine (S2SE) is a two-year volunteer mentoring programme for ex-service men and women and their families in Glasgow and Edinburgh, delivered by TimeBank in partnership with the Scottish veterans’ charity Erskine.  It is funded by The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and the Henry Smith Charity and draws on TimeBank’s extensive experience of delivering volunteer mentoring projects that support vulnerable people through difficult transitions in their lives.

Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine recruits and trains volunteers to provide one to one mentoring support to veterans who are recovering from mental health issues or struggling to adjust to life after the military. They actively encourage the veterans to manage their finances, use public transport, take exercise and write CVs.  They help them access local support services and sort out their housing issues. Volunteers also support veteran’s family members, who often face unique challenges in understanding and dealing with the issues their partners, sons and daughters are going through.

The external evaluation highlights the success of the Shoulder to Shoulder Erskine project and its positive impacts for both veterans and volunteers. It says the unique nature of the service is clearly providing a valued and useful addition to services that support veterans and points to increases in confidence, self-esteem and social networks resulting from mentoring. It concludes that the voluntary nature of the mentors’ contribution is a particular motivator, creating a social bond that encourages engagement in the project and complements professional services. Volunteers on the project felt they had learnt more about mental health issues and veterans’ support needs and gained a feeling of self-worth that came from doing something valuable.

The Armed Forces community in Scotland numbers half a million – 10% of the population – of whom 230,000 suffer from long-term illness or disability. In addition; adult members of the ex-service community are (41%) more likely to live alone than other adults (24%) in Scotland; 15% are affected by social isolation; 10% have long-term mental health problems and 20% have employment-related problems*.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust said: “Mental health is one of the key challenges that ex-Service personnel can face when coming out of the Armed Forces. A better understanding of these challenges, and how best they can be overcome is invaluable to helping ex-Service personnel and their families have successful transitions into civilian life. The Trust welcomes the findings of the evaluation of this pilot project and we look forward to seeing how this work develops in the future.”

18 October 2016

Ends

For media enquiries, please contact Julia Shipston, TimeBank Communications Manager, at julias@timebank.org.uk or 07713163003.

TimeBank is a national volunteering charity, started in 2000. It recruits and trains volunteers to deliver mentoring projects to tackle complex social problems and also works with businesses to engage their staff in volunteering. TimeBank believe that great volunteering can transform the lives of both volunteers and beneficiaries by building stronger, happier and more inclusive communities. TimeBank’s Shoulder to Shoulder volunteer mentoring programme was launched in 2010 in London and has since been extended to Scotland. It recruits and trains volunteer mentors to provide practical support, enhancing recovery and helping veterans make a successful transition to civilian life. For more information see www.timebank.org.uk/shoulder-to-shoulder

Erskine has been caring for veterans since 1916.  As Scotland’s foremost provider of care for veterans and their spouses, Erskine offer unrivalled nursing, residential, respite and dementia care within four care homes in Scotland.  Erskine’s proud history also extends beyond its provision of medical and nursing care by employing and promoting all employment opportunities for veterans and offering housing to veterans and their families in 44 cottages within the Erskine estate. The charity cares for over 1,000 residents each year.  For more information visit our website – www.erskine.org.uk

Forces in Mind Trust (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.  http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/

  • The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.
  • FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships.
  • All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub.  A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.
  • Useful links

Forces in Mind Trust awards three year sponsorship to Veterans’ Mental Health Conference

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) is delighted to be sole sponsor of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research’s (KCMHR) annual ‘Veterans’ Mental Health Conference from 2017 to 2019 in an award worth £15,000.

KCMHR, part of King’s College London, has hosted two successful ‘Veterans’ Mental Health’ one-day conferences to date, bringing together academics, charities and policy makers with an interest in the field to network and to hear the latest research from speakers of world-class reputation from across leading UK and international institutions.

FiMT attended the inaugural conference in 2015 on ‘Veterans’ Mental Health – Fact, Fiction and Future’, which aimed to myth-bust erroneous perceptions, which are commonly reported across various forms of media and elsewhere.  Following the highly positive reaction to this event, FiMT offered sole sponsorship of the 2016 conference, which looked to the future: ‘Veterans’ Mental Health – The Road Ahead’.  With the growing importance and relevance of these conferences, and the close fit with FiMT’s charitable aims and objectives, the Trust has awarded a longer sponsorship term which will also include concessionary rates to encourage selected organizations working within this sector to attend.

Arrangements for the 2017 conference, entitled ‘Veterans’ Mental Health – The Wider Perspective’, are now underway.  Presentations and debates focus on issues ranging from the use of peers in improving treatment seeking and the mental health of and support to service families, to whether veterans’ mental health care should be part of mainstream services.  Speakers from the United States and from Canada will also highlight their countries’ perspectives on veterans’ mental health.

A selection of speakers at the event includes:

  • Professor Alice Aikin, Dalhousie University Faculty of Health Professions and Alyson Mahar, Queens University (Department of Public Health Sciences) and the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research
  • Col (Rtd) Matthew Amidon, the George W Bush Institute, Dallas, USA
  • Capt US Navy (Rtd) Robert Koffman, Semper Fi, Washington DC
  • Professor (Col) Eric Vermetten, Leiden University, the Netherlands
  • Professor Nicola Fear and Dr Sharon Stevelink, King’s Centre for Military Health Research, King’s College London
  • Sue Freeth and Dr Dominic Murphy, Combat Stress
  • Gp Capt (Rtd) Carol Smith, the Royal British Legion
  • Kate Davies, NHS England, and Dr Charlie Allanson-Oddy, NHS Lothian

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), said: “Since Forces in Mind Trust’s inauguration in 2012, the Trust has worked hard to develop an understanding of the mental health environment to identify where it can best deploy its finite resources to maximum effect, in direct response to one of the Trust’s founding priorities: ‘to promote better mental health and well-being’ among the ex-Service community.  Conferences such as this help to shed light on what can be a frequently misunderstood topic in the national and international media, with often anecdotal evidence being given precedence over research, evidence or fact. Forces in Mind Trust is very proud to award this three-year sole sponsorship to King’s Centre for Military Health Research and hopes it will spark new ideas and collaborative relationships that ultimately will enable policy makers and service deliverers to further enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives.”

The event takes place on 16 March 2017 from 9.15am to 5.10pm (followed by a networking reception) at King’s College London. The standard fee to attend the event is £99 and includes all refreshments, lunch, drinks, canapé reception, free WiFi and a certificate of attendance.

Should you wish to apply for a concessionary rate, applicants must be members or associate members of The Confederation of Service Charities.  There are fifty concessionary rate tickets available for the discounted price of £49 each, which will be offered on a first come first served basis, at a maximum of two concessions per organization.  To determine entitlement to this special rate, please email Forces in Mind Trust’s Executive Assistant, Vips Hirani, on ea@fim-trust.org, specifying whether you wish for one or two concessions.  Should you be successful, FiMT will contact you with a rebate number and invite you to book a place(s) at the standard £99 fee through the e-booking link below.  After the event, you will receive a rebate for £50, together with a receipt.

To book your place please visit:

http://estore.kcl.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=2&deptid=13&catid=131&prodid=687

ENDS

Ray Lock is available for interviews.  To arrange an interview, please contact Kate Turner at kturner@theproffice.com or call 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944.

Neil Greenberg is also available for interviews.  To arrange an interview, please contact Jack Stonebridge at jack.stonebridge@kcl.ac.uk or call 07718697176 or 0207 848 5377.

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.  http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.
  • The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.
  • FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships.
  • All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub.  A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

New Forces in Mind Trust award: Swansea University to research gambling addiction among UK veterans

A grant of £39,478 has been awarded to Swansea University for the very first evaluation of gambling-related problems among UK veterans which will also compare the findings against non-veterans from the general population.

The temptation to gamble while serving in the Armed Forces is widely reported, with many veterans noting that factors such as time spent in solitary accommodation, and living from one pay cheque to the next, can compound the risk of vulnerable individuals developing a gambling addiction.

At present, there are only anecdotal reports of the struggles faced by UK veterans in dealing with a gambling problem; the true nature and extent of the problem remains unknown.  This six-month study seeks to fill the evidence gap by comparing the prevalence of gambling-related problems in veterans serving since the mid-1960s with non-veterans, as well as assessing the potential relationships between gambling-related problems and length of active service, alcohol use and trauma (both during and after deployment). Finding answers to these questions will, for the first time, cast light on the true scale of gambling behaviour among UK veterans.

The research project is led by Dr Simon Dymond, Reader in Psychology at Swansea University, and will be conducted using an existing dataset, the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, which is a survey of thousands of community-dwelling adults in England containing a series of questions related to gambling behaviour. The study will also help inform factors that should be included in future health surveys of the UK population.

Dr Dymond said: “Compared with other countries, we actually know very little about the types of gambling-related problems confronted by our Armed Forces veterans. Assessing prevalence among UK veterans is therefore an essential first step in this regard. Indeed, getting a better idea of who is and is not at risk of developing a gambling problem is also important as we seek to improve treatment of this significant public health issue.”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), said: “Very little is known about the nature and scale of problem gambling among UK veterans. Indeed, and despite frequent popular assertion, there might even be no significant differences from gambling within the general population. This study promises an important insight into the factors that may be associated with, or exacerbate, such behaviour in order to identify who may be most susceptible and under what circumstances.  Such evidence can then be used by policy makers and service deliverers to help identify suitable and timely treatment interventions that ultimately will aid any ex-Service personnel suffering from such issues in their transition to civilian life.”

ENDS

Ray Lock is available for interviews.  To arrange an interview please contact Kerrie Josephs at kjosephs@theproffice.com or on 07788 540 924 or 0207 284 6941 or Kate Turner at kturner@theproffice.com or on 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944.

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.  http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships.

All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub.  A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links

Website: www.fim-trust.org

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

Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/

Twitter: @FIMtrust

Swansea University is a world-class, research-led, dual campus university.  The University was established in 1920 and was the first campus university in the UK.  It currently offers around 330 undergraduate courses and 120 postgraduate courses to 16,800 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The University’s 46-acre Singleton Park Campus is located in beautiful parkland with views across Swansea Bay.  The University’s 65-acre science and innovation Bay Campus, which opened in September 2015, is located a few miles away on the eastern approach to the city. It has the distinction of having direct access to a beach and its own seafront promenade.  Both campuses are close to the Gower Peninsula, the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 showed the University has achieved its ambition to be a top 30 research University, soaring up the league table to 26th in the UK, with the ‘biggest leap among research-intensive institutions’ (Times Higher Education, December 2014) in the UK.

The University has ambitious expansion plans as it moves towards its centenary in 2020, as it continues to extend its global reach and moves closer to realising its ambition of being a top 200 Global University.

Swansea University is a registered charity. No.1138342. Visit www.swansea.ac.uk.

For more information please contact Swansea University Public Relations Office, email: press@swansea.ac.uk, or call 01792 295050.

Twitter: @SwanseaUni

Facebook: www.facebook.com/swanseauniversity

The Forces in Mind Trust takes its sector briefing programme to the East of England

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) held a briefing event in Norwich on Thursday 6th October which was attended by over 30 people. Attendees came from a wide range of sectors including the Armed Forces Community and the Armed Forces charity sector as well as other key stakeholders and interested parties who work to support ex-Service personnel, and their families. The President of Veterans Norfolk, General the Lord Dannatt, kindly welcomed the team to the region, together with many members of the organization.

The event, which was the latest in a series of regional briefings, was led by Chief Executive of FiMT, Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, and supported by his executive team. A presentation at the event highlighted 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.

There was also an update on FiMT’s strategy, current work and priorities, and the Mental Health Research Programme. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with FiMT’s executive team and network over lunch, and to meet the Trust’s designated Chairman from December, Hans Pung.

FiMT would like to thank everyone who attended the event and made it so interesting and enjoyable.

– Ends –

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.  http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.
  • The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.
  • FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships.
  • All work is published in open access and hosted on the Veterans’ Research Hub.  A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links