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Forces in Mind Trust awards three Specialist Fellowships on Clore Social Leadership’s 2017 Fellowship programme

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful transition back to civilian life, is delighted to announce the award of not one but three successful FiMT Specialist Fellowships on Clore Social Leadership’s 2017 Fellowship programme: Elizabeth George, Head of Fundraising at The Poppy Factory; Louise Simpson, Policy and Research Director at the Army Families Federation; and Vikki Muir, Grants and Welfare Executive Officer at ABF-The Soldiers’ Charity.

FiMT has sponsored a Specialist Fellowship each year on Clore Social Leadership’s Fellowship programme since 2015, the aim being to build a supportive cohort of FiMT Specialist Fellows who through this leadership and network development opportunity are able to encourage deeper connections and shared learning between military charities and the wider social sector.  These connections will enable more innovative and collaborative service delivery and help ensure that future policy is supported by a more widely acknowledged and sound evidence base.  Read more about FiMT’s past, current and new Fellows below.

The 12-month programme identifies, connects and develops individuals who have the ambition to lead social change in their communities, organisations and in the world around them through a combination of personalized elements, including residential courses, coaching, mentoring, action learning sets, and a secondment, culminating in a challenging writing piece that aims to provoke debate to bring about change.

FiMT’s 2016 Specialist Fellow, Dr Marie-Louise Sharp, is in the final months of her Fellowship and will shortly release a provocative writing piece and supporting blog which questions why, of the relatively few UK Armed Forces personnel who suffer from mental health problems, do the majority still rather do so in silence and isolation, rather than seek the various avenues of help on offer (a link will be available on FiMT’s website shortly).  Read Marie-Louise’s previous blog here: http://www.cloresocialleadership.org.uk/Reflections-from-a-specialist-Fellow.

FiMT’s first Specialist Fellow, Dr Jane Rowley, completed her Fellowship in Spring 2016 after a 3- month secondment with SSAFA the armed forces charity, which put into practice all she had learned in her 2015 Fellowship.  Read Jane’s personal learning summary, entitled ‘What more can we do to support ex-Services personnel? An investigation into Post Traumatic Growth and the Role of Expert Companions’ and her final blog which reflects on the Fellowship experience.

Visit http://cloresocialleadership.org.uk for information on when applications for FiMT’s 2018 Specialist Fellowship open.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “This will be our third year of funding a FiMT Specialist Fellowship.  Our two previous Specialist Fellows brought different approaches and experiences, but the common factor is their professionalism, drive and commitment to making the most of this leadership development year.  Not only have these Fellows grown personally through the challenging programme elements, they have each left behind a significant individual contribution to the work of the Armed Forces charities sector.  They’re tough acts to follow, but we’ve once again attracted high-calibre individuals from the military not-for-profit sector, and we’re looking forward to seeing what insights and collaborative learning opportunities our 2017 Fellows can share across this sector.”

In no particular order, Elizabeth George, Head of Fundraising at The Poppy Factory and FiMT Specialist Fellow 2017 (1), said: “Every day, I work alongside disabled members of the Armed Forces community at The Poppy Factory.  I witness daily the challenges these veterans face in the workplace and am committed to creating a more inclusive world.  I am looking forward to working with my colleagues across the social sector to address these issues and I am grateful to Forces in Mind Trust for giving me this opportunity.”

Louise Simpson, Policy & Research Director at the Army Families Federation (AFF) and FiMT Specialist Fellow 2017 (2), said: “This fellowship is not only extremely exciting for me personally but also professionally.  It will be hugely beneficial to AFF as it will allow me to engage with and implement gold standard working practices, helping AFF to support Army families in the most appropriate, innovative way, ensuring families’ needs are always at the heart of our work.”

Vikki Muir, Grants and Welfare Executive Officer at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and FiMT Specialist Fellow 2017 (3), said: “I am very keen to better understand and explore how civilian organisations demonstrate their outcomes to potential beneficiaries and the wider world.  Using this understanding will enable ABF the Soldiers’ Charity, as well as the military charity sector as whole, to illustrate the impact that our funding makes on both our individual beneficiaries and the breadth of organisations that we support.”

Shaks Ghosh, Chief Executive of Clore Social Leadership, said: “Today’s social leaders are required to work in an increasingly complex environment.  Our new Social Leaders’ Capabilities Framework was developed incorporating current issues and foresight trends, and our 2017 Fellows will be immersed in it to ensure they understand what is required of them to help alleviate future needs and challenges.”

“Social issues are not just relevant to our sector.  We know people care and want change, that is why we are sharing this framework widely.  Everybody should be given the opportunity to become better leaders, and this framework will continue to evolve as the world does.”

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.
  • Read Dr Jane Rowley’s report: ‘What more can we do to support ex-Services personnel?’
  • Find out more about Forces in Mind Trust: http://www.fim-trust.org/about-us/ and who we have supported so far: http://www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/
  • Read about our multi-million pound Mental Health Research Programme: http://www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/

About Clore Social Leadership

Clore Social Leadership is committed to social change. The find and develop leaders with a social purpose so that they can transform their communities, organisations and the world around them. We offer a Fellowship Programme and a range of leadership development workshops.

For more information, please visit www.cloresocialleadership.org.uk and join the conversation on Twitter @CloreSocial.

Forces in Mind goes camping with the Venture Trust

Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, and Assistant Head of Policy, Sam Freston, joined a group of veterans on a Scottish wilderness journey this weekend (20 November) as part of the Venture Trust’s Positive Futures project helping people struggling to transition into civilian life.

Venture Trust is an Edinburgh-based charity that helps people with disadvantaged or challenging backgrounds get back on their feet.  It does this through life skills development support, including intensive wilderness expeditions, with the aim being to give participants the tools to make positive changes in their lives.  That could be anything from finding a home, gaining skills to enable them to get a job, going to college, or getting help with addiction.

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, awarded a grant, worth £689,453, for a three-year trial, to provide additional support to around 120 ex-Service men and women from across Scotland who are struggling with the transition to civilian life. The programme is available to those who are unemployed or in temporary accommodation, who struggle with low self-confidence or who have a history of drug and alcohol misuse.

Participants are supported through a three-phase programme.  The first phase – referral and engagement – consist of one-to-one sessions that provide participants with advice on employment, personal development and, where appropriate, referral to partners such as drug and alcohol treatment services.

The second phase is a specially designed ‘wilderness journey’ –  a programme of personal development and learning in the outdoors with frequent one-to-one and group support sessions away from the challenges of everyday life.  Over an intensive five-day course, participants will be given additional support to develop the transferable skills they need to rebuild their lives and move towards independence and employment.  So far, 37 participants have taken part in wilderness journey section of the Positive Futures scheme.

Participants in the third and final phase benefit from ongoing support focused on priorities for development including funded internships, employment support and volunteer peer mentoring, particularly to support others to move forward positively with their lives.

The impact of the project is being independently evaluated, with researchers assessing its impact on participants’ lives and whether its methodology can be extended.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “It was fantastic to join ten ex-Service men under canvas at the end of their wilderness journey, and to witness the quality of Venture Trust’s staff and the equipment provided – essential when the temperature fell to minus 5 degrees overnight.

“Learning about their personal circumstances and how the programme has supported them so far is truly inspiring.  The ex-Service community has a diverse range of needs and it is vitally important they have access to the right kind of support, tailored to smooth what can sometimes be a challenging transition into civilian life.

“The first year of the Positive Futures programme has just completed, and I look forward to the independent evaluation of the programme to better understand how men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, and struggle with the return to civilian life, can get the support they need.”

Amelia Morgan, Chief Executive of Venture Trust, said: “We were delighted that Ray and Sam joined the group on the latest Positive Futures journey. This really sent a positive message of support to our participants. For all of those leaving the military, it marks a complete change. Most of those thrive, going on to have successful careers and balanced lives. But for a small minority the transition to civilian life can be overwhelming and confusing which can lead to a multitude of negative circumstances. The Positive Futures programme offers veterans the support and space to begin to see themselves differently – that they can have a different life. Many will go on to further education, training, volunteering or employment, and this is a key catalyst for positive life changes. FiMT funding of the Positive Futures programme is pivotal to supporting veterans with a commitment to maximising the positive impact for individuals, their families and wider communities across Scotland.”

– 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.  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.

 

 About Venture Trust

Venture Trust believes that people have the ability to make positive changes in their lives for a more productive future.  Venture Trust supports people who are struggling with complicated life circumstances such as being ‘looked after’ by Local Authorities, involvement in offending, homelessness, drug and alcohol misuse, caring responsibilities and other complications in their lives.  These situations are often compounded by lack of access to services or low educational achievement, leaving them isolated, marginalised or in poverty.  Venture Trust offers a three-phase personal and social development programme, working in communities across Scotland. The programme involves an intensive wilderness-based element, mentoring, and employability support which aims to help people unlock their potential. This may be better communication skills, consequential thinking and building positive relationships with others, growing in confidence and self-esteem, or moving towards education, training and employment.  For more information, please visit www.venturetrust.org.uk.

Application Deadline 31st December:  concession for KLC Veterans’ Mental Health Conference

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) is offering a limited supply of concessionary rate tickets to members and associate members of The Confederation of Service Charities to attend the King’s Centre for Military Health Research’s (KCMHR) Veterans’ Mental Health Conference 2017 – ‘Veterans’ Mental Health – The Wider Perspective’.

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 2015 conference and, following a highly positive reaction to the event, offered sole sponsorship of the 2016 conference. With the growing importance and relevance of these conferences, and the close fit with FiMT’s charitable aims and objectives, the Trust awarded a longer sponsorship term, from 2017 to 2019, which includes a concessionary rate scheme to encourage selected organizations working within this sector to attend.

Presentations and debates for the 2017 event will focus on issues ranging from the use of peers in improving treatment seeking, 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.

The event takes place on 16th 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.

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.

The deadline for concession applications is 31 December 2016.

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

For any press enquiries, please contact Kate Turner at kturner@theproffice.com or call 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.

Radio One interview – veteran employment report

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Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, spoke with Radio One’s Newsbeat about veteran employment and skills. You can listen to the full piece here, and read the report here.

You can listen to the whole Newsbeat programme here.

NEW DATA REVEALS ‘STARK DISCONNECT BETWEEN THE RHETORIC AND THE REALITY’ OF VETERAN EMPLOYMENT

  • UK business overlooks the potential of veterans’ to fill skills gap
  • 71% of organisations say they would consider employing veterans but just 39% would employ someone with no industry specific experience
  • 95% of those employing veterans agree they are strong in the ‘soft skills’ needed for the positions that over 30% of businesses are struggling to fill
  • Report calls for a national strategy and commission for veterans’ employment

Research published today by Deloitte, the business advisory firm, in collaboration with armed forces charities the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and the Officers’ Association, reveals a ‘stark disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality’ of veteran employment.

‘Veterans Work: Recognising the potential of ex-Service personnel’ highlights that – despite more than 1,000 businesses signing the Armed Forces Covenant – UK business is, in practice, putting Service leavers at a disadvantage. While 71 per cent of employers say they would consider employing veterans, just 39 per cent would employ someone without industry specific experience.

The statistics also show that although 87 per cent of employers are aware of organisations, programmes or recruitment services designed to specifically support veterans, only 24 per cent use them. Because access to high-skilled employment remains patchy and uneven among service leavers, veterans typically fall back on lower paid, routine jobs, the study finds.*

This means employers are failing to make the most of the ‘soft skills’ veterans possess. According to the figures, 36 per cent of businesses find it hard to fill roles demanding strategic management skills, 32 per cent struggle to fill positions involving managing and motivating staff, and 30 per cent jobs requiring team working.** Those employing veterans agree they are particularly strong in communication, planning and time management (95 per cent) and team working (100 per cent).*** As a result, more than half (53 per cent) of businesses that do employ veterans promote them quicker than the rest of the workforce.

Chris Recchia, partner and head of Deloitte’s military transition and talent programme, said: “There is a stark disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality of veteran employment. We want to galvanise UK companies into greater awareness about what veterans can bring to their business. Employers have told us there is a skills gap and our research shows that the vast majority of veterans have the skills to fill that gap. Business leaders need to understand in no uncertain terms that hiring veterans is not just the right thing to do, it also makes business sense.”

The report calls on policymakers to find a better balance between the short-term, tactical objective of placing Service leavers into employment, with the long-term alternative of developing veterans’ transferable skills and vocational qualifications. As well as improving the collection of veteran data, the study recommends policymakers consider a national strategy and commission for veterans’ employment, working alongside the Defence Skills Strategy. This would help to ensure that both the spirit and the letter of the Armed Forces Covenant are followed and that members of the armed forces are recognised to be beneficial for UK business.

 

Chris Recchia added: “We have a collective responsibility to get this right. The framework for veterans to gain employment is in place but we want to build on the work already done. It is not just about the push from veterans into corporate life, it should also be about the pull from organisations who recognise what veterans have to offer. We need to put in place a level playing field and shine a light on the challenges some veterans face to secure relevant employment. There is a huge opportunity to fully employ veterans’ skills and experience, our research demonstrates that employing veterans is an act of business, not charity.”

Air Vice-Marshall Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, commented: “Much is spoken about the minority of veterans who do need extra support to make a successful and sustainable transition into civilian life and, quite rightly, those most in need are often at the forefront of media and employment campaigns. However, this report provides clear evidence that this focus is masking the true value that the vast majority of Service leaders can bring to employers, who stand, literally, to profit from the extraordinary qualities veterans possess. It is time to stop looking on ex-Service personnel as victims and as charity cases; they’re talented and determined men and women, with rich experiences, readily transferable skills and proven loyalty and dedication. UK businesses should be fighting for the opportunity to employ them.”

Lee Holloway, Chief Executive of the Officer’s Association, concluded: “This represents lost opportunity for both veterans and businesses. Employers must look beyond the requirement for industry experience and make use of the wealth of multifunctional skills that veterans can bring to their organisations. The Officers’ Association will continue to work to remove this artificial barrier and to raise awareness of the skills former Officers can bring to the workplace.”

Read the report here.

 

-ENDS-

 

NOTES TO EDITORS 

* An analysis of the employment picture for veterans and working transitions by considering data from the Longitudinal Study (LS) undertaken by the ONS.

** The degree to which medium and large organisations find it hard to fill roles requiring a range of cross-functional skills.

*** When employers are asked which specific skills the individuals they have hired from a military background do well at and which they do less well at.

About the research

Three-hundred employers contributed to the research, which revealed access to high-skilled employment remains patchy and uneven among service leavers, who typically fall back on lower-paid or lower-skilled jobs, such as machine operating and security guarding.

About the Deloitte military transition and talent programme

The Deloitte military transition and talent programme (DMTTP), one of the first of its kind, aims to provide transition support to current and ex-military personnel.  It is part of the firm’s One Million Futures strategy which seeks to use our skills and capabilities to help one million people overcome barriers to education and employment, giving individuals the skills and opportunities to succeed.

DMTTP runs quarterly insight days that provide information on the skills needed to succeed in business, offers networking opportunities, tips for civilianising a CV and help with applying for roles in the commercial sector. Read about Royal Air Force veteran, Claire Webber, who shares her experience of transitioning to the private sector as a consultant with Deloitte.

In 2015 a total of 50 ex-military recruits joined Deloitte. Overall 200 have been employed by the firm since DMTTP started. Deloitte also provided work placements tailored for the individual needs of seven military personnel, some of whom were wounded in service. Since its inception, Deloitte has provided guidance and advice to over 1200 individuals, helping them into work.

About Deloitte

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country’s leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press. For more information, please visit www.deloitte.co.uk.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

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 six 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.

About the Officers’ Association:

The Officers’ Association(OA) is an independent charity established in 1920 after the First World War demobilisation with the primary aim of relieving distress in officers leaving our Armed Forces and supporting them with their transition to civilian life. Nearly 100 years later it continues to support former officers with their ongoing needs covering both Benevolence and Employment activities.

The primary purpose of the Employment Services department is to enable former officers and their dependants to gain sustainable and fulfilling employment. It achieves this through programmes aimed at building knowledge (OA Insight), growing connections (OA Connect) and working with employers to bring jobs and other opportunities (OA Appointments).  Its work with employers covers three key areas: connecting them to the officer talent pool; supporting them in the development of bespoke programmes to attract, select, transition and develop former officers; and providing leadership through its employer network and associated activities. The OA employer network aims to share best practice, assist in the development and communication of the business case for employing Service leavers; shape the agenda of working with Service personnel; create practical employer led solutions; and enable connections with other employers.

Forces in Mind Trust releases new report on access to Higher Education for those with a Service background

Access to Higher Education for Service leavers and their families need to be improved to ensure they have the best possible chance of establishing successful civilian careers, suggests a new report by Bath Spa University and the Forces in Mind Trust, released today (Thursday 17 November).

Whilst the majority of Service leavers return successfully into civilian life without too many challenges, there are some who need support to enable them to achieve fulfilling careers within the civilian sector.  The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Access Course) is a well-established course, generally delivered locally through Further Education Institutions and provides a non-traditional route into Higher Education. Helping Service Leavers, ex-Service personnel and their spouses to engage with it, supports the whole family’s transition from their Service to civilian life.

The research was commissioned because recurrent, anecdotal evidence from the project’s partner Access Validating Agency, Ascentis, showed a decline in the number of Access course students with a Service background in South West England, a region that hosts c.25% of Britain’s Armed Forces.

The report identifies a number of opportunities to improve the journey to and through Access courses for students, particularly for those from the lower ranks of the Army and for Service spouses from all three Armed Service backgrounds. It offers recommendations for both civilian and military-facing organisations to consider.

Among its findings, the report highlights that:

  • Improvements are needed to the quality and provision of Information, Advice and Guidance relating to Access to Higher Education Diplomas to the general population, not just those connected with the Armed Services;
  • An increase in take-up of Access to Higher Education Diplomas by those who have Served in the Armed Forces is more about the provision of aspirational, informed Career Information Advice and Guidance, than about the structures within which it is delivered; and
  • Provision of a bespoke package of resettlement support for Service spouses would help them into fulfilling civilian careers, it would improve their take-up of Access to Higher Education Diplomas and would act as an acknowledgement of the career sacrifices that many make whilst supporting the military careers of their partners.

This research has been led by Dr Mel Macer, Research Fellow at Bath Spa University’s Institute for Education, and was principally funded by the Forces in Mind Trust, with additional funding from Ascentis and Help for Heroes.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of FiMT, says: “Employment is one of the most important factors leading to successful transition from military to civilian lives: it enables economic well-being, which in turn contributes to personal health and well-being, housing and positive relationships.  Whilst the Services already do invest a considerable amount in learning, inevitably there will be gaps at transition relating to a lack of direct transferability, or simply not having had the opportunity to fulfil an individual’s learning potential.  The solutions are neither complex, nor are they costly. I therefore lay down a challenge to everyone involved in Access to Higher Education Diplomas: identify what you can do to improve the take up, and then just do it.”

Dr Macer says: “I hope this report will raise awareness about the opportunity that Access to Higher Education Diplomas offer those with a Service background, particularly for Service Leavers from the lower ranks of the Army and for Service spouses from across the three Services and that the recommendations it contains will serve to highlight how their journeys can be better supported, for the benefit of both individuals and their families.”

Ronnie Allen, Head of Career Recovery at Help for Heroes, said: “At Help for Heroes, we are committed to providing the very best support for life to those who have been affected by their military service. Leaving the military as a result of injury or illness can be especially difficult. There are a number of unique and daunting challenges facing our wounded, injured and sick Armed Forces community as they attempt to forge a new life for themselves as a civilian. Often, they find themselves without relevant qualifications for their chosen career outside of the military and that is why access to Higher Education for service leavers needs to be as smooth as possible. We are delighted that the report identifies opportunities to improve the Higher Education journey for service leavers and their spouses.”

ENDS

Ray Lock and Mel Macer are available for interview.  To arrange, or for a copy of the full report, please contact Kerrie Josephs at The PR Office on kjosephs@proffice.com or on 0207 284 6941 or 07788 540 924.

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:

 

About Bath Spa University

Bath Spa University is where creative minds meet. Offering a wide range of courses across the arts, sciences, education, social science and business to 7,000 students, the University employs outstanding creative professionals, which support its aim to be a leading educational institution in creativity, culture and enterprise.

Based in stunning countryside just a few minutes from a World Heritage City, Bath Spa University ensures its students graduate as engaged global citizens who are ready for the world of work.

The University’s Institute for Education (IfE) builds upon a long history of teacher training and excellent education research, and teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The IfE has been educating students, teachers and other education professionals since the 1940s.It is a place where students, teachers, governors, researchers, support staff and everyone interested in education can come together in a community of research and practice. www.bathspa.ac.uk

 

Watch now: FIMT speaks with Forces TV at Scottish Showcase

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of FIMT, spoke with Forces TV at their Scottish Showcase in Edinburgh on 26 October. You can watch the full video here.

Forces in Mind Trust welcomes Ministry of Defence funding announcement

Forces in Mind Trust welcomes today’s announcement by the Ministry of Defence of a new award to to set up a one-stop service to better support the UK’s Armed Forces veterans community, led by The Royal British Legion and other charities.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive, said: “The study Forces in Mind Trust commissioned on integrated support networks, by Manchester Business School two years ago, proposed just such a solution to the difficulty of connecting ex-Service personnel and their families, as they transition into civilian life, with those offering support.  This finding was echoed in Lord Ashcroft’s work on transition, so we are delighted that this new Government funding, via the Covenant Fund, will finally make this a reality.

“We are also pleased to see the clear evidence of collaboration amongst the military charities sector, a theme our reports from the Directory of Social Change have highlighted, underlined by the fact that more than a dozen of the consortium members have either received funding from Forces in Mind Trust, or have collaborated with us on evidence-generating projects, in the few short years of our existence so far.”

 

King’s College London and the Department for Work and Pensions to research UK veterans’ mental health and welfare needs

A grant of £165,597 has been awarded to King’s College London to conduct a 15-month study into patterns of mental health and welfare benefit need among UK veterans. This study has been made possible by ground-breaking data-link collaboration between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR), part of King’s College London. DWP administrative benefits data has been securely and confidentially linked to the UK ex-Serving personnel data that KCHMR has been collecting annually since 2003.

The Forces in Mind Trust, an organisation established to help ex-Service personnel make a successful transition back to civilian life, has awarded this grant to fund analysis of this novel linked dataset.  The study, led by Dr Howard Burdett of KCMHR, and developed in collaboration with the DWP, will explore patterns in welfare benefit need among the UK veteran population, and will enable the effects of pre, during and post-Service factors (such as mental health issues, military experience and alcohol misuse) to be examined. Findings will help to inform how health and welfare services should be shaped to meet the complex needs of UK veterans, building on the Armed Forces Covenant which provides tailored support to ex-Service personnel.

Dr Howard Burdett said: “We are delighted to have received funding from FiMT to enable us to examine the links between mental health and welfare needs among UK veterans. This funding will provide us with a unique opportunity to utilise comprehensive benefits data in conjunction with detailed survey information, and our research will result in a better understanding of the needs of veterans.”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), said: “It is not currently known whether any specific patterns exist between mental health and welfare needs among the UK veteran population, and what factors (if any) from pre-, during or post-active service periods, may be exacerbating or alleviating such patterns.  This ground-breaking research will, for the first time, shed light on this area.  It will provide the Department of Work and Pensions, and other organisations working in this field, with a sound evidence base on which to base policy decisions and services to better support veterans and their families who may be struggling to transition successfully due to the complexity of need that exists when facing the challenges of unemployment, disability and mental health issues combined.”

The Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Penny Mordaunt, said: “We owe our armed forces a huge debt and we must ensure that their support needs are not only met but are the best they can be. This important collaboration between DWP and King’s will be a big step forward to do that.” The Minister was previously Armed Forces Minister and is an Armed Forces Reservist.

Dr Pui-Ling Li, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Work and Pensions, said: “This exciting project, using the data of over 10,000 veterans, will enable us to explore much more thoroughly the complex health and welfare needs of ex-Service personnel. It’s the first time we have been able to link benefits data with health survey data and the findings will help improve the way we design and deliver health and welfare services to support our veterans in the future.”

ENDS

Ray Lock is available for interviews.  To arrange an interview please contact 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.

 

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.