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New research centre established to support Armed Forces Community

Forces in Mind Trust provides grant funding to Anglia Ruskin University to develop and operate a UK-based facility for easy access to UK and international research on veterans and their families.

The new centre launches with free to use, state-of-the-art online hub.

Policy makers, professionals and members of the public with an interest in ex-Service personnel and their families will be among those to benefit from a new research centre set up specifically to support the research needs of the Armed Forces Community, which launches this week.

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), a charity whose aim is to provide an evidence base that will influence and underpin policy making and service delivery in order to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful and fulfilled civilian lives, has provided funding to Anglia Ruskin University to run the FiMT Research Centre (the Centre) in support of this aim.

The Centre, which resides within the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education as an integrated part of the Veterans and Families Institute at Anglia Ruskin, will provide a UK-based research-enabling and production facility that will help deepen shared understanding and develop links between the academic community, government organisations, statutory and voluntary service providers, the media, and members of the public.  The Centre will do this through several means, including:

  • Providing advice and support to charities and other service providers who are engaged in or have an interest in research relevant to ex-Service personnel and their families;
  • Producing fresh research into key issues facing ex-Service personnel and their families to aid understanding and improve policy and service delivery;
  • Organising an annual conference with an awards ceremony to celebrate recently completed research into issues affecting the Armed Forces Community.

The FiMT Research Centre will also manage the Veterans and Families Research (VFR) Hub, a newly-launched, easily-searchable and free-to-use online resource that will deliver a contemporary and authoritative source of UK and international research-related information on military veterans and their families. This includes a number of factors affecting the transitions to civilian life for serving personnel and their families.  The Hub’s facilities will help enable the widest spectrum of users, from academia, the government and the media to third sector service deliverers and lay users, to find information, collaborate and share information.  Ultimately, the Hub aims to stimulate research and policy development, improve service delivery, and enhance shared understanding and can be accessed at www.vfrhub.com.

Commenting on the launch of the FiMT RC and VFR Hub, Lord Ashcroft, Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, author of the Veterans Transition Review, and Patron of the FiMT RC, said:

“In my work on the transition of service personnel back into civilian life, one theme that has arisen time and again is the problem of finding reliable, easily accessible information that could help policy makers reach decisions, the media report accurately about veterans, and be an invaluable resource for the Armed Forces, veterans and the wider public.

“The Veterans and Families Research Hub, operated by the FiMT Research Centre at Anglia Ruskin University, will become the first port of call for everybody who wants to find good information and the best research. It is welcome and much needed, and I encourage everybody to use it and submit their research and studies to it, so that we quickly establish the world’s centre of excellence in this field.”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, the funding organisation behind the FiMT RC and VFR Hub said:

“Since its inception, Forces in Mind Trust has worked hard to improve the quality and quantity of the information and data that decision-makers can draw upon when analysing and discussing the varied challenges faced by our serving men and women as they make the transition to civilian life. The launch of the research centre and hub represents a significant step forward toward this vitally important goal, which in turn will result in better understanding of and service provision for ex-Service personnel and their families.”

ENDS

Ray Lock is available for interviews.  To arrange an interview please contact Jack Rodway at jrodway@theproffice.com or on 07824 119 171

Additional quote

Alex Cooper, Director of the FiMT Research Centre, said: “There has been much research carried out into military veterans and their families but it is fragmented, of varying quality and is not always easily accessible.  The FiMT RC and online VFR Hub provide key resources for those seeking a better understanding of issues affecting UK and international military veterans and their families by offering a variety of easily accessible research-related resources and services.  Whether actively searching the VFR Hub for information or collaborative opportunities, to seeking advice and support from the research centre, hopefully this resource will help inform all manner of people who are interested in, or are working within this important field, ultimately to benefit the Armed Forces community”.

Notes to Editors

About 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

About Anglia Ruskin

Anglia Ruskin is an innovative global university, brimming with ambition.  Students from 177 countries gain qualifications with us in four continents.  Students, academics, businesses and partners all benefit from our outstanding facilities; we’ve invested £100 million over the last five years and plan to invest a further £91 million over the next five years.

Anglia Ruskin’s Research Institutes and five faculties bridge scientific, technical and creative fields.  We deliver impactful research which tackles pressing issues and makes a real difference, from saving lives to conserving water.  Our academic excellence has been recognised by the UK’s Higher Education funding bodies, with 12 areas classed as generating world-leading research.

We are ranked in the world’s top 350 institutions in the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and in 2016 we featured in a list of the 20 “rising stars” in global Higher Education compiled by strategy consultants Firetail.

Vacancy for Professor of Veterans and Families Studies

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) in conjunction with Anglia Ruskin University are seeking to appoint a Professor of Veterans and Families Studies.

FiMT and Anglia Ruskin University are establishing a new research centre to provide decision makers and opinion formers at all levels with the best available evidence on aspects pertaining to UK ex-Service personnel and their families.

The post holder will lead on developing FiMT’s research portfolio and impact through collaboration, advice, and stakeholder engagement.

You can find more information and details on how to apply here

New Forces in Mind Trust Award: Assessing Public Attitudes towards ex-Service Personnel in Northern Ireland

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded a grant of £31,500 to Ulster University, to produce a report on public attitudes towards ex-Service personnel in Northern Ireland.

Currently there is no evidence base which provides insight into how the general public view ex-Service personnel in the region. While work has been done to assess public attitudes towards policing in the years following the Good Friday Agreement, there is no equivalent for ex-Service personnel.

The report will be based on answers generated from the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey (NILTS), the largest public attitudes survey in NI, and covers a range of modules on community relations and attitude towards particular groups in the region. The grant from FiMT will allow the inclusion of 30 new questions, to provide an insight in to public attitudes on serving and ex-serving personnel and principles of the Armed Forces Covenant.

Cherie Armour, Associate Dean for Research & Impact, Ulster University, said: “This award will ensure that we gain important insights into public attitudes in Northern Ireland around the Armed Forces community & the Armed Forces Covenant. The research team have previously heard anecdotal statements about the percentage of the population in NI that do or do not support the Armed Forces community and there has been extensive discourse around the Armed Forces Covenant. This award will allow us to provide evidence on these topics. The team are delighted that this research is complementary to the ongoing work of the NI Veterans Health and Wellbeing Study”.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive FiMT, said: “We are delighted to be funding this timely and credible piece of research in Northern Ireland, the results of which will provide an important evidence base for policy makers and service deliverers alike.  It will also add considerably to our existing project with Ulster University, the Northern Ireland Veterans’ Health and Wellbeing Study, and will help set the key findings into context.”

-ENDS-

Note to Editor: 

Ray Lock is available for interview. To arrange please contact Tina McKay, Communications Officer at FiMT on co@fim-trust.org or on 07956 101132 or 0207 901 8916.

Dr Cherie Armour is available for interview. To arrange please contact Lindsey Beacom, PR & Communications Officer at University of Ulster on  lj.beacom@ulster.ac.uk or on 028 9036 6467

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 will be hosted on the Veterans Research Hub at Anglia Ruskin University, which is going live in Autumn 2017. 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

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/

About Ulster University

Ranked in the top 3 per cent of universities worldwide, Ulster University is one of the top 150 global young universities under 50. Ulster University is a modern, forward-looking institution with student experience at the very heart of everything we do. Our high quality teaching, informed by world-leading research across key sectors, boosts the economy and has a positive impact on the lives of people around the world.

For more information please visit www.ulster.ac.uk or follow us on Twitter @ulsteruni

New research shows Armed Forces charities helping tens of thousands access education and employment.

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and the Directory of Social Change (DSC) today (3 October) release the report Focus On: Armed Forces Charities’ Education and Employment Provision, which reveals that a small number of charities provide a much-needed range of educational and employment services to 35,800 people in the Armed Forces Community.

Funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), this report is the second of six Focus On reports from DSC which provide more detailed information on Armed Forces charities’ support for key areas of need.

Figures presented in the report illustrate that a large need is being met by a relatively small number of charities. Armed Forces charities supported at least 22,302 individuals into employment and helped over 3,300 individuals gain qualifications in the past year, most commonly for veterans and their dependants.

The analysis shows that 78 charities provide education support, which represents 6.5% of all UK armed forces charities. Of these charities, 59 also make provision for employment. In total, armed force charities spend around £25.6m on education and employment, serving at least 35,800 beneficiaries from the Armed Forces Community.

Educational and employment services covered in the report include: vocational courses; academic qualifications; work opportunities; and mentoring such as CV writing and job searches. Direct grants to individuals and organisations are explored, along with partnerships and collaborations between charities and businesses. The report highlights specialist primary provider charities and shows depth of provision, which can have a dramatic and positive effect on an individual’s chance of successful transition to civilian life.

Project Manager, Stuart Cole says: ‘The impact that education and employment can have is measured in more than just qualifications or status; increasingly, these areas define our quality of life. We are proud to present an analysis of those charities which support the educational and employment needs of the armed forces community.’

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust says: “FiMT was established to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. It does this by funding reports, such as this Focus On series which provides independent, evidence-based knowledge that can be used to influence and bring about change where needed, from policy through to service delivery. The clearly detailed evidence in this report offers an important and unique insight into the education and employment support provided by the Armed Forces charity sector across the UK.”

You can read the full report here www.dsc.org.uk/education-employment

-Ends-

Notes to Editor:

Stuart Cole, is available for comment at scole@dsc.org.uk To arrange an interview please contact DSC on 0151 708 0136

Ray Lock is available for interview. To arrange please contact Tina McKay, Communications Officer at FiMT on co@fim-trust.org or on 07956 101132 or 0207 901 8916.

The Project

To download all four DSC reports and to learn more about DSC’s armed forces charities research project, visit www.dsc.org.uk/research. To search DSC’s free to use online database of almost 1,200 charities, visit www.armedforcescharities.org.uk.

DSC

Founded in 1974, the Directory of Social Change (DSC) is a national charity which champions an independent voluntary sector through campaigning, training and publications. DSC is the largest supplier of information and training to the voluntary sector, and its work helps tens of thousands of organisations every year achieve their aims. Learn more at www.dsc.org.uk

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 will be hosted on the Veterans Research Hub at Anglia Ruskin University, which is going live in Autumn 2017. 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

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/