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Forces in Mind Trust releases next Call to Mind Review in the UK Series: Findings from the Review of Veterans’ and their Families’ mental health needs in Northern Ireland

A new report outlining changes and challenges to mental health services for veterans in Northern Ireland, funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), was released today, 23 June 2017, and has identified that there is a need for greater support for veterans with mental and related health and social care problems from statutory services.

The review explores statutory mental health services for veterans, taking into account the sensitive issues within the context of the country’s complex history, current political landscape, and impact of equality legislation. For those who served in Northern Ireland, the incidence of reported mental health problems is higher than average but there is very little data and information about the needs of veterans living in Northern Ireland and how statutory services can meet these needs.

The report, entitled ‘Call to Mind Northern Ireland: Findings from the Review of Veterans’ and their Families’ Mental and Related Health Needs in Northern Ireland, focuses predominantly on statutory and clinical mental and related health provision for veterans, due to a further significant project (Ulster University’s Northern Ireland Veterans Health and Wellbeing Study) being carried out in Northern Ireland at the same time, the primary focus of which is the voluntary (and statutory excluding NHS) sectors. The Call to Mind report highlights that while Northern Ireland does have mental and related health support structures for veterans, there are gaps in statutory provision and specific areas where further improvements could be made. While mental health is regarded as one of the four most significant causes of ill health and disability in the general Northern Ireland population (along with cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and cancer), there remain areas where further improvements could be made, especially in relation to accessing and collecting data relating to veterans, the types of services and treatments being accessed, and the individual outcomes for those with diagnosed mental health conditions receiving therapy-based treatments.

Nine key issues are identified by the report to strengthen the nation’s strategy to meet the needs of veterans and their family members within a complex and still politically charged society. Some key areas identified for improvement are:

  • Help seeking amongst veterans – The problems faced by veterans living in Northern Ireland are potentially more complicated and sensitive than those faced by veterans in England, Scotland and Wales due to personal security concerns, making it difficult for them to seek help openly for mental health issues.
  • Early intervention and reducing stigma – The veterans’ community needs help to break down barriers to service access and ensure early intervention for mental health problems.
  • The Armed Forces Covenant and equality legislation – The complex history of Northern Ireland and perceived conflicts between the Armed Forces Covenant and current equality legislation, has made it difficult for service providers to signpost and provide information specifically targeted at veterans on how to access appropriate services.
  • Community-Based Mental Health Provision – Access to specialist residential treatments for veterans in Northern Ireland is limited by large distances, and alternative community-based therapeutic and support programmes should be developed.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of FiMT, says: “The Call to Mind: Northern Ireland review makes the final, essential contribution to our wider body of work in creating, for the first time, a snapshot of the extent to which the mental and related health needs of ex-Service personnel and their families are being assessed and supported across all four nations of the United Kingdom.  The Northern Ireland review, when read together with the findings of our other FiMT-funded project in Northern Ireland, Ulster University’s Northern Ireland Veterans Health and Wellbeing Study, provide a comprehensive evidence base to aid policy maker and service provider decision-making.  It is very positive that the review’s key messages and opportunities for further development have come directly from stakeholders who work with veterans, as they have expressed their commitment to delivering services to a high standard to ensure that the particular needs of veterans in Northern Ireland are met.”

Dr Jon Bashford, Senior Partner at Community Innovations Enterprise who led the UK series of reviews, says: “Northern Ireland is leading the UK on developing trauma services and this is rightly focused on the whole population. However, there is a need to ensure that veterans living in Northern Ireland can benefit from these services and related mental health and social care provision, in particular, in the statutory sector. This review highlights some of the barriers and issues faced by these services in meeting the needs of these veterans and their families.”

Read the full report here.

ENDS

Notes to editors 

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 Summer 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/

New Forces in Mind Trust Report: Optimising the infrastructure in place to support the needs of veterans in Northern Ireland

A new report examining the support and service provision to the veteran population in Northern Ireland (NI), funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), was released today, 23 June 2017, by Ulster University. The report calls for the infrastructure in place to support veterans in NI to be better embedded in policy-making and statutory service delivery networks.

‘Supporting and Serving Military Veterans in Northern Ireland’ is the first output of the Northern Ireland Veterans’ Health and Wellbeing Study (NIVHWS); a large scale study into the health and wellbeing of NI veterans. The NIVHWS seeks to assess the current and future health and wellbeing needs of the veteran population in NI, outline the system of support currently available to NI veterans, and the identify ways in which this may be optimised. NIVHWS, which will run until 2019, will continue to produce outputs to address significant gaps in information about the support needs of the veteran population living in NI. It is the most comprehensive study ever to be produced on this topic.

‘Supporting and Serving Military Veterans in Northern Ireland’, launched today, identifies several areas crucial to service delivery to veterans: representation and advocacy; data collection and monitoring; referrals pathways and communication channels; more joined-up and collaborative working, and provision of veteran mental health services. Underpinning all of these issues, is the need to normalise the idea that veterans in the region are first and foremost citizens of NI who may have a specific set of needs. The report highlights four key areas where change should take place:

  1. Increasing awareness of veterans’ needs in statutory services
  2. Increasing trust in public services among the veteran population;
  3. Supporting and developing the existing infrastructure through targeted resources
  4. Providing a direct connection between on the ground service-providers and key decision makers.

To see this change, the report makes a number of recommendations. Some headlines include:

  • The establishment of an interagency, interdepartmental working group in the NI Executive Office with a strategic focus;
  • The establishment of designated contacts in regional agencies delivering health and social services in NI.
  • The clarification and strengthening of the role of the Veterans’ Champions in Local Government.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of FiMT, says: The “Supporting and Serving Military Veterans in Northern Ireland report launched today is the most comprehensive account available on the infrastructure supporting veterans in this region. It identifies, for the first time, the full scale and breadth of support and services available to the veteran population living in Northern Ireland and builds a detailed picture of how provision and legislation can be improved to better serve the community. Veterans across the United Kingdom deserve fair treatment, regardless of where they live, and that can only happen when we have a clear understanding of how fair treatment can be delivered, and what decisions are necessary to ensure that it is. The recommendations in this report cover the breadth of veteran services in Northern Ireland and provide a structure from which real change can be enacted. I look forward to further outputs from this important and ground-breaking project.”

Dr Cherie Armour, who led the report, says: “This report is the most comprehensive piece of evidence available to date on the infrastructure in place to support veterans living in Northern Ireland. The NIVHWS team employed a systematic, robust, and rigorous approach to collating the evidence required to write the report. Policy makers and service providers in NI understand the value of evidence in developing policy, designing interventions, and allocating funding; but to date this evidence has been lacking in the region. We hope this report and its recommendations speak to those in charge of service provision and policy development, and provide clear measures for supporting this group of citizens with a varied set of needs. Those working directly with veterans have played a significant role in the research and recommendations, and we have strengthened our relationships with these partners in the community.  This continues to inform and progress our next phase of work, which will give experiences of veterans in NI centre stage and shed yet more light on the issues facing this population.”

Read the full 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 will be hosted on the Veterans Research Hub at Anglia Ruskin University, which is going live in Summer 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

Veterans need specific services to overcome addiction

The research carried out by Sheffield Hallam University looked at the impact of Right Turn and its effectiveness in supporting and assisting veterans to integrate more successfully back into civilian life.

The results established a number of positive outcomes for the veterans, with the primary finding showing that ex-military service personnel are most likely to engage positively to treatment and support services offered by others with experience of military life.

Further findings included:

  • Of those with a history of contact with the criminal justice system, all reported no further criminal justice contact since joining the project
  • Of the 39% of veterans in active addiction when joining the project, all gained addiction recovery status
  • 65% of the veterans have undertaken further education and training opportunities and are now engaged in voluntary work or paid employment
  • 78% of the veterans reported significant improvements in their relationships with family members since joining the project
  • 65% of veterans reported an increased sense of security and confidence in their management of practical, day-to-day matters, e.g. accommodation and finances
  • 86% reported an improved sense of purpose and direction in life, alongside feeling more confident about achieving their life goals

Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central and former army officer, has given his backing to the project and spoke at the launch of the research.

He said: “This is incredibly important research. I know from my time in the Armed Forces the sense of comradeship and mutual respect which exists between those who serve. I also know that for some the transition to civilian life can be difficult and far too many veterans struggle with poor mental health and substance misuse.

“The success of Right Turn demonstrates there is an important role for peer support in helping veterans’ recovery.

“I hope that policy makers in both national and local government take note of this research and work to expand access to veteran-specific services, recognising the significant benefits it has brought to veterans struggling with the transition to civilian life.”

Dr Katherine Albertson, who led the research for Sheffield Hallam’s HKC, said: “Without exception, all of the veteran participants reported enjoying their time in the military. They talked of a sense of achievement, unique experiences, learning to embrace different structures and expectations of the military identity.

“The Right Turn project operates on the assertion that the comradeship and mutual resilience underpinning military life can be redirected to support recovery and desistance journeys through peer support which enables engagement in community and social activities.”

Jon Murray, Associate Director at Addaction, said: “Right Turn was launched by ex-service staff at Addaction who understood that the experiences of people who served in the Army, Navy or Air Force could be both an asset and a barrier to recovery. It was conceived by veterans for veterans, and that’s how it still works today.

“As this important report shows, it’s having a profound impact. We’re proud of the results shown here, and pleased to have such clear evidence that the Right Turn approach should be expanded further. Behind these findings are individual people’s lives, each with hopes and aspirations for the future. We’re delighted that Right Turn is helping to make them a reality.”

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Following service in the Armed Forces, a small but measurable number of people struggle to transition into civilian life and can turn to addiction when trying to cope with these pressures. It can be very difficult for such vulnerable people to have the confidence to speak up and ask for help. In some cases they may not even be aware that such help is available, which of course is why we very much welcome the launch of the Veterans Gateway earlier this week, at least in part as a response to one of our earlier research projects.

“This independent evaluation of Addaction’s Right Turn programme provides an evidence base that demonstrates the significant impact that it has made in helping vulnerable ex-Service personnel make steps towards leading fulfilling civilian lives.

“We are naturally pleased that the project has been shown to have had a positive impact on those using the Right Turn services, but in truth the hard work starts now. How can we secure the sustainable delivery of veteran-specific programmes such as Right Turn? I hope all service providers and policy makers will read the report and consider how they can work towards positive change in this area.”

Read the report here.

ENDS

For press information: Please contact Martin Webb in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email m.webb@shu.ac.uk.

Notes to editors

About Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield Hallam University is one of the largest universities in the UK, with more than 31,500 students.

It is one of the country’s largest providers of health and social care courses, teacher training, and sport and physical activity courses. It is also home to the UK’s largest modern business school.

Its courses are designed and delivered in close partnership with employers, professional associations and practice specialists to ensure that the skills our students develop are relevant.

As one of the UK’s most progressive universities, providing opportunity through widening participation is at the heart of the University. 96 per cent of its young full-time undergraduate UK students are from state schools/colleges and 41 per cent are from low income backgrounds.

Sheffield Hallam’s research is characterised by a focus on real world impact – addressing the cultural, economic and social challenges facing society today. 65 per cent of its research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework.

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 Summer 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/

New Forces in Mind Trust Report: UK Armed Forces veterans may be more at risk of developing problem gambling

In a new report released today (21 June) by Swansea University and funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), preliminary findings suggest UK veterans may be at an increased risk of developing gambling problems than non-veterans, and that this vulnerability may be related to prior experience of traumatic events.

The report, entitled ‘Gambling in Armed Forces Veterans: Results from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey of England’, was conducted by Professor Simon Dymond and Elystan Roberts of the Department of Psychology at Swansea University, and colleagues from Bangor University, Anglia Ruskin University and Veterans NHS Wales.  It represents the first-ever exploration of the nature and extent of problem gambling in UK veterans, and was launched at the Excessive Gambling Wales 2017 conference in Cardiff today.

Findings consistent with international evidence include those showing elevated rates of problem gambling in armed forces veterans compared to civilian populations.  Key findings include:

  • UK Armed Forces veterans are more than eight times as likely to exhibit problem gambling (1.41%) than non-veterans (0.17%);
  • Male veterans are more likely than male non-veterans to have experienced a traumatic event (a potential contributor to problem gambling being more prevalent amongst ex-Service personnel); and
  • UK veterans have a tendency towards risk-taking, which may explain a greater susceptibility to developing gambling problems.

Some findings, however, diverged from wider research; for example, results from this study did not show that veteran status and problem gambling could be explained by differences in mental health conditions, substance abuse, or financial mismanagement.

The research was based on an analysis of data from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey; a survey series which is used to provide data on psychiatric disorders in the community-dwelling adult population in England (ie the survey does not cover those homeless at the time, in care homes, or in psychiatric institutions). From the assessed survey data of 5,358 participants, 257 were military veterans. The research, which is currently undergoing peer review, acknowledges that further research is now required using a larger sample of veterans, with specific questions on pre-service mental health, details of participants armed forces careers, and a focus on problem gambling.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “The findings of this report indicate that, at least within the limitations of this data set, some significant difference has been shown in the level of problem gambling in UK Armed Forces veterans when compared to the general population. The findings and recommendations of this report are instrumental in informing the need for future research into this important issue. It is clear that a wider evidence base is needed to enable policy makers and service deliverers to better identify suitable and timely treatment interventions that ultimately will aid any ex-Service personnel suffering from gambling-related problems in their transition to civilian life.”

Professor Simon Dymond said: “This report marks an important first step in researching gambling related problems in the UK Armed Forces. Previous international research from the USA and Australia has shown higher rates of problem gambling among Armed Forces populations, but this is the first time this phenomenon has been identified in a UK sample. Given the growing public health challenges posed by problem gambling, this is a crucial finding. We hope that future research will use this report to start a conversation about the need to assess and understand problem gambling in the UK Armed Forces in greater detail.”

Read the report here.

ENDS

Ray Lock is available for interviews. To arrange an interview please contact Kate Turner at kturner@theproffice.com or on 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944, or Jack Rodway at jrodway@theproffice.com or on 0207 7284 6961. Professor Simon Dymond is available for interview. To arrange please contact Delyth Purchase d.purchase@swansea.ac.uk or 01792 513022.

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 Summer 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 Swansea University:

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 350 undergraduate courses and 350 postgraduate courses to circa 20,000 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.

Swansea is ranked the top university in Wales and is currently The Times and The Sunday Times ‘Welsh University of the Year’. It is also ranked within the top 350 best universities in the world in the Times Higher Education World University rankings.

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 realising its domestic and international ambitions.

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

For more information, please contact Delyth Purchase Swansea University Public Relations Office.Tel: 01792 513022, or email:  d.purchase@swansea.ac.uk

Follow us on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/SwanseaUni

Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/swanseauniversity

 

FiMT and DSC release “Focus On: Armed Forces Charities’ Mental Health Provision” report

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and the Directory of Social Change (DSC) today (20 June) release the report Focus On: Armed Forces Charities’ Mental Health Provision which, for the first time, provides an account of the range and diversity of mental health support from UK Armed Forces charities.

The report, the first in the new Focus On series, explores charities that make provision to support the mental health needs of the armed forces community. This report is unique in exploring the mental health areas being supported and the types of services being delivered by charities.

Whether discussed on the political stage, in the media, or under the campaign spotlight, mental health continues to be a significant topic of interest. For all members of society, life experiences can affect mental health, and the Armed Forces community is no exception to this. There is an increasing body of research which explores the mental health experience of Service and ex-Service members and their families, and while debate exists over the prevalence of mental health issues in this cohort, there is unquestionably a need for support. There are charities for whom the mental health needs of their beneficiaries is either one of their many charitable objects, or for some their primary charitable object. But what the charities represented in this report have in common is their support for the mental health needs of their beneficiaries.

There has long been a misconception that there are too many Armed Forces charities in the UK. In DSC’s Sector Insight report (published in 2014) a strong emphasis was placed on ‘myth-busting’ with clear evidence of a diverse and collaborative charity sector. Focus On: Armed Forces Charities’ Mental Health Provision presents further evidence to push beyond such misconception, providing information on the diversity of mental health provision from the relatively small number of charities which support beneficiaries’ specific mental health needs.

The report identifies a total of 76 charities with mental health provisions, representing just 7% of all UK Armed Forces charities. The majority of these charities were found to be ‘secondary providers’, for whom mental health was one of many charitable objectives. The remaining charities were categorised as ‘primary providers’, for whom mental health was a primary or sole charitable objective. More than 80% of charities deliver a non-clinical service (services not delivered by a registered healthcare professional), with less than one-fifth delivering a clinical service.

Overall, support for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the most common area of support from surveyed charities, with counselling being the most common form of service; however, there were differences between the charities in the types of support provided. Services for depression and anxiety and for substance misuse are also explored in the report, along with survey data suggesting between 7,000 to 10,000 members of the Armed Forces Community access services each year. Further analysis contained in the report examines, amongst others, charitable expenditure, collaboration, evaluation, and standards of practice.

The report follows on from DSC’s second Sector Insight report, Armed Forces Charities in Scotland – 2017. The Focus On series will comprise six reports published across 2017 and 2018 which are short, topical and designed to be more accessible counterpoints to the larger Sector Insight reports. They represent an evolution from Sector Insight’s mapping of the sector to focusing on key topical areas of charitable provision aligned with Forces in Mind Trust’s priority Outcomes.

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 through to service delivery. The clearly detailed evidence in this report offers an important and unique insight into the mental health support provided by the Armed Forces charity sector across the UK. The Focus On series will provide a compelling series of guides for anyone wishing to better understand the sector, particularly those who work in within the sector such as policymakers, government officials and media organizations.  We hope that the report will be a valuable catalyst to a better understanding of mental health issues and encourage further partnerships to improve the services for members of the Armed Forces and their families.”

Stuart Cole, Research Manager at DSC, says: “We’re proud to announce the launch of the first in a new series of reports. The Focus On series builds on our previous armed forces charities work to provide independently researched evidence on the work of charities. This report is the first in a series of topical reports, which in this case focuses on mental health provision. With a research background in psychology and public health, I find this topic fascinating and I’m delighted to provide charities, policy makers and researchers with a report that illuminates the work of charities making provision in this important area of health.”

Read the 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

Website: www.fim-trust.org
Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports
Those FiMT have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped
Twitter: @FiMtrust

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.

Useful links

Website: www.dsc.org.uk
Research: www.dsc.org.uk/research
Twitter: @DSC_Charity

Forces in Mind Trust releases Activity Report and awards new grant to Veterans Scotland

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) marks the end of its fifth year as a grant-awarding, evidence-generating Trust with the release of its 2016 Activity Report, which reviews the work and outcomes of FiMT funded projects and the Trust’s future direction. FiMT also announced the award of a new grant to Veterans Scotland at the start of one of FiMT’s busiest weeks to date with report launches scheduled for every day!

A significant section within the 2016 Activity Report describes the formal adoption of ‘Change Mechanisms’, a new but key element of FiMT’s Change Model. This Change Model has enabled the Trust to move towards a more proactive approach to identifying and filling gaps in evidence and support, and to promote collaboration and innovation.

An example of FiMT’s Change Mechanisms in action is its recent grant award of £75,000 to Veterans Scotland for a series of national and local events aimed at the Armed Forces Community to bring together Scottish organisations seeking to meet their obligations under the Armed Forces Covenant. This type of project is exactly the sort of collaborative activity which FiMT is aiming to support.

The funding, which will be spread over three years, will enable Veterans Scotland to continue to engage with decision makers in statutory and third sector organisations across Scotland, and to inform them about the issues affecting the ex-Service community and those in transition, and to encourage them to meet their ‘obligations’ under the Armed Forces Covenant. The engagement campaign will ensure that policy makers have a broader understanding of the needs of Service leavers.

The funding, the first for Veterans Scotland from FiMT, will support two national events in Glasgow and Aberdeen and five local level events each year (15 over the course of the three- year project). The events will bring together and brief Armed Forces and Veterans Champions from at least two-thirds of Scotland’s Local Authorities, as well as their counterparts in the Police, NHS, Department of Work and Pensions, Skills Development Scotland, and Housing Associations. It is anticipated that by the end of the three years over 650 policy makers across Scotland will be engaged to better understand the issues facing the Scottish Armed Forces Community.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “This was the fifth year of the Forces in Mind Trust, and it provided us with an opportunity to reflect on our work so far and look to the future to consider how we can achieve our transition outcomes. The adaptation of our change model with the Change Mechanisms has refined our focus to help us move closer to our vision that all ex-Service personnel and their families enjoy successful and fulfilled civilian lives.

“We are pleased to announce our grant to Veterans Scotland, as this project will address the knowledge gap that some policymakers and service providers have about the Armed Forces charity sector in Scotland. This is an especially opportune moment to make this announcement as the project engages with the Change Mechanism of ‘influence and convening’ identified in the Activity Report by bringing policy makers and service providers together. I hope these Veterans Scotland events will act as a valuable catalyst to encourage further partnership working, collaboration and effective communication.”

Colonel Martin Gibson OBE DL, Executive Chairman of Veterans Scotland, said: “We are very pleased to receive this funding from the Forces in Mind Trust; we recognise that by having an informed understanding of the disadvantages that Service leavers may face, our statutory organisations will be better able to adapt their policies. This in turn will ensure that Service leavers and veterans are better placed to make their full contribution.”

Read the report here.

ENDS

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

Work with FiMT: Director (Research Centre)

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), is looking to appoint a Director to establish and grow a new FiMT Research Centre (FiMT) and guide the development and application of research across the Veterans and Families sector.

FiMT is a Big Lottery Fund endowed spend-out charitable Trust, 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 civilian lives.  We have an endowment of over £35 million and ambitions to make a transformational difference to the sector by decisive and targeted grants and commissions, and their subsequent exploitation for influence.

After 5 years’ operation, the Trust has identified a need to make better use of the outputs from its funded research to achieve greater and swifter change.  In partnership with Anglia Ruskin University, FiMT is 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 FiMT RC will be embedded in the Veterans and Families Institute (VFI) at ARU; an institute with a growing international reputation and output.  The VFI sits within the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, which itself has a track record in research that informs health and social care policy and practice.

As a result of this development, we’re looking to appoint a Director to the FiMT RC.  Please follow this link for further information and for details on how to apply (closing date 30th June 2017).

New leadership programme opens for the Service charities sector

Today Clore Social Leadership announced a new leadership development programme for the Service charities sector. ‘Clore6: Cobseo’ was designed in partnership with Cobseo, The Confederation of Service Charities, and Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), who are providing the programme’s core funding.

Aimed at emerging leaders in the Service charities sector, ‘Clore6: Cobseo’ seeks to develop a cadre of leaders to provide robust and effective leadership for their organisations and sector. The programme is built around Clore Social Leadership’s Social Leaders’ Capabilities Framework, which illustrates the attributes, behaviours and skills for successful leadership.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust said, ‘This new programme will provide those within the Service charities sector with a fantastic opportunity to develop their leadership, and it has the strongest support of Cobseo’s senior leaders.

‘At Forces in Mind Trust we know, having sponsored five Fellows over three years, that Clore Social Leadership transforms individuals, and promotes collaboration more effectively than anything else on the market.  By funding the core costs, we are making it affordable to all charities, and demonstrating Forces in Mind Trust’s commitment to investing in innovative approaches that will enhance the effectiveness of the sector’.

Shaks Ghosh, CEO of Clore Social Leadership commented, ‘Armed Forces leaders are known for their incredible leadership, and we want to ensure their charity leaders are similarly invested in to develop great and agile leadership.’

Senior leaders from sector organisations are being invited to nominate their brightest people, and applicants from charities and organisations working to promote the welfare and general interests of the Services community are also invited to apply.

Applications to this six-month programme are now open, and the deadline is 20 July 2017. Visit here for application and programme information.

The ‘Clore6: Cobseo’ participants will be announced in September 2017 in time to start the programme soon afterwards. These new participants will have the opportunity to utilise their applied learnings in team challenges to immediately transfer the skills they gain back into their organisations.

This is the third Clore6 programme following a successful pilot programme for emerging leaders from the Youth Sector which completed in March 2017, and a Clore6 Open programme for leaders from the wider social sector which is currently running.  Upon successful completion of the Clore6 programmes, participants will join Clore Social Leadership’s network of Fellows.

– Ends –

Notes to editors:

For press enquiries please contact Léann Lavery on leann@cloresocialleadership.org.uk or call 020 7812 3771.

About Clore Social Leadership
Clore Social Leadership is committed to social change. We find and develop leaders with a social purpose so that they can transform their communities, organisations and the world around them. We offer a range of leadership development programmes, short courses and leadership innovations.

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

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

About Cobseo:

For further information about Cobseo, contact Alice Farrow, Head of Communications (a.farrow@cobseo.org.uk or 07966 886180)

Cobseo exists to represent the needs of its membership comprising 279 Full and Associate Members, including Service and civilian charities and organisations, which support Serving and ex-Serving personnel and their families.  It uses its collective strength to inform, guide and influence those who engage with the Armed Forces community in order to provide the best possible level of support to beneficiaries, and does so through the facilitation and encouragement of cooperation and collaboration.
www.cobseo.org.uk or www.twitter.com/Cobseo

New Forces in Mind Trust Funded Report: Higher levels of support needed for the most vulnerable Service Leavers across the UK

Service Leavers who are likely to struggle to adapt to civilian life should be identified by the Ministry of Defence before they leave the Armed Forces and offered tailored support to help transition effectively, according to two Veterans’ organisations. Armed Forces charities Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and Stoll, the leading provider of supported housing for Veterans, are calling for services to be developed across the UK that ensure the most vulnerable Service Leavers receive the health and welfare support they need, and avoid homelessness and unemployment. Service Leavers who are most likely to struggle with adapting to civilian life include people with mental health issues, and those with no settled home or family life to go to after their transition into civilian life.

New independent research, funded by FiMT, shows that Stoll’s Outreach Transition Service, the first ever service of its kind targeting these specific individuals, has been highly effective in helping vulnerable Service Leavers make a successful transition from the Armed Forces into civilian life. The research covered a pilot service in which 44 Veterans were found appropriate accommodation, 36 were supported into employment and 85 people received mental health advice and support.

The charities have also published a joint call to action which is being shared with the Ministry of Defence policy staff, Regional Brigades, and Local Authorities as well as homelessness and Veterans’ organisations. The call to action highlights the importance of identifying vulnerable Service Leavers, making sure that they have the right information at the right time, and are offered appropriate, tailored support.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of FiMT, said: “Most people transition from the Armed Forces to civilian life successfully; but for a small number without the right support, the challenges can prove overwhelming. That is why providing tailored support to those who are most likely to struggle, as early as possible, is an approach we firmly advocate.  I am pleased that this two-year pilot project has shown the efficacy of Stoll’s transition service in London. The report’s findings demonstrate that timely and targeted support services can transform the lives of vulnerable Service Leavers, and that this is a model that is worth funding and expanding to improve the transition of Service Leavers.”

Ed Tytherleigh, Chief Executive of Stoll, said: “We are pleased that the evidence shows our service is helping those in the London area; we must now ensure there is effective transition support available for Service Leavers in other parts of the country, notably those in the South and South East where the shortfall in appropriate accommodation for Veterans is most acute.”

Read the report here

-ENDS-

Ray Lock is available for interviews.  To arrange an interview please contact Jack Rodway at jrodway@theproffice.com or on 07824 119 171 or 0207 284 6961 or Kate Turner at kturner@theproffice.com or on 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944.

For more information including statistics, case studies, photography and interview requests, please contact Becky Frankham on becky.frankham@stoll.org.uk or 020 7384 5935.

Notes to editors

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

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

FiMT’s ‘Transition Mapping Study’ which reviewed how the entire transition process from military to civilian life currently works and how it is viewed by stakeholders and recent Service leavers was produced with Stoll and launched in 2013.

About Stoll

  • Stoll is one of the UK’s oldest Veterans’ charities – the leading provider of supported housing for Veterans
  • Stoll provides a unique combination of housing, health and wellbeing support to vulnerable and disabled ex-Service men and women
  • Stoll provides safe and secure housing that allows Veterans to live comfortably and independently
  • Stoll is supported by Walking With The Wounded to help get Veterans back into training or work. Since November 2015 our employment advisor has worked with 51 beneficiaries, supporting 26 into sustainable employment.
  • As well as providing supported housing, Stoll accesses specialist services to help vulnerable Veterans improve their physical and mental health
  • For more information, please visit our website: www.stoll.org.uk