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Launch of new online resource challenges employers to think differently about taking on ex-Service personnel

The Poppy Factory – the charity that helps injured ex-Service men and women find work – has launched a new online toolkit for employers.

The Employer Toolkit, funded by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), gives advice and guidance to employers, helping them to manage a workforce with complex health conditions – and aims to dispel the negative stereotypes of veterans and the problems they may face.

Veterans can sometimes be overlooked by employers, who may find it hard to understand how military experience translates across to civilian job roles.

There are also misconceptions about mental health, with employers wary of taking on veterans because of perceived issues around the traumas they may have suffered during their time in the Forces. Managing employees with a disability often requires little more than flexibility, and The Employer Toolkit helps to “myth bust” and provide practical advice.

In fact, employers discover that far from being problematic, ex-Service personnel have a great work ethic and can-do attitude with strong leadership skills. A recent study by Deloitte found that more than half of organisations that employed veterans say that they tend to be promoted more quickly than the rest of their workforce in general.

It’s estimated that there are no fewer than 17,000 unemployed, disabled ex-Service men and women of working age. Last year there was an 85% increase in the number of veterans seeking help from The Poppy Factory to find work.

Many veterans face huge hurdles even to just secure an interview. As one veteran, Casper says: “I applied for lots of jobs…but having ticked ‘medically discharged’ [from the Forces] I just didn’t get in the door.”

But employers who do take on ex-Service personnel with health challenges find they are hardworking and valuable members of the workforce.

National Express actively supports The Poppy Factory in providing opportunities for veterans.

Roz Golds, National Express ‘Military Promise’ leader said:  “National Express is a longstanding supporter of the Armed Forces and immensely proud to be able to support veterans on their journey back into work after life in service.”

“Diversity is key to a strong workforce and veterans in particular bring strong skills sets to the table, including perseverance, team-working, problem-solving and leadership.

“We’d absolutely encourage other companies to look at The Employer Toolkit and see how working with veterans could make a positive difference to their business.”

Meri Mayhew, Deputy Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “The Forces in Mind Trust is proud to sponsor The Poppy Factory’s toolkit to provide employers with the framework to support veterans in the workplace.

“Wounded, injured and sick ex-Service men and women have a great deal to contribute, with many bringing unique yet transferable skills and experiences to their workplaces. Employment does not just help veterans make a successful transition to civilian life but actively benefits employers as well.

“Understanding how best to approach the individual needs of ex-Service personnel in the workplace requires relatively little effort but can generate great outcomes not just for the individual, but also for the employer.”

The toolkit is divided into ten sections which cover everything from busting common myths about employing veterans, to mental health in the workplace, employment law and how to provide in-work support.

It also explains how The Poppy Factory can help both veterans and employers.

The Poppy Factory has a vision for a world in which every workplace values disabled veterans. The charity aims to provide the most effective employment support for its ex-Forces ‘clients’ and for employers alike.

The toolkit is available at www.poppyfactory.org/employers-toolkit

ENDS

Spokespeople from The Poppy Factory and FiMT are available for interview. For more information, please contact:

The Poppy Factory

Andy Drinkwater: 07799 408611

Andrew.drinkwater1@btinternet.com

Tabitha Aldrich-Smith: 07971 919610

tabitha@vespr.com

Nick Eaglesfield, Marketing & Communications Manager: 07909257955

nickeaglesfield@poppyfactory.org

FiMT

Meri Mayhew is available for interviews.  To arrange an interview please contact

Kate Turner: 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944

kturner@theproffice.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

 About The Poppy Factory:

  • The Employer Toolkit was produced following recommendations from The Poppy Factory’s recent Employment in Mind report into the most effective employment support for those with health conditions (also funded by FiMT and produced by the Centre for Mental Health).
  • The Poppy Factory provides free employability support to with ex-Forces personnel with health challenges from all corners of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • From physical challenges, such as blindness and limb loss, to mental health conditions, such as anxiety and PTSD, the charity has nearly a century of experience employing veterans with health challenges. This knowledge helps to inform employers so that they can make any reasonable workplace adjustments, raising the standards to ensure veterans thrive in their new jobs.
  • Veterans have a wealth of transferable skills from their time in the Armed Forces, but some will find it difficult to translate these valuable skills into the ever-changing civilian jobs market. Often, this is down to the difficulty employers have in understanding how military experience translates practically into civilian job roles.
  • The Poppy Factory works with other military and welfare charities to provide holistic support, transforming the lives of veterans with disabilities and their families.
  • It is estimated that, by supporting over 700 veterans with health challenges into sustainable employment, The Poppy Factory’s programme has saved the State over £15m. This is based upon the 2013 Social Return On Investment score of £2.23 for every £1 spent on the Getting You Back to Work service (Poppy Factory SROI Report, Krystyna Szplit 2014), multiplied by the average cost of supporting a disabled veteran into sustainable employment that year  (£10,000), multiplied by 700 people.
  • The Duchess of Cornwall became Patron of The Poppy Factory in 2013
  • It is estimated that there are 17,000 unemployed ex-Service personnel of working age who have a disability , so there is a great need for the ‘Getting You Back to Work’ The Poppy Factory has a vision for a world in which every workplace values disabled veterans.
  • poppyfactory.org

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/

 

 

 

New Forces in Mind Trust award: Anglia Ruskin University to research ways of supporting Commonwealth Personnel and families

A grant of £28,664 has been awarded to Anglia Ruskin University, to conduct an audit of services available for, and provided to, Commonwealth serving and ex-Service personnel and their families in order to identify their specific needs. This eight-month study will be an important first step in understanding the issues facing Commonwealth personnel and their families during their transition from military to civilian life.

This is the first time the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has funded a project or research specifically around the Commonwealth cohort serving in the UK Armed Forces, and/or their families, and it has been commissioned jointly with the Cobseo Foreign and Commonwealth (F&C) Cluster. There is little understanding of the transition into civilian life for this unique cohort, the scale of success, or how to enable successful and sustainable transition, although there is anecdotal evidence that the cohort experiences a disproportionately high number of issues.

The project will use a mixture of stakeholder interviews, surveys and desk research to build a better understanding of the issues and needs of the cohort so as to identify priorities for further research and to influence future policy and service delivery for the Cobseo F&C Cluster Group and wider organisations supporting the Commonwealth cohort.

Matt Fossey, Director of the Veterans and Families Institute at Anglia Ruskin University said, “We are delighted to be working with Cobseo to explore the services available for Commonwealth personnel and their families. This is a very important piece of work that will help to inform improvements in service provision for a section of our military who experience their own unique challenges.”

Louise Simpson, AFF Policy & Research Director and Chair of the Cobseo Foreign and Commonwealth Cluster, said: “As Chair of the F&C Cobseo Cluster Group AFF is delighted at the news of this funding as it will really help us as a group to develop an action plan around tackling Commonwealth issues.”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “There is an evidence gap around the unique challenges faced by the Commonwealth cohort and the services and support available to them. It is right that there should be a proactive approach to ensure all groups of ex-Service personnel and their families receive focused support to improve their chances of a successful transition. This unique study, which we are very pleased to fund, offers the opportunity to better understand, and identify, future ways to improve outcomes for these ex-Service personnel and their families as they transition into civilian life.”

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.

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/

About Anglia Ruskin University:

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, fom 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.

In 2016 we were ranked in the top 350 institutions in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, featured in a list of the 20 “rising stars” in global Higher Education compiled by strategy consultants Firetail, and were named as one of the top 20 UK universities for teaching quality in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Learn more about the Veterans and Families Institute: http://www.anglia.ac.uk/health-social-care-and-education/research/research-groups/veterans-and-families-institute

Prince Harry joins Veterans’ Mental Health Conference Sponsored by Forces in Mind Trust

Leading veterans’ mental health experts gathered today (Thursday 16th March) to discuss international perspectives on the mental health of the Armed Forces Community. They were joined by Prince Harry at King’s College London for the annual event, which for the second year running was sponsored solely by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT).

World-class speakers from leading UK and international institutions working in the field of veterans’ mental health gave a series of wide-ranging presentations and hosted debates. Prince Harry led a panel discussion with three former members of the UK and US Armed Forces who spoke about their personal experiences of addressing and managing mental health challenges, and the importance of encouraging open conversations about mental health.

Prince Harry attended as part of the Heads Together campaign to change the conversation around mental health. Heads Together is a campaign spearheaded by Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The one-day conference, which this year was entitled, ‘Veterans’ Mental Health – The Wider Perspective’, follows the success of the inaugural ‘Veterans’ Mental Health – Fact, Fiction and Future’ conference of 2015, and 2016’s ‘Veterans’ Mental Health – the Road Ahead’.

Hosted by the King’s Centre for Military Health Research at King’s College London, the event focused on issues ranging from the use of peers to improve treatment-seeking and the mental health of and support for Service families, to whether veterans’ mental health care should be part of mainstream services. Speakers from the United States, Canada, and Europe also highlighted their country’s perspective on veterans’ mental health.

The event was sold out weeks in advance with over 200 guests attending. Speakers from the public health, academic and Service charity sectors provided expert insights and latest research findings, including: Capt US Navy (Rtd) Robert Koffman, Semper Fi Fund and Warrior Canine Connection, on the therapeutic benefits of animals to improve veterans’ mental health; and Professor (Col) Eric Vermetten, Leiden University, on genetics and other novel therapies in the mental health of service veterans.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said:

“We are delighted that HRH Prince Harry attended and participated in this year’s Veterans’ Mental Health Conference, and welcome the ‘Heads Together’ campaign’s contribution to tackling the stigma surrounding mental health. Overcoming stigma and preconceived negative ideas about mental health is a vital element in improving veterans’ mental well-being. We are once again proud to have been sole sponsor of this important annual knowledge sharing and networking event.

Professor Neil Greenberg from King’s College London said: “We set up this annual conference three years ago in order to provide high quality evidence and informed debate at a reasonable cost for those interested in this important topic. We were delighted to welcome HRH Prince Harry to the conference this year as well as a range of other excellent speakers. Once again the event was completely sold out, which highlights how much interest there is in understanding ‘what the truth is’ in what can sometimes be a rather poorly understood subject. We are highly appreciative that the Forces in Mind Trust agreed to sponsor the event again and the whole of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research team remains proud of the work we do to improve the lives of service personnel, serving or retired, and their families.

The full programme for the day was as follows:

Welcome from Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Panel talk with Prince Harry, Caroline Buckle, Ivan Castro, and Philip Eaglesham

‘Veterans’ Mental Health – A US Perspective’, Col Matthew Amidon USMC, The George W Bush Institute, Dallas, USA

‘Veterans’ Mental Health – A Canadian Perspective’, Professor Alice Aiken, Dalhousie University, Canada

‘Veterans’ Mental Health – A UK Perspective’, Col (Rtd) David Richmond CBE, Contact, UK

Debate: “This house believes that Veterans mental health care should be part of mainstream services”, Kate Davies OBE, NHS England and Sue Freeth, Combat Stress

‘The mental health of service families’, Professor Nicola Fear, the King’s Centre for Military Health Research, King’s College London

‘Providing support for service families’, Dr Marie-Louise Sharpe (The Royal British Legion)

‘Treatment seeking, or lack of, of UK ex-Service personnel’, Dr Sharon Stevelink, the King’s Centre for Military Health Research, King’s College London

‘The treatment of ex-Service personnel affected by complex trauma’, Dr Dominic Murphy, Combat Stress

‘The use of peers to encourage ex-Service personnel to seek mental healthcare’, Charlie Allanson-Oddy, NHS Lothian

‘Screening to improve the health of the Armed Forces’, Professor Neil Greenberg, Royal College of Psychiatrists

‘Genetics and other novel therapies in mental health of service veterans’, Professor (Col) Eric Vermetten, Leiden University, the Netherlands

‘Summing up and moving forward’, Professor Neil Greenberg, Royal College of Psychiatrists

ENDS

Notes to Editors

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

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

About King’s College London – www.kcl.ac.uk

King’s has an outstanding reputation for world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) King’s was ranked 6th nationally in the ‘power’ ranking, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity, and 7th for quality according to Times Higher Education rankings. Eighty-four per cent of research at King’s was deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (3* and 4*). The university is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of more than £600 million.

King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar.

King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King’s Health Partners. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world’s leading research-led universities and three of London’s most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.

King’s fundraising campaign – World questions | King’s answers – created to address some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity has reached its £500 million target 18 months ahead of schedule. The university is now aiming to build on this success and raise a further £100 million by the end of 2015, to fund vital research, deliver innovative new treatments and to support scholarships. The campaign’s five priority areas are neuroscience and mental health, leadership and society, cancer, global power and children’s health. More information about the campaign is available at www.kcl.ac.uk/kingsanswers.

New Forces in Mind Trust award: King’s College London to research secondary mental health treatment for ex-Service personnel

A grant of £158,999 has been awarded to King’s College London to conduct an 18-month feasibility study exploring the type of mental health problems UK veterans experience who actively access secondary mental health care, their pathway through treatment, the outcomes of the treatment they receive, and their socio-demographic profile.  The project will compare and contrast these findings with non-veterans (ie the general population) who access the same services, as well as UK veterans who access veteran-specific mental health care services.

Uniquely, the research will focus on secondary care which deals with more complex needs than primary care. The study will use the innovative Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) system, which provides authorised researchers with regulated, secure access to anonymised information extracted from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s electronic clinical records.  For the first time, CRIS will be used to identify the specific mental health needs of veterans.  Additional information will be provided by the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans, Combat Stress, on veterans accessing their specialist mental health care services.

Estimates of the UK veteran population range from three to five million. Research shows that a minority (between 4%-20%) may experience physical and mental health problems, some as a result of service, but the majority of those do not seek formal medical help.  For those that do, this study will help fill the knowledge gap concerning the mental health issues with which they present, whether they opt for the NHS secondary health care system or veteran specific treatment, what happens to them once in either of these treatment systems and the outcomes of the treatment they receive, and looking at what differences (if any) there may be when contrasted with the general population (where possible).

The research project will be conducted by Dr Sharon Stevelink, Study Coordinator of the Clinical Interview Study, part of the Health and Well-being Study Programme at King’s College London.

Dr Sharon Stevelink said: “We are very excited to start this novel project investigating treatment pathways for veterans with complex mental health issues. The unique collaboration with Combat Stress enables us to provide a comprehensive picture of mental health care services accessed by the veteran community. We hope that the research will enable us to tailor the provision of mental health services for veterans reaching out for support to combat their mental health difficulty.”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “There remains a significant dearth in evidence around the specific mental health needs, and treatment pathways and outcomes of UK ex-Service personnel accessing generic mental health secondary care services.  The findings from this uniquely placed study will inform mental health care policy makers and service providers in both the statutory and non-statutory sectors to plan resources that will best serve and treat this vulnerable cohort for whom transition to civilian life may be particularly challenging.”

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

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

Forces in Mind Trust’s first two Specialist Fellows celebrate the end of their Fellowships on Clore Social Leadership’s Fellowship programme 2015 and 2016

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful transition back to civilian life, formally celebrated the achievements of their first two Specialist FiMT Fellows on Clore Social Leadership’s Fellowship Programme at a dedicated event marking the end of the 2015 and 2016 Fellowships.

The event took place on 28 February 2017 at The Resolution Foundation where, after an introductory speech by Vyla Rollins, Executive Director of the London Business School’s Leadership Institute, Fellows received a formal certificate of completion before enjoying the opportunity to network with other Fellows and programme funders. You can learn about our 2015 and 2016 Fellows, Jane Rowley and Marie-Louise Sharp, read Jane’s personal learning summary, and find out about Marie-Louise Sharp’s experiences on the programme, by following the links.

FiMT has sponsored Specialist Fellowships on Clore Social Leadership’s Fellowship programme since 2015. The purpose of FiMT’s Specialist Fellowship is to encourage deeper connections and shared learning between military charities and the wider social sector to enable more innovative and collaborative working. FiMT is delighted to be sponsoring three Specialist Fellowships for the 2017 programme. These are: Vikki Muir, Executive Officer in the Grants and Welfare Team at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity; Louise Simpson, the Policy and Research Director for the Army Families Federation (AFF); and Elizabeth George, Head of Fundraising at The Poppy Factory, the employability charity for wounded, injured and sick veterans.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “This event is a great opportunity to celebrate the learning, achievements and experiences of both our 2015 and 2016 FiMT Specialist Fellows, and to meet some of the other Fellows who took part in the Clore Social Leadership Fellowship programme alongside them. Our Specialist Fellows all share professionalism, drive and commitment to make the most of this leadership development opportunity, not just for the sake of their own learning but also to establish new working relationships and connections with and between others. With our three new 2017 FiMT Specialists now about to start their third month on the programme, we look forward to seeing what further insights, networks and collaborative learning opportunities the growing FiMT Specialist Fellows cohort may inspire.”

Shaks Ghosh, Chief Executive of Clore Social Leadership said: “Our partnership with the Forces in Mind Trust continues to grow. Both Jane Rowley and Marie-Louise Sharp are a testament to the sector – we congratulate them and all of the 2015 and 2016 Fellows on their achievements.”

Applications for FiMT’s 2018 Specialist Fellowship will open in later in 2017. Sign up to Clore Social Leadership’s monthly newsletter to receive social leadership news and views, and information about our leadership development programmes: http://cloresocialleadership.org.uk

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.

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 organisations and the world around them. We offer a Fellowship programme, Clore6: Youth Sector Leadership Programme and a range of leadership development short courses.

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

 

New Forces in Mind Trust Funded Report: Changing ex-Officer community faces new challenges

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), together with the Officers’ Association has today (1 March) released a new report, which provides a definitive demographic profile of the serving and ex-officer community.

The Report states that there are over 26,820 serving UK officers, and an estimated 371,600 veteran officers in Great Britain, including 19,200 over ninety years of age.

The Report projects that the number of veteran officers will fall by 55% in the next 20 years, because of the decreasing number of World War Two veterans. It is estimated that there are over 116,000 officers with long-term illnesses which significantly limit their ability to undertake day-to-day activities and over 27,000 with dementia. It also identified the likely changes to the population: a higher predicted turnover of officers, leaving the Services at a younger age; and more women as well as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) officers are expected to serve in the future.

Another challenge is the mind set of officers, who self-identified as ‘a proud community’ and tend to apply for help only when their problems are acute. Some interviewees acknowledged that officers (and their spouses) were more reluctant to ask for help than others, due to the culture and expectation of self-resilience. This could mean that when they did finally ask for help, their needs were greater and more complex.

The Report was commissioned to help understand the size, nature and needs of present and future officer communities. The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) awarded £43,149 to the Officers’ Association, the charity supporting the welfare of those who have held a commission in HM Armed Services and their dependants. The six month study was conducted by the Institute of Public Care at Oxford-Brookes University, and project-managed by Mazia Yassim, Research Associate at the Officers’ Association. The project used a number of techniques to build a picture of the officer community, including interviews, focus groups and including using data from the Ministry of Defence and other sources, holding focus groups with current and ex-serving officers, as well as interviews with Service charities.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, says: “Improving our understanding of the profile of the current and ex-serving officer community is an important piece of work. Without a proper knowledge of the size and needs of the officers’ community, and a forecast of how that might change, the sector cannot understand how best to support them and their families in leading successful and fulfilled civilian lives. We welcome the findings of this report, which concludes that serving and ex-serving officers can suffer increased barriers to help-seeking, but overall their needs are really no different to those of the general ex-serving population. What this report challenges us to identify, as the sector plans for the years ahead, is the optimum way in which we can deliver the necessary support, whether it be welfare or other types.”

Lee Holloway, CEO of the Officers’ Association, said: “The findings of this report are important as they give us a clear insight into the future demographics and needs of our officer community and their families. We believe the report will be a valuable tool to other charities, the MOD and health and social services in providing help.

For the OA, the report gives the empirical data to help us plan for the future, to ensure the officer community is not disadvantaged as demographic and institutional changes take place.
It challenges us to reach out to all serving and former officers, to make them aware of how we can support them, now and in the years ahead.”

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

About the Officers’ Association:
The Officers’ Association (OA) is an independent charity established in 1920 in recognition of the desperate circumstances many officers found themselves in following demobilisation after the First World War.

The purpose of the OA is to provide financial assistance to former officers and their dependants as well to aid, assist and promote their interests.  Assistance often takes the form of advice, and the Benevolence Department aims to provide an holistic service for its beneficiaries covering finances, housing, health, activities, social life and well being. When financial support is required, it is subject to stringent and regularly reviewed eligibility criteria and generally takes one of two forms: regular allowances (predominantly for elderly beneficiaries on low incomes) or one-off grants towards specific items such as disability equipment.

A further aim of the OA has always been to re-establish former officers in civilian life: the Employment Department now performs this function by offering professional, impartial and practical advice on all aspects of transition to civilian life and employment. To support officers in achieving sustainable and fulfilling employment beyond the services, the OA helps them to build knowledge (OA Insight), develop connections (OA Connect) and works with employers and organisations to bring jobs and other opportunities (OA Appointments).

The OA is enormously grateful to the hundreds of volunteers who support its operations: the Honorary Representatives (Hon Reps) who carry out work for the Benevolence Department and the Employment Volunteers on the OA’s Network Contact List who give vital support to job seekers.

Further details about the OA’s work can be found in its Annual Report and Accounts and Impact Report and at https://www.officersassociation.org.uk.

Visit www.officersassociation.org.uk for further information on the OA.

For Further Press Information and Images please contact:

Andrea Hodson
Marketing Manager
The Officers’ Association

Tel: 020 7808 4160
Mob: 07500 004987

New Forces in Mind Trust award: Bristol University to improve signposting to specialist support for domestic violence and abuse in UK military families

A grant of £46,938 has been awarded to University of Bristol for a 15-month study to investigate domestic violence and abuse (DVA) in UK military families. The research will investigate what criteria might constitute specialist DVA provision for this group, and what service providers, if any, already meet these criteria, in order to help improve signposting to the service providers best placed to meet the needs of UK military families suffering DVA.

The first stage of the project involves talking to people who currently provide, use and refer to specialist DVA services, in order to help build a picture of what specialist DVA support for UK military families might look like. The second stage involves sharing the findings with UK Refuges Online – a long-established, government-funded online resource used by the sector to identify DVA services. By linking to this resource, the project will leave a legacy of support as the military families specialism will be integrated within UK Refuges Online as a permanent category.

The project will be conducted by Dr Emma Williamson, Senior Research Fellow and Head of Centre for Gender and Violence Research, at the University of Bristol.

Dr Emma Williamson said: “This is a really exciting project which builds on previous research and will result in better signposting of military families to specialist domestic violence provision across the UK.  Working with Women’s Aid, England, this research project is concerned with showcasing existing good practice, and directing those in need to it.”
Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Currently there is no population-based evidence about the specific prevalence of DVA amongst military families in the UK. What we postulate, based on international research, is that such populations have higher rates of more severe forms of DVA compared to civilian populations, with a particular relation to combat exposure. Supporting these findings, UK research has shown that 12.6% of military personnel reported engaging in violent behaviours on their return from active military service, with an increased association between combat roles and the likelihood of violence. The completion of this project, being of both a research-based and practical nature, will help ensure that a small but vulnerable cohort can be supported by, and swiftly directed to, the most appropriate DVA service provision for their specific needs, whether still in service or during the transition to civilian life.”

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.

To arrange an interview with Dr Emma Williamson please contact Caroline Clancy at caroline.clancy@bristol.ac.uk, tel 0117 331 8021.

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/

Forces in Mind Trust – Invitation to Sector Briefing in Portsmouth or Andover

On 30th and 31st March 2017 the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) will be holding two briefing sessions in the South of England with the choice of Portsmouth (30th) or Andover (31st). The aim of these sessions is to help the Armed Forces Community, the Services Charities sector, and other key stakeholders and interested parties understand how FiMT can support ex-Service personnel, and their families, during their transition from military into civilian life. Whilst the event is aimed primarily at Directors, and the heads of welfare, research, grant-making and fund-raising, anyone with an interest in the subject of transition, including Trustees, is most welcome to attend. The briefings will be hosted by Chief Executive FiMT, Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE.

Event details – Portsmouth

Date: 30th March 2017

Time: 10.30 am to 1.30 pm

Venue: The Royal Marine Club

Address: 75-80 Queen St, Portsmouth PO1 3HS

Event details – Andover

Date: 31st March 2017

Time: 10.30 am to 1.30 pm

Venue: Quality Hotel Andover

Address: Micheldever Rd, Andover SP11 6LA

The FiMT Executive Team will brief delegates on the aims of the Trust, its grant-making strategy and the mechanism by which grants are considered. We will also cover examples of our awards to date, and our future intentions. There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and to enter into discussion, which will continue during the subsequent networking buffet lunch.

Anyone wishing to attend should send us an e-mail – stating which briefing event they wish to attend (Portsmouth or Andover) – to events@fim-trust.org by 10th March.

New Forces in Mind Trust Grant: ‘healthcare navigator’ for need of Birmingham Armed Forces community

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC) has teamed up with the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) and the Tavistock Institute to pilot a new model of care to support our local armed forces community with a £97,507 grant from the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT).

A newly-appointed ‘healthcare navigator’ will lead an initiative to raise awareness of the needs of the armed forces community among NHS primary care staff and develop a dedicated service to help serving personnel, veterans, reservists and their families access a range of health, social and third sector support.

A key part of the armed forces navigator’s role will be to strengthen links between the wider military community and GPs, improving access to key NHS services and upholding the commitments to the armed forces set out in the NHS constitution.

Each year approximately 17,000 people leave the UK Armed Forces. The vast majority transition successfully into civilian life. However, some need additional support. Recent studies have highlighted that members of the armed forces community may:

  • be more likely to misuse alcohol compared to the general population
  • be more reluctant to engage with healthcare services when illness or injury is presented
  • have common mental health disorders or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder attributable to service or through the transition process
  • have physical healthcare issues associated with service – musculoskeletal, hearing or sight loss.

The pilot aims to:

  • evaluate the role and impact of a primary care armed forces community navigator
  • test a new model of support to identify and address the health, social care and wellbeing needs of members of the armed forces community accessing primary care
  • improve primary healthcare workforce training and awareness in respect of the needs of the armed forces community
  • assess needs, provide support and enable access to appropriate services and support
  • provide a holistic approach by supporting the individual service user and their family
  • identify gaps in availability and accessibility of required services, and assess the level of disadvantage faced by this community
  • support the work of NHS England in promoting and implementing the use of armed forces coding within primary care.

Scott Thornton, armed forces healthcare project manager said: “There are cultural aspects of service life that GPs and the primary care workforce can learn about that will enable them to better support patients and their families from an armed forces background.

“The project aims to place the armed forces community at the centre of future NHS planning by raising awareness and understanding of its health and social care needs, particularly among healthcare commissioners.”

“More importantly, there is a wealth of support and experience within the armed forces community to help others – particularly former service personnel who need help accessing housing, education and employment.”

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, says: “This is an exciting and wide-ranging feasibility study, which we are very pleased to support as it offers an innovative approach to improving the support for ex-Service personnel and their families as they transition into civilian life.  Improving their access to health services, and the understanding of healthcare providers of their needs, are both important contributors to better transition outcomes.  Only with proper and credible knowledge of these needs can we hope to support ex-Service personnel and their families lead successful and fulfilled civilian lives.”

Paul Gaffney, Director of Strategy and Planning of Defence Medical Welfare Service, said: “The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) is delighted to be working with the Forces in Mind Trust and Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on such a worthwhile project. Supporting the Welfare needs of those that serve our country is what we have been delivering throughout our long 74 year history.”

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

DMWS
The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) has nearly 75 years of experience in supporting those who serve. DMWS currently provide  welfare support to serving personnel and their families when they enter hospital. They are passionate about supporting the Armed Forces Community and aim to extend their experience to other arenas such as GP practices.

As a DMWS employee, the armed forces healthcare navigator will complete a Diploma in Welfare Studies and Mental Health First Aid Course as part of their training. The armed forces healthcare will be deployed to GP practices in South Birmingham to raise awareness of the Armed Forces Community, engage the Primary care workforce and support those identified along their healthcare pathway.

www.dmws.org.uk

Tavistock Institute
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations applies social science to contemporary issues and problems. It was established as a not-for-profit organisation with charitable purpose in 1947.

The Institute is engaged with evaluation and action research, organisational development and change consultancy, executive coaching and professional development, all in service of supporting sustainable change and ongoing learning.

www.tavinstitute.org