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FiMT sponsors King’s Centre for Military Health Research 2019 Veterans’ Mental Health Conference

Military Mental Health Annual Conference Speakers and Programme Announced

Forces in Mind Trust is sponsoring the King’s Centre for Military Health Research Annual Veterans’ Mental Health Conference, for a fourth consecutive year.

The 2019 event, entitled “Evidence, Innovation and Practice”, has a stellar line up of UK and international speakers, including a contribution by the BBC’s Defence Correspondent, Jonathan Beale, on the media’s view of mental health and the military.

Tickets are now available. Access all the conference details and booking information, including the concessionary ticket rate for Cobseo Full and Associate members, here.

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

“This is the fourth year that Forces in Mind Trust has sponsored the Veterans’ Mental Health Conference and we are proud to do so. The subject for the 2019 conference embodies what FiMT is all about: evidence leading to lasting change.”

“As a Trust we can fund an abundance of research; but unless our recommendations are put into practice, the potential impact of our work is constrained and we will be unable to fully achieve our aim of enabling all ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition.”

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Recruitment opens for leadership development programme for the Armed Forces charities sector

Clore Social Leadership has announced today, Thursday 11th October 2018, details of its 2019 Cobseo Emerging Leader Programme designed in partnership with the Confederation of Service Charities (Cobseo) and the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT).

Aimed at emerging leaders working in the Armed Forces and Service charities sector, the programme seeks to build agile, resilient, and effective leadership, while consolidating solidarity, collaboration, and joint action within the sector. Drawing on all aspects of Clore Social’s Social Leaders’ Capabilities Framework, the programme is designed to help leaders become more empowered, focused, and generous, and gain a greater understanding of their strengths, abilities and preferences.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust said:

‘We are delighted to support the second run of the Cobseo Emerging Leader Programme. Leadership development, such as this excellent Clore programme, enables committed individuals to enhance their abilities and transform their organisations. Through investing in the development of strong and adaptive leadership, FiMT can help increase the sector’s effectiveness and ultimately improve the outcomes for the organisations’ beneficiaries. This is exactly the type of innovative and system changing approach we were established to take’.

The programme will run for 6 months and is structured to fit around existing leadership commitments, providing a blended approach which allows for self-directed learning, while offering the opportunity to work together with a group of peers who will support, challenge and inspire each other.

Fraser Gilmore, 2017 Cobseo Emerging Leader Fellow has emphasised the benefits of working and learning with other leaders:

“I understand the context of leadership in the third sector better and this has helped me grow in my role. Meeting other leaders in the sector has expanded my network and that of the organisation which has led to some interesting conversations about future work. This has created better collaboration which can only be good for the sector”

Commenting on the launch of the programme, Shaks Ghosh, Chief Executive of Clore Social Leadership said: ‘We know that effective leadership leads to stronger, more resilient and successful communities. This is why we are very excited to continue to work with the Service charities sector. Developing these dedicated future leaders will ensure their organisations adapt and thrive in times of change’.

Applications are now open with 24 places available for emerging leaders with a minimum of 3 years’ experience leading a team, department, or organisation in the social sector. Senior leaders from sector organisations are invited to nominate their most determined and talented people eager to expand their leadership skills and make a lasting difference in their organisations and sector.

For more information and to apply, please visit:

https://www.cloresocialleadership.org.uk/news-insights/launching-our-cobseo-emerging-leader-programme-for-the-armed-forces-charities-sector

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Minister of Defence People and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood MP delivers keynote speech at inaugural FiMT Research Centre Conference

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) held its inaugural Research Centre Conference today, Thursday 11th October, at Church House, Westminster and presented two awards for excellence in research.

Over 100 delegates from across the academic, Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces sectors attended, with a host of speakers including Lord Ashcroft, who was the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Veterans’ Transition from 2012 to 2018 and conducted the Veterans’ Transition Review.

The Lord Ashcroft Veterans’ Research Award went to Shared Intelligence for their ‘Our Community – Our Covenant’ project, and the FiMT Research Centre Award for Most Impactful Research went to Community Innovations Enterprise LLP for their ‘Call to Mind’ project series. Both have influenced policy makers, led to further research projects and have had an impact on services provided to veterans.

The Research Centre was launched last year to support the research needs of the Armed Forces Community. The Centre’s purpose is to facilitate research in the UK that deepens shared understanding and develops links between the academic community, government organisations, statutory and voluntary service providers, the media, and the public.

To help toward this purpose, the Veterans and Families Research Hub (VFR Hub) is part of the Centre. This is an easily-searchable and free-to-use online resource offering an authoritative source of research-related information on ex-Service personnel and their families. The VFR Hub was jointly established and initially funded by Lord Ashcroft and FiMT.

Lord Ashcroft said: “One of the main findings from my work on veterans’ transition was the need for a source of good, reliable, authoritative and easily accessible research and information on service leavers, veterans and their families. That is why we established the Veterans’ Research Hub, whose work is providing a solid basis of evidence for policymakers and will help to combat some of the myths and misapprehensions about veterans that can make the transition to civilian life harder than it needs to be. I am delighted to support this conference and congratulate the award winners for their exemplary work.”

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “This is the first conference that the FiMT Research Centre has held. The opportunity to assemble researchers already interested in the Armed Forces Community in one place will foster collaboration and develop links which will lead to more research projects and ideas. This will enable the Forces in Mind Trust to utilise the results of research to influence policy makers and services providers as we seek to improve the transition pathway and thus succeed in our objective that all ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition back to civilian life.”

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New research highlights challenges Veterans face in becoming self-employed

New report calls for broader support from the MOD to help Service personnel transitioning out of the Forces and into self-employment

A new report, ‘Self-employment and the Armed Forces Community’, has revealed the barriers ex-Service personnel face in becoming self-employed after leaving the Armed Forces.

Research conducted by The Institute for Employment Research at the University of Warwick, supported by defence technology company QinetiQ and X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) – which supports entrepreneurship in the military community – and funded by Forces in Mind Trust, was carried out to understand what more could be done to support ex-Service personnel successfully move into self-employment.

The report is being launched today (10th October) at the X-Forces Enterprise fifth Anniversary event at the London Stock Exchange.

The findings show that self-employment is highly desirable among veterans, with being their own boss the most attractive aspect. However, many veterans become self-employed years after leaving the Services, often as a result of disillusionment with their experiences in paid civilian employment. The survey of veterans, targeted towards those who had already moved into self-employment or had considered it upon leaving, and those currently transitioning into civilian life, found that 43% of veterans said they had planned to become self-employed on leaving the Forces, compared to 55% who said they’d seek full-time employment.

However, the research also highlights a number of barriers the ex-Service community face in becoming successfully self-employed including:

–        A lack of understanding of commercial environments and skills like marketing and communications

–        Lack of finance – with many experiencing difficulties in getting loans and having to use their own savings

–        Difficulty translating the skills they learned in the Forces into a commercial environment

–        Difficulty adapting to a civilian environment – where there was considered to be less teamwork and an overarching focus on money

–        Reality falling short of expectations – with some finding it much harder than expected

The report points to the need for better support, information and advice from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) as Service personnel transition out of the Armed Forces – about the realities and practicalities of working in the civilian labour market

Asked when support would be most useful, six months before leaving the Armed Forces and two years after leaving were seen as the most crucial times – showing the importance of having long-term support to ensure the transition succeeds.

The report calls on the MOD to invest more resources into supporting members of the Armed Forces in transitioning successfully into the civilian labour market, and particularly into being self-employed. This includes the suggestion of a ‘skills for life’ package for all veterans which gives support on how to pay bills, buy a house, manage finances and tax, as well as training in soft skills, people skills and commercial skills. It also calls for wider use of mentors, the wider promotion of Enhanced Learning Credits to ensure veterans are aware of their entitlements; and for longer-term support including access to top-up training up to 24 months after leaving.

Ren Kapur MBE, CEO and Founder of X-Forces Enterprise said:

“We’ve seen the incredible impact that self-employment can have on veterans and are proud of the work we’ve been carrying out for five years to empower ex-service men and women to reach their full potential. This research shows that challenges remain, but we were incredibly encouraged to see how many of the recommendations made are already being taken forward by organisations like ours. We welcome this in-depth look at the challenges faced by potential entrepreneurs, and look forward to helping even more veterans in the years to come.”

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive, Forces in Mind Trust said:

“What is clear from this report is the need for broader support, advice and practical training for Service personnel before they leave the Armed Forces, and for sometime afterwards, if they are to successfully transition into the civilian labour market, and particularly into self-employment. This report contains a number of ideas of how the MOD and others can provide such support and we look forward to working together to take some of these ideas forward, such as through the recently announced Defence Transition Service.”

Professor Clare Lyonette from the Institute of Employment Research at the University of Warwick said:

“Military service develops unique skills and competencies which can underpin a successful transition into self-employment. However, our research participants reported a range of challenges which they encountered while trying to translate their skills into a civilian context.
The barriers and challenges reported to us highlight the need for a targeted, needs-based approach to support in transition – not all veterans will require the same levels of help. We hope that the practical recommendations we outline will make a real difference to all members of the Armed Forces Community, including military partners and reservists, as well as veterans.”

The research includes a full literature review looking at international comparisons and available data, as well as fresh qualitative and quantitative research with veterans, military partners and reservists.

You can read the full report here

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