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FiMT Working Together Award Winners 2019 – Unforgotten Forces

Forces in Mind Trust funds campaign to end veterans’ homelessness

Ex-Service personnel make up 3 per cent of those accessing homelessness services in England

The Cobseo Housing Cluster, through co-chair Stoll, has been awarded funds of £197,450 from the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) to develop and deliver a campaign to help end veterans’ homelessness.

Campaign leaders of the year-long project will be increasing awareness within local authorities, as well as housing and advice agencies, of ex-Service personnel requesting housing support; and developing a more coordinated and collaborative approach throughout the housing and charitable sectors.

Local Authority Housing Departments, homelessness charities and advice agencies will be encouraged to ask every individual who presents as homeless whether they have served in the Armed Forces and, once identified, they should be signposted to the specific support services available.

Evidence from previous FiMT research shows that as many as three per cent of those accessing homelessness services in England have served in the Armed Forces, which translates to over 1,000 ex-Service personnel classed as homeless and up to 4,000 requiring urgent support to find accommodation every year.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive, Forces in Mind Trust, said: “FiMT has funded this campaign as a response to our previous research into homeless provision and ex-Service personnel, released in March 2018. The recommendations in that report called for more government funding to support homeless ex-Service personnel, and for Local Authorities to routinely check if someone seeking housing assistance has served in the Armed Forces.

“The recent announcement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, of extra funding to support vulnerable ex-Service personnel, reflects the acknowledgement from the government that more needs to be done to help support those individuals who have served and who now need some extra help in their civilian life.”

Ed Tytherleigh, Chief Executive, Stoll Housing and Co-Chair of Cobseo Housing Cluster, said: “We are delighted to be awarded this grant to continue our vital work to try and bring homelessness amongst the Veteran community down as close to zero as possible. A clear housing pathway is vital for vulnerable Veterans leaving the Armed Forces.

“This award will enable us to work closely with Local Authorities and other civilian agencies to ensure Veterans get the support they need. We need Local Authorities to ask those seeking housing support whether they have served in the Armed Forces and, if they have, to have a clear plan to signpost them effectively.”


Pilot study will improve employment prospects for ex-Service personnel with physical and mental health conditions

Ex-Service personnel who are being assisted with physical and mental health issues will also be offered intensive employment support in a pioneering pilot by The Poppy Factory, funded by The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT).

Delivered in partnership with Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the three-year study in The Wirral will bring the employability charity’s long-established expertise supporting ex-Service personnel with health conditions into an NHS healthcare setting for the first time.

A highly experienced employability consultant from The Poppy Factory will be embedded in the NHS multidisciplinary team to deliver comprehensive employment support to ex-Forces men and women who are wounded, sick or injured.

The package, based on the principles of Individual Placement Support (IPS), takes each individual’s physical health and mental health needs into account, with the aim of securing meaningful long-term employment.

It is intended that the study, which will be evaluated by the University of Nottingham, will reveal any gaps in knowledge and research, help improve existing services and forge closer links between health providers and the Armed Forces charity sector.

The £289,843 pilot will take place at the Stein Centre in St Catherine’s Hospital in Birkenhead, Wirral, an area with one of the highest concentrations of ex-Service personnel in the country. It will see The Poppy Factory work closely with health and social care partners in the local area.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive, Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Knowledge and evidence should form the basis of any policy. FiMT’s latest published research, by the Directory of Social Change, highlighted how the Armed Forces Charity sector is shrinking, underlining the need to encourage collaboration with statutory service providers.

“This unique study by The Poppy Factory has the opportunity to change how employment and health services are delivered to this small but vulnerable group of ex-Service personnel.”

Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory, said: “We are very grateful to The Forces in Mind Trust for supporting and funding this important pilot project, which brings the expertise we have developed in communities around the UK into a clinical healthcare setting for the first time.

“The study will enable us to help many more veterans with physical and mental health conditions fulfil their potential outside the Forces by moving back into meaningful and sustained employment.”

Dr Anushta Sivananthan, Consultant Psychiatrist and CWP Medical Director, said: “We’re delighted to be working with The Poppy Factory to meaningfully meet the needs of ex-Service men and women in a person-centred way. Meaningful employment can be vital to people’s social inclusion and this pioneering pilot will help shape the way our veterans can fulfil their potential.”


‘Unforgotten Forces’ win 2019 Working Together Award

At an emotional awards ceremony on Friday, at London’s Westminster Bridge Park Plaza, individuals and organisations were recognized for their continued commitment to the Armed Forces Community.

Forces in Mind Trust sponsors the Working Together Award at the annual event, in acknowledgement of the excellent work organisations achieve through collaboration.

This year’s winner, “Unforgotten Forces” is a consortium of 16 organisations, who have come together to deliver a range of new services and enhancements in areas including advice, access to healthcare, social isolation and respite.

The Soldier On Awards acknowledge and celebrate the dedication to the Armed Forces Community across a variety of individuals and sectors, including businesses and charities as well as many ex-Service personnel and their families.

Carol Vorderman, a passionate supporter of the Armed Forces, and ex-Serviceman JJ Chalmers, hosted the evening, with mezzo-soprano Carly Paoli performing classics such as Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll meet again’.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive, Forces in Mind Trust, said: “We are delighted to see Unforgotten Forces win this year’s FiMT Working Together Award. We applaud the efforts of all three finalists for this award, they have achieved great things for the Armed Forces Community.

“It’s a shame there can only be one winner, but all finalists reflect the commitment to achieving through collaborative working. We continue to champion working together and hope others will be inspired to achieve together.”

Mark Bibbey, Chief Executive of Poppyscotland, said: “In just over a year there have been more than 6,000 instances of support for older veterans living in Scotland provided through the Unforgotten Forces consortium. Each of the 16 organisations involved offer enhanced services for older veterans, but it is perhaps the seamless referral pathways that now exist between the Unforgotten Forces members that provides the greatest benefit. An older veteran reaching out to one organisation means they are, in effect, reaching out to us all.

“Poppyscotland is very proud to lead this ground-breaking collaboration. Collecting the FiMT Working Together Award at the 2019 Soldiering On Awards represents a ringing endorsement of the approach we have taken and inspires us all to continue building on this remarkable early success.”


Request for expressions of interest

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has issued a request for expressions of interest (REOI) for the development of its new website.

As a key enabler of our mission, we are procuring a modern, multi-device compatible website with outstanding access to the existing body of resources, including published reports, other news and information, and the grant application process. Above all, we want a high quality website that demonstrates the impact of FiMT’s work and showcases our independence and credibility.

The award is expected to be up to £50,000 (including VAT where chargeable), but is subject to negotiation.

For more details of the application process see the full REOI here.

Recruitment of a Trustee with experience of Trusts or Foundations delivering strategic programmes

If you want to make a difference to the civilian lives of former serving members of the Armed Forces Community, this is a great opportunity to bring your skills, knowledge and expertise to help us deliver our mission. We are on the cusp of something remarkable, and we want now to recruit a Trustee to our Board who can bring vision and experience of strategic and systematic change programmes within the model of Trust and Foundation funding.

Forces in Mind Trust was founded by a £35 million endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund. The Trust works within the military charities sector, and much more widely, to support the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces Community. After 7 years’ operation, the Trust is looking to make a far greater impact with its grant funding, ensuring we deliver substantial benefit to the Armed Forces Community.

This is an exciting and transformational time for the Trust, and we hope you will consider bringing your talents to join us on our journey.

The person
We are recruiting a Trustee with experience in Trusts and Foundations delivering strategic programmes. Experience in one or a combination of the following areas would be welcomed:

• Programmes achieving systematic change
• Commissioning
• Impact and evaluation

All Trustees are expected to have empathy with the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces Community, but direct military experience is not required.

The Trust operates across the United Kingdom, and applications from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are particularly welcome. The Trust is committed to the achievement of greater diversity in its board, and welcomes applications regardless of sex, gender, race, age, sexuality, belief or disability.

Further information
As a Trustee you will:
• Receive induction training and travel expenses
• Have significant opportunities to make strategic decisions
• Influence the shape of innovative projects

The expected time commitment is four Board meetings per year (usually held in London, on Tuesdays between 10 am and 1 pm), an annual full day’s strategy review, and quarterly 3-hour sub-Committee meetings. These all take place during normal working hours.

For the full job spec click here.

How to apply
Expressions of interest comprising a cover letter and CV totalling not more than 4 sides should be sent to by Friday 10 May 2019. All applications will be acknowledged, and those with whom the Trust wishes to take forward discussions will be personally informed before the end of May.

The closing date for applications is Friday 10 May 2019.