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FiMT funds military sector participants in Clore Social Leadership’s Experienced Leader Programme

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) is delighted to announce the five specialist fellows who have been selected to take part in the 2020 Clore Experienced Leader Programme:

  • Allie Bennington, Help for Heroes
  • Beverley Russell, Stoll
  • Tom Adam, The Poppy Factory
  • Tom Barham, Alabaré
  • Tommy Watson, Walking with the Wounded

This intensive 12-month programme is designed for leaders in the social sector with over 6 years’ experience who seek to build their leadership capabilities and make a lasting difference within the sector.

The programme offers access to individual coaching, residentials, peer-to-peer learning, online courses, and more, all designed to fit around existing time commitments.  Participants will be supported, challenged and inspired by a group of like-minded social sector leaders and learn through real-world challenges, while using a variety of techniques.

Commenting on the 2020 Experienced Leader cohort, Tom McBarnet, Director of Programmes at Forces in Mind Trust, said: “We continue to believe that Clore Social Leadership’s Experienced Leader Programme (ELP) offers significant benefit to its participants, their organisations, and those they work with.  Capacity-building within the military charity sector is one of FiMT’s core objectives, so we are delighted to support the five programme Fellows from the military charity sector.  We have no doubt that through ELP these individuals’ capabilities will be significantly enhanced.  That is not only an excellent result for these Fellows but of huge value to the Sector itself where we strongly hope their skills can be brought to bear both for near term advantage and also lasting benefit.

Clore Social Leadership’s Programme Director, Jamie Audsley said: “We’re thrilled to welcome a new cohort of participants and support them on their leadership development journey.  We look forward to a challenging, inspiring, and rewarding year ahead which will seek to build new relationships, strengthen existing leadership skills and discover new ones, and amplify the positive impact of social leadership on our sector.”

For more information about the programme participants Forces in Mind Trust is funding, please email

FiMT’s statement on Veterans’ Strategy Consultation Response by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs

Commenting on today’s publication of the Veterans’ Strategy Consultation Response by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, Tom McBarnet, Director of Programmes at the Forces in Mind Trust, says:

“We welcome this analysis and the publication of an action plan. While the majority of those leaving the Armed Forces do so successfully, it is important that we prioritise help for those who need it most. The Office for Veterans’ Affairs is right to focus on employment, housing and health, and we support the drive towards greater collaboration and co-ordination between government, charities, academia and the private sector.

“We look forward to co-operating with and supporting Government to ensure that misperceptions of veterans among employers in particular and the public more widely do not cause unfair disadvantage. Veterans and their families are a fantastic asset and society can benefit hugely from the skills they bring.

“For those Service leavers that do need more support, though, we must make sure it is sufficiently resourced, and accessible at the time of need. The collection of accurate data on veterans is a vital part of this – without it, we have an incomplete picture of what our veteran population looks like and needs. But while the evidence base is essential, we welcome the recognition that a collaborative approach across Government and with other partners is also important. This way, vulnerable Service leavers can be identified early and signposted to the most appropriate support available.

“The Strategy for our Veterans has the potential to transform how ex-Service personnel and their families are supported by the Nation. Government alone cannot deliver this, but the Veterans’ Strategy Consultation Response is to be welcomed because it sets the conditions for success. We look forward to holding Government to account for delivery of the Initial UK Government Action Plan.”


Tom McBarnet is available for interview. To arrange please contact Edward Haynes at / 020 7700 6952.


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.

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 Forces in Mind Trust Research Centre’s Veterans and Families 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.

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Veterans face ‘branding issue’

Senior military officers, business leaders, civil servants and politicians gathered at the headquarters of Deloitte today, to discuss the employment barriers and ‘brand issues’ faced by armed forces veterans.

The Veterans Work Consortium, consisting of Deloitte, the Forces in Mind Trust (FIMT) and the Officers’ Association (OA), used the gathering of policymakers to release new research revealing just how little the general public know about veterans.

Only 8% of respondents to the survey of 1001 British adults were able to correctly identify that to be defined as a ‘veteran’, you need only have served for one day in the armed forces.

One in five (19%) British adults, incorrectly believe that in order to be classified as a ‘veteran’, you must have been wounded during your time in the Services, while a quarter think you can only call yourself a ‘veteran’, if you are over the age of 65.

A quarter (24%) also thought that in order to be defined as a ‘veteran’ you must have served in either World War One or World War Two, while nearly half (47%) think that you can only be classified as a veteran if you have served in the British Army – disregarding both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

Deloitte partner and Chair of the Veterans Work Consortium, Chris Recchia said: “Whilst a great level of work is being done to positively enhance the veteran brand, we can see how much work still needs to be done to ensure the community is being portrayed in a true and fair light – especially with those responsible for recruiting and employing veterans. It’s vital there is an understanding of the skills they bring back into civilian society’.

The survey asked, ‘to the best of your knowledge, have you ever met or talked to a veteran?’ – only 64% came back and said ‘yes’.

Mr Recchia said: “The number who have actually met or spoken to a veteran will, of course, be higher, but sadly a lack of informed interaction with the community, is leading to 39% of the population having their view of ex-service personnel influenced by often inaccurate data, myths and what they see on television and in films.”

British adults believe nearly half (48%) of all veterans have a mental health problem, despite research from the Centre for Mental Health showing that rates of mental illness amongst UK veterans are generally lower than that of the wider population: one in five compared to one in four in the general population.

The study also revealed that British adults believe, on average, 41% of the veteran population have an alcohol abuse problem and a third (33%) of the homeless population are likely to be veterans, despite best estimates putting the figure at closer to 0.72%

The data revealed that British adults believe, on average, 24% of the prison population are veterans, when again, official statistics from the Ministry of Justice place the actual figure at a much lower 4%.

Forces in Mind Trust’s Director of Programmes, Thomas McBarnet said: “These findings show clearly that there is public misperception and misunderstanding about veterans that we need to work together to address

The survey revealed 87% of those surveyed think veterans struggle to adapt to new working environments when they leave the armed forces, while 30% felt that veterans were not suited to civilian employment entirely.

Mr McBarnet continued: “Such misperceptions are unfounded and damaging to veterans’ employment opportunities.  Employers must ensure these unhelpful perceptions are addressed in their recruitment processes, so that they benefit from the skills that veterans can bring to their organisation.”

The research revealed that 39% of respondents, have their opinion of veterans shaped by what they see and hear on TV, radio and in films, with more than half (52%) saying veterans are, ‘unfairly portrayed’ by the news media.

Lee Holloway, OA Chief Executive Officer said: “There are too many occasions when the perception of veterans has been distorted against the largely positive reality.  We have a responsibility to ensure the tone and language we are using when talking about veterans reflects this reality – whether you’re an employer, charity or part of the media.”

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said: “The perception that veterans are ‘mad, sad and bad’ is wrong and outdated. As a former Army officer and serving Defence Minister, I have met and worked with hundreds of veterans throughout my career and their drive, skills and confidence are second to none.

“We must all do more to challenge the negative stereotypes surrounding veterans and recognise the enormous value they can add to society.”




All surveys were conducted by RWB between 6th January 2020 and 9th January 2020. The sample comprised 1,001 UK adults. All research conducted adheres to the UK Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct (2019). RWB is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and complies with the DPA (1998).

About the Deloitte Military Transition and Talent Programme

The programme, one of the first of its kind, aims to help current and ex-military personnel find out about roles in the private sector. It provides information on the skills needed to succeed in business, offers networking opportunities and help with applying for roles within Deloitte.

In 2013, Deloitte recruited 15 ex-servicemen and women through the programme, taking its total number of ex-military recruits to more than 70. Deloitte also provided work placements tailored for the individual needs of seven military personnel, some of whom were wounded in service. Since its inception, Deloitte has provided guidance and advice to over 1000 individuals, helping them into work.

In 2015 a total of 50 ex-military recruits joined 150 existing ex-military staff, taking its current veteran community to 200.

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