The three Armed Forces Families Federations, at the heart of military family life, are today celebrating the news that they were successful in a joint grant application to the Forces in Mind Trust.
The substantial grant will allow funding for each Families Federation to train and employ a Transition Liaison Officer. They will be the expert on all issues associated with transition and will research the current support available and identify gaps. They will support families in transition from military to civilian life, acting as their advocate and champion, and highlighting where there is a need for improvement and change.
The joint application to the Forces in Mind Trust originated when the three Federations identified that families have difficulty accessing the plethora of events and services on offer for those about to transition, due to these generally being directed at Serving personnel rather than at their families.
Anna Wright from the Naval Families Federation says,
“We acknowledge that serving personnel receive robust transition advice and support, which is good. However, the evidence from all 3 Services points towards the fact that families do not engage with support and advice on transition, either because it isn’t accessible or because it simply isn’t there.
“Service families play an incredibly important role in supporting their Service person during their service and this continues as they transition into civilian life. Alongside our colleagues in the other Families Federations, we decided to approach the Forces in Mind Trust for funding to allow us to begin to address this gap.”
Louise Simpson, Evidence and Research Director, AFF, continues
“This grant will not only allow us to give ‘boots on the ground’ support to families who are vital in a successful transition for Service leavers, it will also allow us to understand the needs of transitioning families now and in the future by monitoring and evaluating the evidence provided by our Transition Officers. This will ensure that the legacy of this grant will be far reaching and its benefit felt for many years to come.”
Bill Mahon from the RAF FF concludes,
“This generous grant from the Forces in Mind Trust will give us the tools necessary to empower and engage families in the transition process for many years to come, ensuring that the core value of each Family Federation, putting families first, is upheld.”
With the award of the grant confirmed, each Federation will now begin the task of employing and training their Transition Officers. The role will be varied, including responding to transition queries from families, liaising with relevant stakeholders, and designing and implementing an accessible ‘transition toolkit’ for families to use in the future.
Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive, Forces in Mind Trust says,
“We know from our Families Engagement Programme, and our wider work, that the families of Service personnel play a hugely important role in helping to achieve a successful, sustainable transition. It is vital that they are themselves supported during the transition period and that their particular needs and circumstances are adequately addressed. The posts funded by this grant will be a valuable source of support and make a valuable contribution to this key component of transition.”
For more information on the work which AFF, NFF, RAF FF, and Forces in Mind Trust carry out please visit their websites.
Notes to Editor:
- The Army Families Federation (AFF) is the independent voice of Army families and works hard to improve the quality of life for Army families around the world – on any aspect that is affected by Army life.
- AFF is independent of the Army and is often pivotal in achieving improvements for Army families such as changes to Government and military policy and changes to how things are provided for families. For more information visit aff.org.uk
- AFF’s operates by four core values which are pivotal to our work. These are:
– AFF always puts families first
– AFF can be trusted
– AFF is bold and determined
– AFF is inclusive
- For more information about AFF, contact AFF Director of Communications and Marketing, Sarah Bowie, firstname.lastname@example.org
- The RAF Families Federation (RAF FF) is funded by the RAF but sits outside the Chain of Command as an independent organisation, charged with providing a voice for all serving RAF personnel and their families.
- For more info, contact the RAF FF Communications Manager, Caroline Woodward at email@example.com or visit the website at www.raf-ff.org.uk
- The Naval Families Federation exists to speak up for Naval Service families. We represent their views and experiences to those who make the policies and decisions that affect them. We meet regularly with the Royal Navy’s Chain of Command, Government Ministers, Other Government Departments and other key stakeholders. We also support appropriate and relevant research.
- For more info, contact the NFF Communications & Marketing Manager, Frances McCreesh at Mccreesh@nff.org.uk or visit the website at www.nff.org.uk
Forces in Mind Trust
- 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.