The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, is delighted to announce that Marie-Louise Sharp, National Policy Adviser for the Royal British Legion in Armed Forces Health and Social Care, has been selected as the FiMT Specialist Fellow on the 2016 Clore Social Fellowship.

Marie-Louise is in the final stages of a PhD at the King’s Centre for Military Health Research at King’s College London in Psychological Medicine and will complete her PhD in Dec 2015. Her research focuses on the social influences and barriers to seeking mental healthcare amongst the UK military, and she continues as an honorary research fellow at the Centre. Previously she worked in Adult Health, Social Care and Local Government Finance policy at London Councils.

A record 239 aspiring social leaders from across the UK competed for a place on the 2016 Fellowship (33% up on last year), and this year 24 Fellows have been appointed, increasing the size of the annual cohort by a third.

Having had a successful experience funding its first FiMT Specialist Fellow on the 2015 Clore Social Fellowship, the Trust announced earlier this year that it would fund a further three annual FiMT Specialist Clore Fellowships for 2016, 17 and 18 as part of its continued aim to deepen connections and shared learning between military charities and the wider social sector. These connections will enable FiMT to become more innovative and collaborative in service delivery, and ensure that future policy is supported by a sound evidence-base.

This one-year Programme identifies, connects and develops individuals who have ambition to lead social change in their communities, organisations and the world around them, through a combination of activities including coaching, mentoring, residential weeks and a secondment.

Marie-Louise Sharp will follow FiMT’s 2015 fellow, Dr Jane Rowley, who was selected in the 2014 applications round. Meet our 2015 Fellow, Jane Rowley.

Applications for FiMT’s 2017 Specialist Fellowship will open in Spring 2016. Visit for further information.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “We are pleased that our first year of offering a FiMT Specialist Fellowship has been such a positive experience, and that once again we have attracted such a high-calibre and worthy individual as Marie-Louise Sharp. The knowledge, experience and network Marie-Louise brings with her from her work with the Royal British Legion in Armed Forces Health and Social Care, together with her research interests and connections at the King’s Centre for Military Health Research at King’s College London, will provide an excellent foundation from which to make the most of this leadership development opportunity. I have no doubt that over time, Marie-Louise will make a significant and innovative contribution to the work of the Armed Forces charities sector.”

Marie-Louise Sharp, FiMT Fellow for the 2016 Clore Social Fellowship, said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with FiMT throughout my Clore Social Fellowship.  I hope to explore ways to develop collaborative networks between Armed Forces charities and other organisations in the social sector whilst finding ways to investigate and develop the evidence base around mental health help-seeking and practical routes to aid transition for those entering civilian life.  I plan to use the Fellowship to develop my leadership skills and learn from new colleagues both in the Fellowship and across the sector.”

Shaks Ghosh, Chief Executive of the Clore Social Leadership Programme, said: “At Clore Social we are constantly striving to improve our offer. We want to do what we do better, have more impact and reach more people, so I am delighted to be announcing our biggest ever cohort of Fellows today. The social sector is one of the UK’s most important assets, but it will face unprecedented challenges in the years to come. Building leadership capacity is critical, and Clore Social has a significant role to play in this.”


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Notes to Editors For more information, please contact:


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. Since 2004 the Fund has given more than £88 million to programmes supporting veterans
  • The aim of FiMT is to provide an evidence base which will influence and underpin policy making and service delivery in order to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives.
  • FiMT awards grants (both reactive and proactive) and commissions research along three key themes: Evidence, Innovation and Collaboration. All work is published to a high standard of reportage to add to the evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made. Read more about those FiMT have helped and reports they have published at the links below:


  • Useful links