Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded £500,000 to the ADVANCE Study Charity over the next five years, as part of a ground-breaking 20-year project exploring outcomes for battlefield casualties in the UK Armed Forces.

The ADVANCE Study (The Armed Service Trauma Rehabilitation Outcome Study) is a collaboration between the Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation (ADMR, Stanford Hall), Imperial College London and King’s College London. It is the first comprehensive long-term cohort study to investigate the physical and psycho-social outcomes of battlefield casualties. Previous research into the long-term outcomes of Vietnam or World War II veterans have been inconclusive or focused on narrow criteria, resulting in the need for a methodologically robust cohort study. As such, the study is focused on those deployed in Afghanistan with the UK Armed Forces between 2002 and 2014, and will take place over a 20-year period.

The longitudinal study has recently reached a significant milestone, having finished recruiting the full cohort of 1145 participants, 567 in a ‘battlefield trauma group’ and 578 in an ‘uninjured group’. The funding from FiMT will provide an additional staff member, enabling the research team to investigate the military to civilian transition experiences and outcomes of the cohort of battle casualties in detail, including their well-being, quality of life and mental health.

The study is currently funded by the UK Ministry of Defence, Help for Heroes, a LIBOR grant from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Headley Court Charity, Nuffield Trust for the Forces of the Crown and Blesma.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of FiMT, said:

‘FiMT is proud to be part of such an important study, and particularly one which demonstrates the power of collaboration in our sector. The ADVANCE study will help us to understand the long-term impact of battlefield injuries for UK ex-Service personnel, and aims to improve the success of their transition in the long-term, where our funding will be focused. The outcomes of the study will have implications for policy, practice and service delivery. This sits firmly within our mission to use a strong evidence base to improve transition to civilian life for ex-Service personnel. This ground-breaking study could set the agenda for transition for ex-Service personnel for many years to come.’

Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL, Chair of the Advance Charity, said:

‘We are extremely grateful to have been awarded this funding from FiMT to look into military to civilian transition of the ADVANCE cohort. Investigating psychosocial outcomes of injured and uninjured combat veterans is an important aspect of the ADVANCE Study, and the King’s project will add to this. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this project funded by FiMT will have on the lives of our servicemen and their families in years to come.’

Professor Nicola Fear, from the King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) at King’s College London, said:

‘KCMHR has been involved in the ADVANCE study since its inception and we are excited to be leading this additional project focusing on transition. The findings from this work will provide evidence to understand how service personnel who have experienced physical injuries as a result of their deployment manage after leaving the military community and the influences on their longer term health and wellbeing.’


About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT)

Forces in Mind Trust was founded in November 2011 by a £35 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund (now The National Lottery Community Fund).  As a member of Cobseo – the Confederation of Service Charities and a permanent member of its Executive Committee, the Trust works within the Armed Forces charities sector, and much more widely, to support the UK’s Armed Forces Community.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. FiMT delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery, and by strengthening the Armed Forces charities sector through collaboration and leadership, and by building its capacity.

FiMT’s grants and commissions are designed to generate sustained change that improves the lives of ex-Service personnel and their families. FiMT awards grants to support its Change Model based on seven outcomes: Housing; Employment; Health; Finance; Criminal Justice System; Relationships; and its Enabler programme

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About the ADVANCE Study and the ADVANCE Study Charity

ADVANCE is the Armed Services Trauma Rehabilitation Outcome Study. It is investigating the long-term physical and psycho-social outcomes of battlefield casualties from the UK Armed Forces following deployment to Afghanistan between 2002 and 2014.

ADVANCE is both ambitious and unique; there is no other study of its kind underway or planned anywhere else in the world. Our aim is to use the knowledge gained from ADVANCE to help, support and plan the best care possible for present and future generations of our injured servicemen and women.

The ADVANCE Study Charity helps raise funds for the ADVANCE Study and advises the ADVANCE Study Project Board on the direction of the Study.



About King’s College London

About King’s College London and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience @KingsIoPPN

King’s College London is one of the top 10 UK universities in the world (QS World University Rankings, 2018/19) and among the oldest in England. King’s has more than 31,000 students (including more than 12,800 postgraduates) from some 150 countries worldwide, and some 8,500 staff.

The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London is the premier centre for mental health and related neurosciences research in Europe. It produces more highly cited outputs (top 1% citations) on mental health than any other centre (SciVal 2019) and on this metric we have risen from 16th (2014) to 4th (2019) in the world for highly cited neuroscience outputs. World-leading research from the IoPPN has made, and continues to make, an impact on how we understand, prevent and treat mental illness and other conditions that affect the brain.