The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), has continued to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, by awarding a grant of £210,859 over 2 years to Glyndwr University. The findings of the two-year research project will be used to develop future strategic policies.

Dr Nikki Lloyd-Jones, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Life Sciences said the idea came about after the North Wales Armed Forces Forum identified a need to fill the gap in the cultural differences between military and civilian life.

The university will complete the project in partnership with members of the Forum, including representatives from the Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board and local authorities in the region.

 “This is an exciting opportunity to undertake research intended to inform future public service deliverers,” said Dr Lloyd-Jones. ”From anecdotal accounts we know about service leavers’ experiences of navigating cultural differences when leaving the Armed Forces, we also know that those in the wider community who regularly interact with ex-Service personnel could improve how they respond to everyday needs.”  She added: “The research will explore this further, mapping out some of the significant decision-making issues experienced when becoming a civilian.” Based in North Wales, the research team will be looking to recruit people to engage in this project, if you have left the Armed Services and live in the area we would like to hear from you. You can contact us through main reception at Glyndwr University.”

 Dr Peter Higson, Chair of the North Wales Armed Forces Forum said ‘The Forum strongly supported the bid from Glyndwr University and we are delighted that this has been successful. This work will make a huge and important difference to the support that we give the Armed Forces Community both in North Wales and across Wales generally.’

The initiative will enable the university and FiMT to gain a better understanding of current perceptions of public sector provision and any potential contrast with reality, through the development of an engagement model.

The aim is to enhance cultural understanding and integration which will help inform and influence policy makers and service deliverers who regularly interact with ex-Service personnel and their families.

The project will develop a tool to evaluate integration, exploring the experiences of ex-Service men and women when going through the transition process, whilst also aiming to help generate a programme that will eradicate the sense of exclusion felt by some ex-Service personnel.

The study will be conducted in North Wales, but the findings should be applicable more widely by providing empirical evidence to develop strategic policies about facilitating and evaluating successful integration into civilian life for ex-Service personnel.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Although many of the research projects we have funded so far have included Wales within the scope, this is the first project that Forces in Mind Trust is funding based in Wales. Understanding the cultural differences is an important step towards improving the chances of a successful transition to civilian life, and so we are delighted to be funding this important research at Glyndwr University.  The findings will lead to a better understanding about transition both in North Wales and more widely.”

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 Notes to Editors
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About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

  • FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery 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 the 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:

About Glyndŵr University: Glyndŵr University has campuses in Wrexham, Northop, St Asaph and London, offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, as well as professional courses. The institution is internationally connected, with more than 1,000 overseas partners and close links with industry in north east Wales and across the UK. The origins of Glyndŵr date back to 1887. Formerly known as Wrexham School of Science and Art, it later became the North East Wales Institute (NEWI) and was granted full university status in 2008.