The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) is funding the Directory of Social Change (DSC) to conduct an independent and comprehensive review of the military charity sector, and to produce an authoritative on-line Guide to the Military Charity Sector.

There is currently no single independent source of information on charities in the UK that cater for serving and ex-serving personnel and their families – known as the Armed Forces Community.  The recently published Transition Mapping Study[1], and other studies, have highlighted a number of areas where this lack of understanding causes confusion, affecting policy makers, funders and the charities themselves, as well as those individual members of the Armed Forces Community who are seeking help.

The Confederation of Service Charities, cobseo, is a key stakeholder in this project.  Its current directory[2] lists only basic details of its members and their functions, but there are many relevant organisations outside the Confederation, and cobseo is working with FiMT to increase the effectiveness of all involved in supporting the Armed Forces Community.

The DSC/FiMT Guide will include: a breakdown and analysis of money raised; good practice; distribution of funding for grant-making versus service delivery; types of organisations within the sector; an analysis of geographical distribution of support versus need; performance comparisons with other sectors; contact information.  The Guide will be publically accessible via DSC’s sophisticated on-line searchable website.

Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, said:  “This unique project is fundamental to the continued health and development of the military charity sector as we approach drawdown from Afghanistan and a lower profile for our Armed Forces Community.  The aim of FiMT is to provide independent, evidence-based knowledge that is used to improve every aspect of the sector, from policy to delivery, and the reputation and track record of DSC made it the obvious partner for this seminal guide.”

Chief Executive of the Directory of Social Change, Debra Allcock-Tyler, said: “This is a hugely exciting project.  Working with cobseo and FiMT, we’ll be able to map an incredibly important and valuable part of the charity sector in a way that potentially exposes good practice, demonstrates reach and effectiveness and opens access to services to vulnerable servicemen and women and their families. ”

FiMT has already awarded project and research grants of over £2 million and has recently signed up to the Corporate Covenant, demonstrating its concrete support for the Armed Forces Community.

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