Reacting to Lord Ashcroft’s decision to step down as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Veterans’ Transition, Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust has said: 

“Right from the outset of his appointment in 2012, Lord Ashcroft has properly held all of us to account for our work supporting the Armed Forces Community, and in particular for those struggling to cope with the challenging stage of transition into civilian life.  He has weathered the storms of political turmoil, and has faced his own mortality, but has been unwavering in his determination to help those ex-Service personnel and their families most in need.  It is serendipitous that his appointment coincided with the establishment by the Big Lottery Fund of the Forces in Mind Trust, and his readiness to use our evidence to inform his strategic thinking is exactly how we believe policy should be developed.  Indeed, his initial support for the nascent veterans’ research hub at Anglia Ruskin University steeled our Board to make the commitment to establish the successor Forces in Mind Trust Research Centre, of which we are proud that Lord Ashcroft has agreed to be the founding Patron.

“Lord Ashcroft has stated that the work he set out to do is complete.  That may be so, but there are still many aspects of supporting or enabling transition that need improving, and Forces in Mind Trust is determined that the initial impetus and consequent momentum provided by the Prime Minister’s Special Representative will be maintained, and that together across the State and voluntary sectors, we can achieve our vision that all ex-Service personnel and their families lead fulfilled civilian lives.  All of us at Forces in Mind Trust thank Lord Ashcroft for his friendship, support and guidance over the last 6 years, and we wish him well as he pursues his many other interests.”


Note to Editor:  Ray Lock is available for interview. To arrange please contact Tina McKay, Communications Officer at FiMT on or on 07956 101132 or 0207 901 8916.

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.

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 Forces in Mind Trust Research Centre’s Veterans and Families 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.

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