The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, marks the end of its third year as a grant-awarding, evidence-generating Trust with the release of its second Impact Report.

The report highlights FiMT’s impact on the Armed Forces Community, which has been achieved through a targeted, evidence-generating ‘research commissions and grant awards’ programme.  Among the Trust’s 2014 funding success stories are three influential policy-informing reports:

  • By Directory of Social Change, who provided a key source of influence through the publication of the report: ‘UK Armed Forces Charities: An overview and analysis’; and an accompanying searchable website. This was the first time that work of this kind had ever been done and its value as an independent resource has been underlined by the wide range of its users.
  • By Stoll, Riverside and the University of York, who researched housing issues affecting single veterans and homelessness, and published ‘Meeting the Housing and Support Needs of Single Veterans in Great Britain’. The report provided robust evidence for all those involved with veterans’ housing and was the subject of a Ministerial Parliamentary discussion.
  • By The Royal British Legion, who produced their latest Household Survey. FiMT’s co-funding enabled a substantial increase in the number of people surveyed, and resulted in the most comprehensive survey into the needs of the ex-Service community that has been undertaken in ten years.  Entitled ‘A UK Household Survey of the ex-Service community’, the report has been widely used by a myriad of organisations for planning and decision-making.

New in 2014, FiMT’s ‘Innovative Social Investment’ strand offered a further three success stories:

  • A 24-hour consultation at St George’s House entitled, ‘Back to Civvy Street’, where 35 carefully selected stakeholders discussed transition-related issues around employment, social networks and societal perception, sparking original thinking and a series of improvement recommendations.
  • Production of a short film, ‘Beth’s Story’, for SkillForce, which portrays positive opportunities in transition and how SkillForce supports Service personnel in the workplace.
  • A new FiMT Specialist Fellowship to help foster and promote leadership connections between military charities and the wider social sector through the Clore Social Leadership Programme.

2014 was also marked by FiMT’s ground-breaking approach to understanding ‘families’ and their role in achieving successful sustainable transition.  Following the Trust’s Transition Mapping Study (August 2013) which, among its 26 recommendations, stressed the need to better support families during and after transition, FiMT launched a UK-wide family stakeholder engagement programme which culminated in a report, ‘Better Understanding the Support Needs of Service Leaver Families’.  The report is proving invaluable in helping to shape FiMT’s strategy for funding and commissioning work for the next couple of years.

Looking ahead, FiMT’s future plans are ambitious and include two core changes:

  • Switching from being mainly a reactive funder to one that intelligently and proactively commissions work in the knowledge of where the need lies. This switch involves establishing a new Policy, Influence and Evaluation function.
  • Developing a full ‘Theory of change’ model, based upon the charity sector’s best practice, modified to reflect FiMT’s requirements.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Our second impact report describes how we have consolidated and evaluated our approach, and continued to act as a credible and independent member of the Service charities sector.  We achieved our target of increasing our awards over last year, and we received many more grant applications.  We are building on the solid foundations of our early years, so as to increase our capacity to effect change, and in a more proactive, targeted, innovative and intelligent manner.”

– Ends –

Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact: Talia Cohen at The PR Office on / direct dial: 0207 284 6957

  • About the Forces in Mind Trust: The Forces in Mind Trust 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 Forces in Mind Trust is to provide an evidence base that will influence and underpin policy making and service delivery in order to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives.  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 has helped and reports they it published at the links below.