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FiMT awards funds to Barnardo’s to evaluate the needs of imprisoned ex-Service personnel and their families

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) is delighted to announce an award of £91,707 to Barnardo’s to assess the needs of ex-Service personnel and their families who are serving, or have served, a custodial prison sentence.

Focusing on the Southwest and West Midlands areas, the project will access the connections that Barnardo’s have already developed in HMPs, the Criminal Justice System and Armed Forces charities.

The 18-month study will consist of interviews with ex-Service personnel and their children and families to ascertain the need, unmet need, the availability of support services and the impact of imprisonment.

Professionals working with the cohort will also be interviewed to identify needs of ex-Service personnel in custody, understand their current skills and knowledge in relation to supporting prisoners and their families, and to explore the challenges of cross-sector working.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “While the majority of Service leavers transition positively, there is a minority; which includes those who have spent time in custody, and their families, who have a more difficult time on the pathway to civilian life.

“We know from our previous work that successful transition is more likely when there is a stable family in place, and we are pleased to be partnering with Barnardo’s, whose considerable experience and expertise in this field will enable an impactful project.

“This study will enable service providers and policy makers to better inform their decision-making process and ensure that the ex-Service personnel who have a custodial sentence are not slipping through the net.”

Javed Khan, Barnardo’s Chief Executive, said: “Through our specialist services we know that children with a parent in prison are some of the most overlooked and isolated in the UK, and have disrupted childhoods that can ruin their life chances. They are innocent victims but often end up being punished.

“We are delighted with this funding from the Forces in Mind Trust which will enable us to produce clear guidance on the needs of veterans and their families to ensure that their needs are met effectively by both the criminal justice system and the agencies that support them.”

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Note to Editor:  Ray Lock is available for interview. To arrange please contact Tina McKay, Communications Officer at FiMT on co@fim-trust.org 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. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

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.

Useful links

Website: www.fim-trust.org

Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/

Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/

Twitter: @FiMTrust

About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/

About Barnardo’s

Last year 272,000 children, young people and families were supported by Barnardo’s through more than 1,000 services across the UK, such as young carers, care leavers, foster carers and adoptive parents, training and skills or parenting classes.

Barnardo’s works to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and every year helps thousands of families to build a better future.

Barnardo’s works with several prisons running visit centres, family days and parenting programmes that strengthen family relationships and help prepare for the return home. It also works with schools and other services and to help re-integrate the offender back into the family on release.

Visit www.barnardos.org.uk to find out how you can get involved. Registered charity No. 216250 and SC037605

Follow Barnardo’s media team on Twitter @BarnardosNews