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FiMT’s statement on Veterans’ Strategy Consultation Response by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs

Commenting on today’s publication of the Veterans’ Strategy Consultation Response by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, Tom McBarnet, Director of Programmes at the Forces in Mind Trust, says:

“We welcome this analysis and the publication of an action plan. While the majority of those leaving the Armed Forces do so successfully, it is important that we prioritise help for those who need it most. The Office for Veterans’ Affairs is right to focus on employment, housing and health, and we support the drive towards greater collaboration and co-ordination between government, charities, academia and the private sector.

“We look forward to co-operating with and supporting Government to ensure that misperceptions of veterans among employers in particular and the public more widely do not cause unfair disadvantage. Veterans and their families are a fantastic asset and society can benefit hugely from the skills they bring.

“For those Service leavers that do need more support, though, we must make sure it is sufficiently resourced, and accessible at the time of need. The collection of accurate data on veterans is a vital part of this – without it, we have an incomplete picture of what our veteran population looks like and needs. But while the evidence base is essential, we welcome the recognition that a collaborative approach across Government and with other partners is also important. This way, vulnerable Service leavers can be identified early and signposted to the most appropriate support available.

“The Strategy for our Veterans has the potential to transform how ex-Service personnel and their families are supported by the Nation. Government alone cannot deliver this, but the Veterans’ Strategy Consultation Response is to be welcomed because it sets the conditions for success. We look forward to holding Government to account for delivery of the Initial UK Government Action Plan.”


Tom McBarnet is available for interview. To arrange please contact Edward Haynes at / 020 7700 6952.


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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