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80 Force for Change projects supported to reduce isolation in Forces communities

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (the Trust) has awarded a further 80 grants to projects supporting Armed Forces communities, under the Force for Change programme.

Veterans, Service personnel and their families and Service young people, will have a whole range of new local opportunities to get involved with, following the latest round which saw almost £1.5 million of Covenant Fund money awarded.

Supporting Forces communities

From development of a Forces board game in Scotland, to employment mentoring in Wales, to community radio in Northern Ireland a whole range of positive work will be taking place over the next 12 months across the UK.

This round featured several outdoor and nature-based activities to help reduce isolation and loneliness.

Chiltern Rangers CIC received £18,600 to deliver practical conservation activities, including habitat restoration and creation.

The group explained:

“We are thrilled that our award has been successful, and we can’t wait to get working with the Armed Forces family. Our project will unite people with places for the benefit of nature, the environment and the wellbeing of everyone who takes part. It’s a great feeling knowing the work we will do together will have so many positive outcomes.”

In Northern Ireland, the Schomberg Society will get veterans on the airwaves, engaging hard-to-reach and isolated veterans and families to participate in a community radio/media project, which received £20,000.

Chairperson of the Schomberg Society, Gareth Crozier said:

“Participants in the project will have an opportunity to gain the media and communications skills necessary to produce and broadcast a daily Veterans’ Show, which will be included in the radio station’s annual summer and winter broadcasts. The project is designed to bring together the Armed Forces community to share their stories, to encourage networking and build lifelong friendships and combat the effects of rural and social isolation. The Schomberg Society would like to thank the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for their much-appreciated support to make this project possible!”

Funding for local authorities 

Within this round of funding money was available to local authorities to step-up the support they provide for Forces communities. In all, 17 local authorities were supported, with work ranging from supporting elderly veterans in the community, to creative art workshops for Forces families.

Overcoming challenges of the pandemic

Chief Executive of the Trust, Melloney Poole, said:

“This year, the Force for Change programme has had a focus on supporting volunteers and overcoming the challenges the Covid pandemic has brought. It’s great to see so many organisations continue and strengthen their support for the Forces community at this time, and I’m confident these projects will have a much-needed positive impact upon them.”

 

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