The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust is delighted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement of an additional £10 million to support the Veterans’ Places, People and Pathways programme, to increase support to a significant community of vulnerable Veterans throughout the UK and enable it to become self-sustaining.
The VPPP programme
The Veterans’ Places, Pathways and People programme has been supporting 10 portfolios of projects across the UK over the last two years, which have been improving support to Veterans. A key success in the initiative has been the growth of collaborative cross sector working among organisations that support Veterans, giving a more seamless interface between statutory and charity or not for profit support.
The interim evaluation highlighted improvements to mental health support and services; greater connection with Veterans; improved cross-sector support for Veterans; how partnerships and collaborations have grown and developed; and found evidence of projects embedding what they have learned into their ways of working.
Collaboration and engagement
The programme has enabled a significant increase in the opportunities for engagement and outreach – both through using technology and by providing welcoming places to access support and socialise, facilitating warm referrals through the breadth and depth of the network that has been created, and having ‘boots on the ground’ such as case workers, often peers, who are trusted and understand the needs of the Veteran.
The projects have delivered greater collaboration between sectors and between geographic areas, an increase in the services available to Veterans and significant improvements in the experiences of those Veterans. They have supported the development of better, more inclusive local support and better coordination and communication, reducing the number of times a Veteran needs to retell their story.
This additional funding will enable this important collaborative work to continue and embed, supporting future sustainability. The portfolios are delivering support across regions in England and also in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We look forward to working with them and the wider sector to ensure that this vital funding makes a significant and long term difference to the lives of vulnerable Veterans.