Cobseo Housing Cluster wins the FiMT Working Together Award at the Soldier on Awards

The 2018 Soldiering On Awards have celebrated the achievements of the military community at a prestigious black tie event in London. The event, now in its eighth year, honours those who have served within the British Armed Forces and organisations which support them. This year, for the first time there were also three Business Awards, to celebrate the success of veterans who have started their own enterprises. Images: Rupert Frere Schmooly

Rupert Frere Schmooly

The Cobseo Housing Cluster received the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) Working Together Award at the Soldiering on Awards on Friday 20th April, at a special ceremony at Westminster Bridge Park Plaza.

The Cluster is a combination of 30 veterans’ housing organizations and charities formed to provide veteran specific housing and create an integrated veterans’ housing sector, with clear pathways for ex-Service personnel and their families in housing need to move into permanent homes.

Formed in 2009, the purpose of the clusters is to enable collaborative working across all the sectors to ensure the Armed Forces Community has access to the provisions and services that are needed.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “We are delighted to see the Cobseo Housing Cluster win the FiMT Working Together Award. All three finalists for this award have achieved great things for the Armed Forces Community, and we applaud them for their efforts. It’s a shame that there could be only one winner, as each finalist demonstrated the highest level of collaborative working in their own fields.

“The essence of collaboration is the coming together of a variety of organizations working across sectors to achieve a common goal. As most will recognize, there is currently a national housing shortage and the work of the Cluster has led to success in providing a home for many of those within the Armed Forces Community.”

“We hope that the example of the Cobseo Housing Cluster will give others in our sector the confidence and ambition to improve their own approach to working with others, and we fully intend that they will receive due recognition.”

James Richardson, Co-Chair of the Cobseo Housing Cluster, said: “We are extremely proud to receive this recognition of the work we have put in over the last 4 years to assist veterans and their families access safe, secure and high-quality housing.  Through close cooperation, information sharing and charitable commitment we have delivered a better environment and eased access to all of the services that members provide.

“The national housing crisis affects veterans directly and by this sterling effort to put them and their needs first the Cluster continues to meet its remit but has much more work to do.  Simply to help those in need is enough but to be recognised for it is very much appreciated.  Thank you FiMT for sponsoring such an important category and we are delighted to share success with so many other worthy winners.”

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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.

Joint chairs of the Cobseo Housing Cluster: James Richardson, Chief Executive, Haig Housing and Ed Tytherleigh, Chief Executive, Stoll Housing are available for interview. To arrange please contact Alice Farrow, Head of Communications at Cobseo on a.farrow@cobseo.org.uk or on Mobile: 07966 886180 or 0207 901 8903

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 https://www.vfrhub.com/. 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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