In a joint statement by OVA and MOD issued today, Government announced new funding support for military charities, alongside the forthcoming launch of a consultation on tax relief for employers who employ veterans, and enhanced support for veterans. Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive at the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), says:
“The announcement of the allocation of £6million of funding for Armed Forces charities is a welcome recognition of the importance of ensuring that ex-Service personnel and their families can continue to access vital support at this time. Our research with the Directory of Social Change has identified a large drop in charitable income across the Armed Forces charities sector, and today’s announcement is critical in helping to make sure that those who most need help will not be without it during the pandemic.
“Many of the sector’s major funders, however, who have also been affected by a fall in income, were ineligible for these grants, and therefore the resources available to support the Armed Forces Community as a whole have been severely reduced at a time when the need for that support has increased. We ask Government to make further grant funding available, in line with the evidence of need.
“The consultation starting in July on the introduction of tax relief for employers who hire ex-Service personnel is also a welcome step. Studies show that organisations, especially those that have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, benefit significantly from the extra value ex-Service personnel bring, not just in recruitment and retention, but also reputationally. Forces in Mind Trust has funded a number of research studies that provide clear evidence of this. Our Policy Statement on Employment which can be found here provides further information.
Forces in Mind Trust looks forward to supporting the cross-Government coordination of support for veterans being led by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, through the provision of the body of evidence it has funded on what works in supporting ex Service people and their families when they transition to civilian life.”