These are challenging times for society, and especially for those within the Armed Forces Community, who we were established to help live fulfilled civilian lives. The nature of what we do, and our strategic approach to how we do it, are such that we enable others to be more effective in the vital work that they carry out. We have committed to London Funders statement on COVID-19, and this note explains how Forces in Mind Trust is contributing to the national response.
Current grant holders
Our projects are at many different stages, and we know that we will have to delay some and provide additional funding for others. Some will be more affected than others, and some might now seem less important (and impactful) in a post-COVID-19 world. We have a number of projects where we have recently made a funding offer, but have yet to sign a contract. These will be our top priority as we look with you at every project individually. In the coming weeks, we would like you to tell us what you need us to do to deliver a successful project. But we won’t hassle you – you will have many other crocodiles nearer the canoe – just drop us an email or give us a call when you can. To help, the project officer you’re familiar with will message you in the next few days to let you know we’re here for you. We can offer advice, flexibility, funding and virtual tea.
Current grant applicants
If you’re in the process of applying to us, we need you to continue with the process for now. We don’t want to arrive in 2021 with a trickle of work in our pipeline. Every applicant will now be asked to include explicit consideration of the impact of COVID-19. But it might be that now is not the right time for that brilliant idea, nor indeed might it even be the right project anymore. We’re considering whether we should continue accepting new applications, and we’re subjecting our commissions to the same rigorous test of ‘right time, right project?’
The Armed Forces Charities sector
We are looking to see what we can do to support the Armed Forces Community through the current crisis. It’s still early days, but we’re working closely with Cobseo so that we target our limited resources in the most effective manner.
Sadly we’ve had to postpone this week’s Research Centre Conference and dinner, but have fixed a new Conference date of Tuesday 29 September. Our Directory of Social Change ‘Sector Insight’ report launch event in the House of Lords on 23rd April, and the launch of the ‘Service Leavers aged 50+’ report in partnership with the Officers’ Association planned for 29 April, have both been cancelled. We’re investigating how to get the reports published in a way that still ensures they make an impact.
The Soldiering on Awards gala night at which our ‘Working Together’ award was to be presented has been pushed back provisionally to later this year.
Our financial position
We are in the privileged position of being an endowed spend-out Trust. Whilst our equities (the stock market) have reduced in value considerably, the prudent measures we took a couple of years ago to increase our cash holdings mean that we have sufficient liquidity to maintain our programme as planned for the immediate future as we re-plan against an anticipated eventual stock market recovery.
The FiMT Staff
We are now all working from home, and our office in Mountbarrow House is closed. We are well used to remote working, and you should be able to interact with us (apart from face-to-face) with ease. You will always get a reply from our Contact Form.
We are very proud of our staff who serve in the Armed Forces Reserves, and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps), and we’re sure you will understand if they do not respond to you in the normal speedy fashion.
We are fortunate to have such a determined, well-connected and forward-looking set of Trustees and Advisers who populate our Board and Committees. We know they also face challenges in their own professional and personal lives, and we are enormously grateful for their unstinting support.