The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) marks the end of its fifth year as a grant-awarding, evidence-generating Trust with the release of its 2016 Activity Report, which reviews the work and outcomes of FiMT funded projects and the Trust’s future direction. FiMT also announced the award of a new grant to Veterans Scotland at the start of one of FiMT’s busiest weeks to date with report launches scheduled for every day!
A significant section within the 2016 Activity Report describes the formal adoption of ‘Change Mechanisms’, a new but key element of FiMT’s Change Model. This Change Model has enabled the Trust to move towards a more proactive approach to identifying and filling gaps in evidence and support, and to promote collaboration and innovation.
An example of FiMT’s Change Mechanisms in action is its recent grant award of £75,000 to Veterans Scotland for a series of national and local events aimed at the Armed Forces Community to bring together Scottish organisations seeking to meet their obligations under the Armed Forces Covenant. This type of project is exactly the sort of collaborative activity which FiMT is aiming to support.
The funding, which will be spread over three years, will enable Veterans Scotland to continue to engage with decision makers in statutory and third sector organisations across Scotland, and to inform them about the issues affecting the ex-Service community and those in transition, and to encourage them to meet their ‘obligations’ under the Armed Forces Covenant. The engagement campaign will ensure that policy makers have a broader understanding of the needs of Service leavers.
The funding, the first for Veterans Scotland from FiMT, will support two national events in Glasgow and Aberdeen and five local level events each year (15 over the course of the three- year project). The events will bring together and brief Armed Forces and Veterans Champions from at least two-thirds of Scotland’s Local Authorities, as well as their counterparts in the Police, NHS, Department of Work and Pensions, Skills Development Scotland, and Housing Associations. It is anticipated that by the end of the three years over 650 policy makers across Scotland will be engaged to better understand the issues facing the Scottish Armed Forces Community.
Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “This was the fifth year of the Forces in Mind Trust, and it provided us with an opportunity to reflect on our work so far and look to the future to consider how we can achieve our transition outcomes. The adaptation of our change model with the Change Mechanisms has refined our focus to help us move closer to our vision that all ex-Service personnel and their families enjoy successful and fulfilled civilian lives.
“We are pleased to announce our grant to Veterans Scotland, as this project will address the knowledge gap that some policymakers and service providers have about the Armed Forces charity sector in Scotland. This is an especially opportune moment to make this announcement as the project engages with the Change Mechanism of ‘influence and convening’ identified in the Activity Report by bringing policy makers and service providers together. I hope these Veterans Scotland events will act as a valuable catalyst to encourage further partnership working, collaboration and effective communication.”
Colonel Martin Gibson OBE DL, Executive Chairman of Veterans Scotland, said: “We are very pleased to receive this funding from the Forces in Mind Trust; we recognise that by having an informed understanding of the disadvantages that Service leavers may face, our statutory organisations will be better able to adapt their policies. This in turn will ensure that Service leavers and veterans are better placed to make their full contribution.”
Read the report here.
Ray Lock is available for interviews. To arrange an interview please contact Kate Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07919 887 036 or 0207 284 6944.
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 Veterans’ Research Hub. 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.