New Programme seeks to shape the future for Female Veterans

53% of female veterans feel their needs are not adequately met by current veteran services

Less than 31% of women who have served identify as ‘a veteran’*

“Research over the last 5 years into the experiences of female veterans has provided real and valuable insight into the specific, yet varied, issues these women face. The Female Veterans Transformation Project will build on that research to co-produce a Toolkit to provide targeted assistance and information to the community, and to inform and guide the statutory, commercial and charity sectors.”  – Colonel (Retd) Alison Brown OBE, Chair of the Cobseo Female Veterans’ Cluster Group

Today sees the launch of the Female Veterans’ Transformation Programme which will produce a toolkit for use by service providers in the commercial, statutory and charitable sectors, helping transform service provision for female veterans – the 250,0001 strong group whose specific needs are not being addressed by current service provision2. The toolkit could take the form of a digital resource, awareness-raising resources, or an interactive app.

The Programme will align with this Spring’s first ever Women Veterans’ Strategy from the Office for Veterans’ Affairs. The 3-year, UK-wide programme is funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and NHS England, in partnership with the Cobseo3 Female Veterans Cluster and the Women’s Royal Army Corps Association. The programme aims to build a legacy where female veterans feel confident to access the right support, at the right time, and in the right way for them,” explains Colonel (Retd) Alison Brown OBE, Chair of the Cobseo Female Veterans’ Cluster Group.

The Programme also uses the results of an Evidence Review, published today, which includes findings from research across the UK veterans sector (commercial, statutory and charity). Its Statement of Need provides a succinct and visual representation of female veterans’ needs, such as support on employment and finance, access to services, bullying and discrimination. As reported recently, only 2% of veterans research globally focuses on female veterans, who are also two-and-a-half times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than civilian women.


The Programme is now in a co-production phase, reaching out to female veterans and stakeholders across the country via an online questionnaire, which will be followed by workshops (face-to-face and virtual). “We would love to work with everyone from female veterans to the employers of female veterans, from large national charities (whether for veterans or not) to small businesses run by female veterans, in order to help shape the toolkit into a practical and transformational resource,” shares Liza Jarvis, Programme Lead.

She adds,

“We understand that many women who have served do not identify with the term ‘veteran’ so we are making a big effort to reach invisible veterans who may not realise the support they are entitled to, or feel comfortable accessing it. From sports teams to faith groups, from parents to pensioners, we would like to work with you to make sure the toolkit we produce has the widest possible applicability.  If you are interested in being involved and working with us, please email us at or follow us on Twitter and connect via LinkedIn to find out how to get involved.”

Hannah West, Communications and Engagement Officer for the Programme, a veteran herself, said,

“Previously, I did not feel comfortable with the label ‘veteran’, but through my work on this Programme, I recently asked my GP to record my veteran status. I hope the Programme will encourage others to do the same, whether they see themselves as a veteran or not, to make sure they are accessing the best support for them.” 

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By @Cobseo 54 years ago

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