Tacking Serious Stress in Veterans, Carers and Families Programme to open on 1st October 2018

The consultation report for the New Ways to Tackle Serious Stress in Veterans, Carers and Families programme has been published, and the programme will be open for applications on 1st October 2018.

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust ran a consultation to inform how the programme should be delivered and the types of projects that should be funded.  The Consultation report is available.  A total of 87 responses were received. Most of the responses were from charities that support the Armed Forces Community. There were some responses directly from veterans, and  from family members of veterans, and there there was high levels of support for the concept of supporting carers through the programme.

The programme will open for applications on 1st October 2018. The full programme guidance will be available on that date.  The programme will make grants to lead organisations; who will then work with delivery organisations. There will be an overarching evaluation. You can read more about the roles of the lead organisation and a delivery organisation, or do have a look at the  diagram we have produced.

We held an event on 14th September for organisations that are interested in the programme; and following this a Whats App group has been developed for interested organisations to network. If you would like to join the WhatsApp group please email enquiries@covenantfund.org.uk.

You can stay up to date with this programme by visiting our programme pages

Hundreds of community projects supported through Round 1 of the Armistice and Armed Forces Communites Programme; and Round 2 opens soon

The Armistice and Armed Forces Communities programme enables community groups, schools and places of worship to receive awards to fund evocative silhouettes for their community. These can be used to support local events designed to bring the community together, to remember the Armistice, and also think about Armed Forces today.

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has funded just under 11,000 silhouettes to nearly 1500 different community organisations under Round 1. Round 2 will open on 3rd September 2018. The programme will close on 1st October 2018, and this will be the final round.

Glasgow the Caring City Charity are receiving 10 silhouettes to use on the eve of Armistice, and to support the City of Glasgow Festival of Remembrance. The project will be the culmination of eight other events, some large some small, involving up to 2,000 attending in total, the final one being The City of Glasgow Festival of Remembrance. A range of military, emergency service and community organisations will be involved.

“Cathcart Old lost 123 souls in the Wars, 68 in WW1. We already have the names of the fallen on the back of 68 seats for this year, but the figures would add a haunting beauty to an already wonderful community setting”

Some projects are on a smaller scale but equally moving. Zelah is a small rural community in Cornwall, who are receiving 3 silhouettes. The people in the village are isolated from the church by fields and a major road; and have limited access to their War Memorial. They don’t have a community building, but they do have a bench and an orchard.

Their event will start at midnight on Sunday 11th November with the beginning of a Silent Watch. Their Tommy will sit on the bench in the community orchard. From midnight to midnight a local resident will sit beside him with a lighted candle between them. They will hold a community event at midday, involving different local groups. The two additional silhouettes will sit in the Church at St Allen.

A wide range of organisations can apply for an award under the programme including schools, village halls, places of worship, libraries and other community buildings. If you receive an award; you will have to commit to holding an event for your local community around the time of the Armistice.

For more information on the programme, visit our programme pages.


Families in Stress projects underway; and making a difference

In February 2018; we made 13 grants of up to £300,000 for projects that are supporting the families of serving personnel facing stressful circumstances requiring immediate short term intervention.

Projects we have funded cover a wide range of issues for both partners and children from domestic abuse through to debt management, caring responsibilities, bereavement,  personnel in the criminal justice system and supporting families with young children who are experiencing a particularly difficult challenge.

Projects began in April 2018; and the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust grants team have been catching up with these projects to see how they are getting on.

Rachel Dawkins, Grants Manager at the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust is part of the team that has been getting out and visiting these projects.

“We have made some fantastic and interesting visits across the UK to these organisations, and we have been hugely impressed by the partnerships being built with local Armed Forces bases so far, with services already beginning to be designed and rolled out to families in need. We are really excited to see how this work will continue to develop as these partnerships provide much needed support to the serving community and look forward to seeing this impact grow over the coming months.”

Southern Domestic Abuse (SDAS) Service was awarded £299,832 from The Armed Forces Covenant Fund: Families in Stress to work with people affected by domestic abuse in South East Hampshire.   This is a partnership project with SDAS, Portsmouth City Council, University of Portsmouth and Royal Navy/Royal Marines Welfare (RNRMW) Service.  SDAS will provide and evaluate a healthy relationships programme for Royal Navy (RN) personnel and their families: working with those using unhealthy relationships and/or domestic violence and abuse, including support for both partners.  This innovative approach works to create healthy relationships.

The project has received strong local support. Portsmouth City Council Leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon Jackson said:

“I’m glad that the Armed Forces Covenant Fund has enabled the funding for this this domestic abuse service; which will help families and support with the development of healthy relationships.”

Other projects funded under the second round of the Families in Stress programme include, £123,224 to Home-Start York for their project Supporting Military Families in our Community; £149,319 to Test Valley Community Services for their Strengthening families through positive parenting project and £299,735 to the Warrior Programme, for their project to support Families in Stress.

Update for organisations applying for an Armistice and Armed Forces Communities programme award

Update 16th July 2018

The programme is open until midnight tonight. A small number of users have had difficulties in accessing a draft application form that they had previously saved; and where this is happening we advise applicants to begin a new form. The form is short; and should only take around 20 minutes to complete.

If you are experiencing difficulties as a result of this; then do email remembering@covenantfund.org.uk before the deadline.

If you would like more information on this programme please click here

£415,000 awarded to support local projects that help the Armed Forces Community

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has announced 29 grants totalling £415,217, under its Armed Forces Covenant- Local Grants priority.

The grants include £20,000 for the Derby County FC Veterans Club; £4,770 to the Boleh Trust to work with children from service families and £15,400 to Flintshire Council for their ‘Planes over Talacre’ project.

Sonia Howe, Director of Policy at the Armed Forces Covenant Trust said that

This round includes some fantastic local projects supporting community integration by encouraging Armed Forces and Civilian communities to come together which will form and deepen relationships; and providing local services to the Armed Forces community where these are needed. We are proud to support these 29 projects

A number of projects are using the backdrop of the Armistice commemorations to promote community integration. Cefn Mawr War Memorial Institute and Recreation Ground is receiving £9,000 for a cross generational project that brings together local communities, five schools, veterans and local volunteers to commemorate the 128 individuals recorded on the local Cenotaph who gave their lives in WW1 which will produce a book to be distributed through schools and the local community.

The £15,400 grant to Flintshire Council will be used to bring together the secrets of Talacre’s WW2 efforts via the stories and memories of those who lived alongside the firing ranges and underneath aerial dog fights with terrifying near misses from dropping bombs. The project will have a focus around the eroding Norcon Pill boxes that can be seen at low tide on the beach, and will leave an ongoing legacy through information panels, digitising memorabilia, developing education resources and capturing audio memories.

Councillor  Andy Dunbobbin, Armed Forces Champion at Flintshire County Council told us that

“We are delighted to be awarded this grant which will fund a project capturing the role of Talacre in WW2, which was used for training by the RAF.  Local residents were concerned that the pillboxes were being eroded by the sea and the history of Talacre would be lost for ever; the reconstruction of a pill box, funded by the grant, will contribute towards keeping the memory alive for future generations. The community are proud of Talacre’s history and through this exciting project the memories of local residents and former refuges will be shared for many years to come.

This funding will be an opportunity to raise awareness within the local community and visitors, of the role of the armed forces, in particular the RAF, and their commitment and sacrifice to the nation. The open day planned for next year will be an opportunity to bring the armed forces, the local community and visitors together to celebrate and commemorate the link between the armed forces and Talacre.”

Read the full list of grants awarded here

The Armed Forces Covenant- Local Grants priority awards grants of up to £20,000 for projects that promote Community Integration between Armed Forces and civilian communities or Delivery of Local Services that support the Armed Forces Community. Charites and local organisations who receive a grant can also receive some additional support through this programme to develop their digital skills and strengthen their skills online; helping them to improve their reach.

The Armed Forces Covenant Local Grants programme is open for applications, and you can out more about this programme here

Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust extends deadline of programme to 16th July 2018

While November may seem like a long way off, many community groups, schools, village halls and places of worship are thinking about the Armistice; and how, as part of this; they can work to build good links with the Armed Forces today. Applicants have been telling us that they want to really plan their project before they submit the bid. Having an event is a condition of the award; but your event does not need to be fully planned when you apply.

Rachel Dawkins; our Grants Manager has been in touch with applicants

“Applicants have been talking to us; telling about the great events they are planning. We know that some groups are planning projects involving a number of local organisations, and worried about not having their event fully planned

Apply to us and give us an idea of what you want to do. Tell us what you are planning.  The application form is really straightforward.

We are extending the programme because applicants have told us that they would like more time to think about their events. It is however fine to apply even if your event is not fully planned.

We need to run the application process now to ensure that silhouettes to award holders are delivered in good time for events in October and November this year.

Applicants apply to us by 16th July; and if they need to, they can spend time after that developing their event more fully. If an organisation receives an award; that may help to drive interest and engagement with local events.

Thetford Town Council obtained some silhouettes before the launch of the Armistice and Armed Forces Communities programme; and have already put them to good use with 14 silhouettes placed in Churches, Community centres, businesses, youth groups and the local Guildhall. Communities and individuals are being brought together in knitting groups and the ATC cadets have helped with sewing poppies on netting for the Guildhall. Events however do not have to be elaborate; and could be as simple as sharing tea and cake. The aim is to bring community groups together.

Through this programme, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust is making awards to community groups and not for profit organisations. Groups can access up to 10 evocative silhouettes to provide a focus for community events that bring Armed Forces Communities and civilian communities together. The event is up to the applicant to plan and run.

Have a look at our infographic for help in planning your project.

Armistice and Armed Forces Communities Programme: What are you doing in your community?

We’ve been hearing about some great ideas from community groups, schools, Parish Councils, Armed Forces Bases and places of worship who are thinking about applying to the programme; and thinking about how they can bring their communities together.

Thetford Town Council obtained some silhouettes before the launch of the Armistice and Armed Forces Communities programme; and have already put them to good use with 14 silhouettes placed in Churches, Community centres, businesses, youth groups and the local Guildhall. Communities and individuals are being brought together in knitting groups and the ATC cadets have helped with sewing poppies on netting for the Guildhall.

The presence of the silhouettes is supporting wider community activities.

People from surrounding villages are lending their support as well as those who lived in Thetford and have now moved away. It has touched people’s hearts and resulted in many people building or renewing important bonds with the town. Thetford is very proud of its heritage and to be part of this incredible project.”

It’s not too late to get your application in. As part of your award, you’ll need to hold an event but this can be as simple as bringing people together for tea and cake.

Click here to find out more and apply