Innovation Key to finding New Ways to Tackle Serious Stress  

In our latest article on the new programme; we explore innovation, and the power of new ideas. To read our article on evaluation click here

The Tackling Serious Stress in Veterans, Carers and Families programme is all about innovation. It was one of the first programmes launched by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, and the first to be informed by a public consultation. The online list has reached over 60 organisations; all looking to connect to build portfolios that will make a real difference to veterans, their carers and families.

We caught up with Carol Stone, Director of Grants at the Trust and her team who highlighted the importance of new ideas and collaboration to address long standing issues.

“Through this programme we want to see ideas that are genuinely new, and to encourage collaboration, and give organisations space to try something different.Have a look at the list of the 60 organisations that are interested in the programme, and if you think your ideas may be complementary to some of theirs but no one has yet come forward as a lead organisation for you to jointly work with, why not step forward and lead yourself?”

With 6 weeks to go to the programme deadline, organisations have been getting in touch with the team at the Trust to ask questions on the guidance as they start to put their bid together.

Steven Inman, Strategic Grants Manager at the Trust, is the operational programme lead

“We tend to be asked similar questions.

Firstly, people ask ‘am I too small to be a lead?’. We’ll chat this through with organisations, but typically we’ll tell potential lead organisations it’s about the quality of their idea, and the potential that it has to help. We’ll also explain that they need to have relevant experience in managing similar sized projects.

People will also ask about the best way to calculate management costs. We know this can be complex, and are always happy to discuss our guidance in more depth with potential leads.”

Carol had some closing messages for potential leads

“The last area that we get questions on is around the area in our guidance where we’ve discussed making a small number of large grants. , While this is certainly our expectation, we’ll go where innovative ideas lead us and we are very keen to get and respond to good bids from across the UK.”

The New Ways to tackle Serious Stress in Veterans, Carers and Families Programme closes to applications on 31st December 2018

For more information, visit our programme pages

Tackling Serious Stress in Veterans, Carers and Families: How will the evaluation work?

The Tackling Serious Stress programme will make large grants to projects that are trying out new and better ways of helping veterans who are very unwell, their carers and their families.

Through this programme, we will be looking very carefully at the projects that have been funded through the evaluation, which is being delivered through the University of Chester. The evaluation will explore the difference that the projects are making; and provide a evidence base so that we and others can have more information on funding projects that work.

We’ve been speaking with Professor Alan Finnegan, Professor of Nursing & Military Mental Health and the Director of the Westminster Centre for Research & Innovation in Veterans Wellbeing at the University of Chester who is leading the evaluation; to find out more about how it will work.

Read the evaluation guidance on the Tackling Serious Stress Programme Pages

The final design of the form will not be completed until the grants have been awarded next February. Any measurements and data collection will need to be applied to all the funded projects; which is why we are not able to confirm the final design of the evaluation until we know which projects are being supported. On the online framework, there is a table of what could be undertaken – not what will be undertaken. There will not be any Randomised Control Trials; although the findings may result in a recommendation for this in the future.

It’s important that once projects are set up; data can be given to the team at the University of Chester quickly; and the main mechanism for doing this will be through the questionnaire. This programme will be delivered through a portfolio approach. Grants will be made to single lead organisations which will manage a portfolio of work carried out by Delivery Partners.

The Delivery Partners within the project will collect data using a template that The University of Chester will provide, and Chester will do the analysis. Lead organisations will need to make sure that projects are sending the required data to the University of Chester.

Due to the number of projects under this common outcomes framework, means that the priority will be on layers one and two, within the evaluation outline document. This will be predominately a quantitative evaluation, with data collection from participants’ completing questionnaires. There will be space for free text; which will be clearly annotated within the evaluation questionnaires which will be finalised once the grants have been awarded under the programme. Researchers from the University of Chester will visit all projects that receive a grant at an early stage.

The programme closes on 31st December 2018; and the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has launched an online contact list for interested organisations to be able to get in touch with each other. Once you are on this list; you will be able to see the details of all of the other organisations that have joined the list; and you’ll be able to access it at any time to see if additional updates have been made.  You’ll need to agree to use the information on the list just to contact other organisations that might have an interest in this programme; and not for any other purpose. To join the list; click the link and fill out the short form

Tackling Serious Stress in Veterans, Carers and Families: New tool to enable organisations to connect and build collaborations

 

This £4 million programme  is designed to providing funding for innovative and new ways of working to reduce serious stress in veterans, their carers and families. Applications close on 31st December 2018; and funding decisions will be made in February 2019.

This programme will fund a small number of projects that will enable charities and health professionals to work together to develop and try new ideas that they have developed with veterans and their carers and families; support projects where there is good evidence to suggest that the idea might produce better outcomes  than current sources of support on offer. Grants under this programme will be made to Single Lead Organisations who will manage a portfolio. The work within this portfolio will support the beneficiaries, who are veterans that are very unwell, their carers and their families.

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has launched an online contact list for interested organisations to be able to get in touch with each other. Once you are on this list; you will be able to see the details of all of the other organisations that have joined the list; and you’ll be able to access it at any time to see if additional updates have been made.  You’ll need to agree to use the information on the list just to contact other organisations that might have an interest in this programme; and not for any other purpose.

To join the list; click the link and fill out the short form

Tackling Serious Stress in Veterans, Carers and Families Programme open 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

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.