The Armed Forces Covenant Fund has announced substantial grants to support veterans with complex mental health needs, and additional grants to extend some current Covenant Fund projects that are making a significant difference to former service personnel who are in contact with the criminal justice system.
£4,263,084 has been awarded to 8 projects through the Tackling Serious Stress in Veterans, Carers and Families Programme. These projects are innovative and 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. The programme is support projects where there is good evidence to suggest that the idea might produce outcomes for veterans and their carers and families that are better than current sources of support on offer, and the programme will be evaluated by the University of Chester.
Projects have been funded across the United Kingdom, with two projects in Northern Ireland, two projects in Scotland, one in Wales and three in England
Melloney Poole, Chief Executive of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust said
“We are delighted to make these significant grants; and we look forward to working with all of the grant holders as they set up their complex projects, and to looking at what we can learn from these projects to help improve future support for veterans who are very unwell, their carers and families. The evaluation approach that we are taking on this programme will look at all of these projects in the round to identify what might work best; and we look forward to being able to share this information”
In addition, 7 continuation grants worth £1M have been awarded to some of the existing grant holders that are supporting former service personnel with needs that can be complex. 14 grants totalling £4.6M were awarded in 2015 as three year grants to support projects with former service personnel with the aim of reducing reoffending.
Projects have had success in reaching veterans who are currently offending or who are at risk of offending. The continuation grants will help some of these projects to develop further work to encourage the lasting sustainability of projects that offer good support to former service personnel who are in the criminal justice system and to encourage collaboration and effective cross sector working that reduces duplication and provides the best possible pathways for veterans. This programme will be evaluated by RAND Europe.