The Armed Forces Covenant Fund has made 43 grants totalling £743,993 under the Armed Forces Covenant Local Grants programmes.
Projects across the United Kingdom are benefiting from the projects, with 8 projects worth £136,630 awarded in Northern Ireland, £60,000 for projects in Scotland and £66,000 for projects in Wales.
In the East Midlands, the Release Financial Charity received £20,000 for a project supporting veterans. The FFxF Project will train ex-service personnel and service personnel as Budget Buddies, to support financially stressed/distressed ex-service personnel, serving personnel and their families manage their finances. They will be mentors/coaches who help others navigate the maze and complexity of money-related matters, sign-post to support and manage their budget.
Paul Stears, Chief Executive of the Release Charity said
“Release Financial Charity very much thanks the Armed Forces Covenant Fund for awarding us this grant, which will positively impact the lives of serving armed forces personnel, veterans, their families and loved ones.
Money is a respecter of no person and many people (whatever their income) struggle to manage their finances and make informed choices about how to use it, which can greatly negatively affect their and their families quality of life and often leads to poor mental health, and poor mental health causes people to struggle to manage their finances – a ‘vicious circle’, and which comes first? This project is about breaking this cycle and helping people on the journey to financial health and well-being, giving them a quality of life (often a second chance at life).
This funding will enable us to train and support people (as volunteers) to support serving armed forces personnel, veterans, their families and loved ones on a one-to-one basis, in ways and for time periods that are appropriate for them to gain some control of their finances and raise confidence and understanding. In addition, front-line workers of organisations already supporting the Forces Community will be trained regarding how others can be supported in money management.”
In the South East, the Royal Air Force Association has been awarded £20,000 to give thirty-two RAF spouses and partners the opportunity to participate in accredited training to become an Ofsted Registered Childminder. The training not only aims to increase their employability and wellbeing, but also increase the amount of high-quality childcare around RAF stations in the South East. Wing Commander S Graham , RAF Community Support told us about what this grant will mean.
‘We are delighted that the RAF Association recognises the value in providing increased employment opportunities for our partners and spouses. After all, it is our families who are often the unsung heroes in supporting our people and we are very conscious of the effect Service life can have on employment opportunities for partners and spouses. The Association’s initiative, which was kindly supported by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has been warmly welcomed and we are pleased to see such positive uptake, with 32 spouses and partners benefitting from the training. We hope to see the initiative go from strength to strength, which will help to empower our families. In turn, we hope their new learnt skills will offer additional (and often much needed) childcare at many of our units. All in all we see this as a ‘win win’ for the RAF and for our families.’
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund makes grants of up to £20,000 for local projects that support community integration or local delivery of services. This programme will continue into its fifth year in 2019/20