The Armed Forces Covenant occasionally makes very large grants through specialist programmes designed to address a specific need. In 2016, The Covenant Fund ran a programme to make a single transformational grant to see if a one stop resource could be developed in order to signpost veterans to the best source of support for their needs. We received a number of interesting bids, and through a two stage application process that explored how the project would be run, viability and sustainability; awarded a £2M grant awarded to a consortium of charities led by the Royal British Legion for a two year pilot.
We were delighted that the Veterans Gateway launched in 2017 to be the first point of contact for veterans seeking support. The Gateway put veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need – from healthcare and housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and more. Our initial funding for the pilot enabled the service to be established, and we awarded an additional £100,000 through our impact programme to fund an evaluation so that the project is well supported to move to the future.
Our Impact programme also supported another major transformational project; the Map of Need. With an initial grant from us of £500,000 they have developed a map of veterans’ and their families’ welfare needs across the whole of the UK, based on data from public sources, statistics, health data and data directly from Armed Forces Charites. We also awarded additional funding to expand the Map of Need to include data relating to Armed Forces Families.
The Map of Need, provides an important Public Health Observatory function, and enables organisations to make decisions based on evidence of needs, as well as identifying emerging needs. Our funding has acted as seed funding to support the creation of this valuable resource.