£7 Million supporting communities through Local Grants; what effects is this having?
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has published a report on the first 3 years of the Armed Forces Covenant Local Grants programme, drawing on 430 grants totalling £7 million, and spent on projects across the UK.
The programme makes grants under two priorities; Community Integration and Delivery of Local Services. Community Integration projects aim to create strong local links between the Armed Forces community, who are current and former members of their armed forces and their families) and civilian communities; and be able to clearly demonstrate how they will have impact in overcoming barriers to better integration; and improving perceptions, attitudes and understanding. For the project to be truly effective in achieving community integration there should be shared development, delivery and benefits for both communities. £4.6 Million has been spent on these projects
Delivery of Local Services projects are local projects which offer direct support in some way to members of the Armed Forces Community. This could be financial advice, housing, mental and physical health, employability or social support for serving armed forces personnel, veterans, and their families. Projects must be well connected, both to their beneficiaries and to other relevant organisations, and be able to demonstrate how the services they provide will be well-publicised, accessible and joined up. £2.4 Million has been spent on these local delivery projects.
Within these headline figures however, are projects collectively worth over £500,000 taking place in schools supporting children and young people from serving families to form closer friendships with children from civilian families, or receive additional help from a challenge they are facing, perhaps from having a parent serving away from home.
Projects for veterans have also received significant funding. £1.3 million has been spent on projects to help veterans feel more connected to their local communities, while £1.6 million has been spent on projects to give them help and support to meet their needs.
Carol Stone, Director of Grants at the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust said “This report gives a flavour of the wonderful projects that we have been able to support under this programme. If you are developing a project that’s based on local needs or will improve connections between local Armed Forces and civilian communities then do look at how our funding can help