More than £7M awarded in support of Forces families and helping to remove barriers to family life

April 20, 2020

A picture of an Armed Forces family accessing books from Reading Force
Reading Force were awarded £90,000

The Removing Barriers to Family Life programme has made 60 awards totalling just over £7M to support Armed Forces families.

Awards were made at two levels, medium grants of £30k to £100k and large grants of up to £300k or more, for exceptional, transformational work.

Wide range of provision supported

We’re pleased to have supported a whole range of work to benefit families, from supporting military spouse and partner employment and the development of the co-working hubs opening at or near various military bases, to supporting those families transitioning out of the Forces, or becoming more dispersed with the advent of the Future Accommodation Model (FAM) and the extra challenges this may bring.

Some projects will focus more on the families and carers of veterans, while others will support the children and young people in military families, addressing their, sometimes unique, needs and building family resilience.

Funding transformational work

Rachel Dawkins, Grants Manager for the fund said:  “I’ve been so inspired by the range and quality of projects we’ve funded through this programme. These projects will address a variety of needs for both serving and veteran families, providing support and implementing what we hope to be transformation across the entire Armed Forces community.”

Royal British Legion Industries- a group picture of people in high viz vests
RBLI were awarded £91,072

Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) were awarded £91,072 in Scotland to provide spouses and partners with meaningful paid work experiences that are designed to reduce isolation, engage participation and increase skills, which will contribute to positive mental and physical health. 

Michelle Ferguson, Director at Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, a division of RBLI said: “We are absolutely delighted to be funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust. This particular project offers spouses and veterans’ partners the opportunity to benefit from a dedicated project aimed at reducing isolation and creating greater community cohesion. Case studies we have collected over the past year demonstrate just how vital this work is, we already work with a number of veterans’ family members and we know that this project will help to tackle loneliness by giving them the tools and support to establish strong support networks.”

Keeping families connected

Reading Force received £90,000 to support Service children during significant life events including deployment, illness/injury of a parent, moving home and school, parental divorce/separation, and distance from extended family. Their ‘Keeping Families Connected’ project will help tackle the stress and separation anxiety some feel, by supporting good communication and family bonding through sharing books, chatting about them and scrapbooking.

Professor Alison Baverstock, Founder & Director of Reading Force (and Army mum and wife for 25 years) told us: “When Forces families are separated, through deployment or training, or just under pressure, it can be hard to talk about what’s going on. Communication through shared-reading can keep everyone in touch – thinking about how someone else will respond to the book you are both reading lasts much longer than a text message, email or phone call. We are so grateful for this generous support of our work, as much for the confidence shown in us as the money, which enables us to continue our important work within the military community.”

Little Troopers were awarded their biggest ever grant award, £85,000 in support of their national project to provide educational resources for schools on the unique needs of military children and how they can support them daily.

Positive impact on education

Little Troopers Founder, Louise Fetigan, explained: “The funding received means so much to our charity and will enable Little Troopers to expand the Little Troopers at School project to not only bring vital resources for older military children in education to fruition, but also enable us to get out on the road, visit lots of locations and reach many schools and the military children within, with some workshops plus a roadshow for education settings to gather information and knowledge.

Little Troopers were awarded £85,000

The team at Little Troopers is really excited to be working on this innovative project with the funding from The Armed Forces Covenant, together having a beneficial impact on the lives of many military children.”

We’re absolutely thrilled with the positive impact these awards promise and can’t wait to see this important work grow and develop from the initial funding received.

Find out more

A full list of awards is available here.