£9M awarded to build stronger networks to give veterans access to better places, pathways and people that can support them

December 16, 2021

The Trust is excited to announce that the Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund has awarded £8,898,456 to 14 major projects through the Veterans Places, Pathways and People programme. 10 grants have been awarded in the countries and regions of the UK, to develop better, more joined up lasting support for local veterans with mental health needs; 4 grants have been awarded for national strategic projects.

Portfolio grants leading co-ordinated approaches

10 Portfolio grants have been awarded; with one each in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with seven regional grants awarded in the UK. Across all of the portfolios; 165 individual projects will be supported.

Each grant has been made to a lead organisation that will co-ordinate a dynamic and co-ordinated portfolio of projects that will take an informed approach across their country or region. They will ensure that there are connected pathways which work well for veterans; that there are safe places for veterans to go which connect into these pathways; and that volunteers and staff who support veterans have access to training and work closely with other organisations within veterans’ mental health pathways.

Poppy Factory received a grant of £799,062 that will enable them to lead a Portfolio of 10 projects in the London region.

Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory, said:

“Veterans living in London will know that our capital can offer many unique opportunities. And yet without an effective support network, life here can be difficult and challenging. Our new partnership seeks to address that by joining forces to ensure veterans have access to the places, pathways and people that will enable them to flourish after service.

“Having supported veterans in London for 100 years, The Poppy Factory is well placed to serve as portfolio holder for the programme. We are delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate more closely with new and existing partners, all committed to the overarching aim of providing a better, more joined up, service to London’s diverse ex-Forces community.”

Sporting Force received a grant of £779,777 that will enable them to lead a portfolio of 10 projects in the North East and Yorkshire region.

Jacqui Nicolson, Operations Executive at Sporting Force said:

“This is such an exciting programme, one that can change the face of veteran support in the future. We are honoured to be awarded this grant for our Portfolio in North East and Yorkshire. There is so much brilliant support across our region. However, there are areas that are not covered, and the grant will help us address that issue.  Some veterans are underserved so our portfolio focuses on equality and supporting those veterans who feel invisible.  Our aims are to join all the members of the portfolio and the regional organisations to create a web that no veteran in need falls through.”

Strategic Grants to support lasting impact

Grants have been awarded to Cobseo (the Confederation of Service Charities); the Association of Service Drop-In Centres (ASDIC); SSAFA and Combat Stress. These Strategic Leads will work within the wider Veterans Places, Pathways and People programme, and with a cross-sector Oversight Group to encourage the integration of existing clinical mental health provision with the broader non-clinical services for veterans needing general wellbeing support as well as those on the mental health recovery pathway across the sector. Their work will strengthen the development of more joined-up local provision for veterans.

These specialist organisations will work with the 10 Country and Regional portfolios that will be supported through the wider programme; with the wider Armed Forces charitable sector; and with organisations that support veterans.

A programme of support for veterans

The Veterans Places People and Pathways programme is seeking to make improvements to enable veterans to access support that meets their needs. Funding will encourage the development of safe, welcoming places for veterans to go in their local area, support for the people; (staff and volunteers in organisations that support veterans) to be able to have access good quality training and have better access to connect veterans into wider pathways including for mental health support and treatment.

Melloney Poole, Chief Executive of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust said

“We are excited about the potential that these grants have to deliver real and lasting change. Through these grants veterans with mental health needs can have better access to effective pathways of care and support in their region; and have safe places to go to access support, reduce isolation and support positive mental health. We are keen to see how the veteran led projects within these portfolios can become embedded locally. Through working together, we anticipate that the sum of the projects within a portfolio will deliver more than the organisations working separately could ever achieve.”

Find out more

For a full list of awards made, please go to the awards page