31 new awards to targeted projects supporting Forces communities

October 23, 2023

Latest Reaching and Supporting Armed Forces Communities programme awards announced.

The Trust is delighted to announce that we have awarded £2.9 million to targeted projects to deliver real change within Armed Forces communities under the Reaching and Supporting Armed Forces Communities programme.

The latest round of grants under this popular programme has supported 31 projects across the UK. Each project can last up to three years delivering significant changes and improvements in Armed Forces communities with hidden or compelling needs.

Helping those facing challenges

Scotty’s Little Soldiers have received £70,984 for their Standby project which will address a gap in support bereaved Service children and young people; and help to make sure that they are sensitively supported in their education settings. Founder, Nikki Scott said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for agreeing to support our Standby project for two years.

“Bereaved children from Armed Forces families can face a number of challenges during their education journey and at times such as analysing war themed poetry, learning about Remembrance and taking part in activities for Mother’s and Father’s Day. Due to their bereavement, these types of experiences can be extremely challenging and Standby will help ensure education providers are more informed about how best to support bereaved British Forces children and young people.”

Navigator Cymru will provide intensive, personalised support for Veterans in Gwent facing challenging circumstances. The project was awarded £100,000.

Amanda Shepard, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory, said: “Our experience as an employment charity has shown that there are many Veterans in our communities who face very challenging circumstances and find it difficult to move forward. We are delighted that the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has chosen to support the launch of Navigator Cymru, which will help to reduce isolation and loneliness, build confidence and create stability for Veterans in Gwent whose ultimate goal is employment.

“Building on the recent success of our intensive Navigator work in London and Merseyside, Navigator Cymru will help these veterans develop strong support networks, take part in meaningful activities and improve their wellbeing, with the aim of returning to work and thriving at home.”

Emotional and practical support for families

Adfam were awarded £66,6000 under the Reaching and supporting Armed Forces Communities programme, to deliver a support service for 36 family members of serving Armed Forces personnel with problematic alcohol and substance use. The service will consist of individual support sessions and moderated peer/group support sessions.

Adfam Chief Executive Vivienne Evans told us: “We are delighted to have received funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Trust, which enables us to extend our remote support service for the families of Veterans with a substance misuse problem to the families and friends of serving personnel. This service provides family members with six, one-to-one sessions of emotional and practical support, plus a peer support group, both of which help them deal with the impact of a loved one’s substance misuse.”

Vivienne explains “We know from research that drug and alcohol misuse is prevalent among serving personnel, and that it causes harms, including emotional, social, mental and financial distress to those close to the substance user. Our service alleviates these effects, providing a respite for the whole family.”

Improving life chances and emotional wellbeing

HMPs Veteran’s Successful Transitions will support Veterans currently serving sentences in Greater Manchester prisons. The project, which received an award of £100,000, will provide a full package of support in training, education, housing, financial guidance and mental wellbeing to both rebuild confidence and self-esteem and help Veterans achieve a successful transition back into the community on release.

Terry Morley, Operation Re-Org Veterans & Criminal Justice project lead, thanked the Trust for their support which will allow them to continue their work within prisons across Greater Manchester: “This will allow us to continue to provide bespoke training packages to the Armed Forces Veterans and individual 1-1 support whilst serving their sentences and then once released. The team delivering the programme have many years of experience and knowledge both from the military and the prison service giving us the skills to help them succeed and avoid them reoffending and returning to prison.”

Enhancing physical and mental recovery

Climb 2 Recovery offer climbing courses to help with both physical and mental recovery of injured service personnel and Veterans. They have received £99,000 to optimise the recoveries of seriously wounded Service people and Veterans through a programme of progressive therapeutic adaptive climbing and mountaineering.

Chief Executive Joe Winch explains: “Climb 2 Recovery enhances the recoveries of seriously wounded, injured, sick and disabled service people and veterans, most of whom have completed at least 2-years of conventional clinical treatment and yet remain chronically and severely disabled by their adversity, through a year-round programme of climbing and mountaineering.

“Our programme is well-established and has a proven track record of safety, delivery and success. During 2024 we will deliver one fully-funded residential course per month throughout the year, where C2R provides all accommodation, food, equipment, insurance and professional instruction, and three overseas expeditions. The courses offered are carefully designed to support progression from no experience to independent lead climbing for even the most severely injured or disabled member. C2R also sponsors and mentors members through formal outdoor leadership qualifications, creating new vocations and providing a pathway back to employment or voluntary work.”

Find out more

Check out the full list of awards made in this latest round of funding here.

Interested in applying to the Reaching and Supporting Armed Forces Communities programme? Applications are currently being invited for the second round via our dedicated programme page.

We’re looking for projects that are specific and targeted. This could include addressing hidden, compelling and complex needs, for specific and identified beneficiaries, in a meaningful way. Applications should be submitted by 13 November 2023.