New grants awarded to support Service spouses and partners

April 23, 2024

The Trust is excited to announce that we’ve allocated over £790,000 under the Supporting Partners programme, to improve support for Service partners and spouses and celebrate the skills and experiences they bring to the workplace.

In this latest round of grants, 13 projects have received funding across the UK and overseas. These projects aim to improve understanding of Service partners and spouses; addressing their needs and the challenges they encounter as their family transitions to civilian life.

Improving access to education, training, and qualifications for partners

Milspo Network CiC have been awarded £33,000 for their two-year project ‘Launch Accelerator Business Course’. The course has been designed and will be delivered by experienced entrepreneurs from within the military spouse community who understand the challenges faced. By the end of the course, participants will launch their own sustainable business with the support of ready built network of peers.

Launch Accelerator will offer an innovative solution for military partners who want to start their own business. The eight-week course will be taught online in real time, making it inclusive for partners who are geographically dispersed or isolated. The project will use a delivery platform with advanced AI to create a searchable and highly accessible data hub of business startup knowledge. Online video lessons, in parallel with workbooks, regular accountability meet-ups and live Q&A’s, will coach attendees through starting and building a business that is robust and portable enough to survive the rigours of modern Armed Forces life.

Director, Jessica Sands, told us: “Milspo is so pleased to have received the support of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, which will enable us to deliver our Small Business Accelerator course to military spouses, partners, and other halves from across the Armed Forces world.

Military families are the heart of the UK defence community, and their support to our serving personnel should never be underestimated. However, we know that, as military partners, we face unique challenges. The bespoke, fully accessible support that this course provides will help our community to not only survive but thrive in a modern military world.

We cannot thank the AFCF enough for their invaluable support and acknowledgement of the pivotal role played by those on the home front to the defence community and its operational effectiveness.”

Access to knowledge and information relevant to employment opportunities

The Voluntary Action Leicestershire will offer employability support and volunteering opportunities to Armed Forces partners and spouses via their Supporting Partners – Education, Employment and Development (SPEED) project. This one-year initiative has secured a grant for £64,348 to facilitate positive strides towards new opportunities. The project aims to increase awareness of the skills, experiences and potential of partners and spouses among local employers and stakeholders within the Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland (LLR) cluster area.

Sector Support Lead, Doctor David Arron Cliffe, said: “Voluntary Action Leicestershire is thrilled to have been awarded funding for our Supporting Partners into Education, Employment and Development Project to support partners of Armed Forces personnel across Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland.

“This funding will allow us to provide direct employability support to local people who are partners of Armed Forces personnel, but also allow us to undertake some targeted work to raise awareness of some of the locals’ challenges and to explore some solutions and the possibilities for partners to be supported to realise their personal career goals. We already have a strong partnership with other local organisations but look forward to building stronger connections through this new project.”

Making the most of overseas postings

RAF Akrotiri Families Centre have noticed that families returning to the UK often face having to find new employment after their time in Cyprus. With limited job opportunities in Cyprus, this project has been awarded £30,000 to provide training and support designed to help partners and spouses become more confident and equipped for future employment.

The programme will be conducted remotely through online methods, with some face-to-face sessions. By partnering with a recruitment agency, RAF Akrotiri Families Centre aims to help partners and spouses compete better for jobs and feel more confident. The grant will fund training to help partners and spouses return to work, making the overseas experience more appealing for families considering relocation.

Embedding skills and experiences to bring to the workplace

Army Families Federation (AFF) have been awarded £72,600 for their project ‘Delivering Positive Futures for Partners.’ By implementing several recommendations from the Positive Futures research report, the project aims to offer Service partners clear and easy access to effective employment support. This project will extend reach and sustainability while also establishing an evidence base and partnerships for future delivery of long-term recommendations in spousal employment support.

AFF Employment & Training Specialist Lucy Ritchie said: “AFF is delighted to have been awarded funding for the Delivering Positive Futures for Partners project. The award will ensure that Forces Families Jobs provides the best possible support to Forces families at all stages of their career development. This project will further develop the online platform, bringing together employers committed to the Armed Forces Covenant and military partners on their journey to find employment and training opportunities that fit with Forces life.”

Find out more

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