Our history – The Covenant Fund

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund was launched in 2015, taking direction from the cross-government Covenant Reference Group, which established a National Panel. This Panel made decisions on which organisations should receive grants. Robust grant making processes were developed.

For the first three years, the Covenant Fund was based within the MOD. In April 2018, following a decision that it should become independent, it moved to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (the Trust).

Our first year as a charity

Some of our major previous work includes programmes supporting ex-Service personnel in the criminal justice system, the Veterans’ Gateway and supporting serving families encountering difficult periods, through the Families in Stress programme.

In our first year as a charity, we moved from the MOD whilst managing the existing Covenant Fund grants. We inducted new members of staff and embedding a new IT system to manage grants. We also launched new programmes, such as the HM Treasury funded Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, and a further HM Treasury fund to improve existing building facilities for use of Veterans.

In all, the Trust made 166 grants through the Covenant Fund and the Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund in its first year. We also made an additional 2,773 awards to community organisations through the Armistice and Armed Forces Communities programme. These awards encouraged communities to come together to think about the Armed Forces today.

Behind the scenes, we made improvements to how grants are made and managed. We moved from largely a paper-based grant-making approach, to an online system. This is recognised as good practice among grant makers.

This made it easier for applicants to apply online and manage the grants they have with the Trust, while giving the Trust better access to information.

Annual Reports of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust

Each year, the Trust produces an Annual Report detailing what we have achieved in support of the Armed Forces community and what our plans are for the year to come. Read the reports here to find out about how the Trust has since grown.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

Examples of projects funded through the Armed Forces Covenant Local Grants programme
The Armed Forces Covenant Fund: Local Grants programme ran from 2015-2020