Armed Forces Community: Supporting Systemic Change

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has awarded almost £3 million to nine transformative projects in this year’s round of the Covenant Fund Transformational Grants programme.

Continuing the trend from last year’s awards, the Trust has selected projects which aim to deliver systemic change within the Armed Forces community in a variety of different ways.

Each of the funded projects has a different focus, from supporting older Veterans, to tackling stigma amongst female Veterans. Mental health and wellbeing outcomes are an important element of many of the projects, though the ways of taking on these challenges vary from sports to e-learning, and training to inclusive programmes of activity and new and improved ways of delivering services.

Partnering with the CASEVAC Club of wounded Veterans, the Scar Free Foundation have been awarded £300,000 to understand and alleviate the impact of conflict-related genital scarring and loss-of-function. They will develop evidence-based interventions to diminish the shame, stigma and embarrassment surrounding these injuries and empower current and future Veterans to forge fulfilling intimate relationships post-injury.

Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, Chief Executive, The Scar Free Foundation, said: “Veterans returning home with life-changing injuries deserve the utmost in care. Beyond physical wounds, the invisible scars of war significantly impact mental and emotional health.

“With the generous support of the AFCFT, we are tackling the neglected issue of conflict-related genital injuries through pioneering, collaborative research. Our goal is to create tailored psychological support tools to meet the unique challenges faced by Veterans with genital scarring. Together, we are committed to improving the wellbeing of Veterans and supporting their journey towards healing, recovery and fulfilment.”

Burnley FC in the Community have been awarded £300,000 to expand their Armed Forces Sports Club Champion programme to share best practice, level up existing provision, mentor and guide the sports charity sector in delivering quality projects for the Armed Forces community throughout the UK. This programme builds on the success of the organisation’s work under the Veterans’ Places, Pathways & People programme, including the creation of a toolkit to assist in how the Sports Club Champions can effectively engage the Armed Forces community in activities.

Helen Gurman, Chief Executive Burnley FC, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have secured funding from the Transformation Grant Programme. This funding will have a significant impact, not only on our own programmes but also in our ability to mentor and inspire others in the sports charity sector, sharing our best practices nationwide. We take great pride in the work we’ve accomplished and the positive impact we’ve had through our Veterans Programme. As we eagerly anticipate the future, we’re excited about the ways we can continue changing lives for the better!”

Anna Wright, Chief Executive of the Trust added: “We’re excited to be supporting so many great projects. This programme seeks to make transformative, systemic change within the Armed Forces community; we believe each of the nine projects awarded funding in this latest round has the potential to do that. We can’t wait to see the positive impact they will have.”

The full list of awards made can be found on the Trust’s website.

Pathfinder Magazine