Forces in Mind Trust has commissioned YouGov to explore the public perceptions of ex-Service personnel and to understand what influences people’s opinions…

Researchers will hold four group sessions with the general public, lasting two hours and across four locations in the UK. Four online groups will also participate, consisting of: families of veterans, those who donate to veterans’ charities, those who would consider joining the Armed Forces and teachers.

The project will explore the impact of the media and the world around participants in forming their opinions. This will enable a better understanding of how to deal with negative perceptions of both the term ‘veteran’ and the wider concept.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “There are a lot of misconceptions and myths about ex-Service personnel. Lord Ashcroft’s 2014 ‘Veterans and Transition Review’ highlighted how just over half of the general public consider Service leavers to be ‘mad, bad or sad’.

“The research FiMT have commissioned YouGov to undertake will give us a better understanding of the factors that influence public opinion and enable us to identify positive engagement strategies that will ensure that the public develops an accurate perception of the true nature of the Armed Forces community.”

Jake Palenicek, YouGov UK Head of Research, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Forces in Mind trust on an important research undertaking to understand public perceptions of veterans. This qualitative work will add to YouGov’s wider understanding of views of the armed forces and their place in modern society and complement other multi-modal work being run simultaneously.”