Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded £179,848 to Queen’s University Belfast to conduct a three-year, UK-wide study of the experiences of ex-Service personnel who have had an adverse transition back into civilian life…

The research will cover all four nations of the UK, and will look specifically at those who have ended up homeless, in prison or under mental health supervision.

The project aims to build on current knowledge regarding ‘pathways to failure’, and will do this through undertaking qualitative research to include two case studies of voluntary sector support provision, one in Birmingham, the other in Glasgow, as well as conducting interviews with ex-Service personnel, support staff, and with family members of those who have experienced a ‘negative transition’.

As the focus will be on the lived experiences of those interviewed, this will identify potential differences in experiences, such as between regular and reserve forces, male and female ex-Service personnel, and early Service leavers compared to longer-term personnel.

Geographical location will also be taken into consideration, looking at broader social and cultural factors and how these influence attitudes and responses.

Evidence will be gathered through qualitative research with a large sample of 250, comprising interviews with 150 ex-Service personnel and approximately 50 adult family members, as well as two ethnographic case studies.

The research will identify key factors that impact on negative transitioning, contributing to the body of knowledge that exists on those who struggle to transition successfully.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust said: “By funding this Queen’s University Belfast project, and presenting the findings to service providers and policy makers, we will improve the transition pathway for the most vulnerable.

“By hearing directly from ex-Service personnel and their families, those who work in such supporting areas will be able to prevent the same difficulties happening to others.”