A grant of £ 447,459.00 has been awarded to the Directory of Social Change (DSC) for a 3-year project to develop the current online directory of UK military charities, as well as producing a series of themed research reports on the sector, and another in-depth Sector Insight: Armed Forces Charities report in 2019…

The funding forms the next stage of the established partnership between Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and DSC. Together, FiMT and DSC have worked to illuminate the Armed Forces Charities sector for the benefit of a range of stakeholders, including policy-makers, the government, the media, ex-Service personnel and their families. DSC has, since 2014, undertaken research into the Armed Forces charities sector, providing information through the website –www.armedforcescharities.org.uk– and through two successful published Sector Insight reports: UK Armed Forces Charities in 2014, and Armed Forces Charities in Scotland in 2016.

An Impact Evaluation Report was also commissioned by FiMT, published today, to provide a mid-stream evaluation of the Armed Forces Charities Project to date, and to determine the future research needs of the armed forces charities community and its beneficiaries. The report has also informed the remit of this new project, to address the need for research and data on Armed Forces charities, given their role as a key pillar of support to Britain’s serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.

DSC’s previous research has shown that there are thousands of Armed Forces charities providing a range of key services for the Armed Forces community. However, there is much more to learn about what they do collectively and how effective they are in meeting the changing needs of the community they serve. There is also a need to connect Armed Forces charities with each other and to inform other stakeholders (such as policy-makers) about their activities via the provision of data and research.

The project will further develop the Armed Forces Charities website, which is a comprehensive web-based online searchable directory of the whole sector (www.armedforcescharities.org.uk), with in-depth information on over 500 armed forces charities whose primary remit is the welfare of the armed forces community.

DSC will also deliver six focused, topical reports in 2017 and 2018. These will illuminate specific areas of charity sector provision for the armed forces community, such as mental and physical health, education, employment, housing and homelessness.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “The first edition of the Sector Insight: UK Armed Forces Charities report is regarded as a seminal piece of work, and this key project will provide a valuable addition to the knowledge-base by delving deeper in the data available, and providing new insights that could have implications on policy and practice. There is no better organisation than the DSC to undertake this project, and we look forward to our continued partnership.”

Debra Allcock Tyler, Chief Executive of DSC, said: “We could not be more pleased at the strength of our relationship with FiMT and our joint commitment to this vital work. I grew up in a military family and I know how very very important so many forces charities are to so many people. This project is about shining a light on those charities and what they do, so that policymakers and charities can make more effective decisions for beneficiaries. DSC is fully committed to producing more research and analysis of this type in the future."