Published 8 January 2012

The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry is delighted to announce it will work in partnership with The Forces in Mind Trust to support former UK military personnel and their families.

The Forces in Mind Trust (FIMT), funded by the Big Lottery Fund, is a partnership of Forces charities and mental health organisations, led by the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO).

Backed by £35m of funding from the Big Lottery Fund, The Trust aims to help armed service veterans who struggle with the transition to civilian life, including those whose psychological well-being affects their quality of life and that of others around them. It will focus on addressing a range of problems that some ex-service personnel and their families experience back in civilian life, such as poor mental health, social exclusion, family breakdown and addiction-related problems. The Trust will also provide transitional support in areas such as employment, training, personal finances and housing.

The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry will support The Forces In Mind Trust with its own grants over a three year programme, as well as helping raise awareness of the issues facing veterans and carrying out research on the most effective ways to support their transition. This partnership will build on The Foundation’s existing strong commitment to veterans’ issues as one of its core areas of focus.

COBSEO will also lead The Forces In Mind Trust in commissioning research and awareness campaigns to improve knowledge of the issues affecting veterans and their families.

Nick Booth, CEO of The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, said:

“We are incredibly excited about this partnership with The Forces In Mind Trust. Taking a direct lead from our Patrons, The Foundation is committed to ensuring those who have given so much serving their country in the Armed Forces are, in turn, given as much support as they and their families need to re-integrate into civilian society. We hope The Foundation’s involvement and resources will further allow The Forces In Mind Trust to become a major new source of support and leadership in this incredibly important sector.”

Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund UK Chair said:

“I am delighted that The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry will be working in partnership with The Forces In Mind Trust as its vital work to support former servicemen and women and their families moves into action. By investing this £35 million, the BIG Lottery Fund is enabling a ground-breaking programme of expertly-designed interventions and activities, offering essential direct assistance which will not only improve to the lives of ex-service personnel directly but inform national policy and practice more widely.”

“Some 20,000 people leave the forces each year. There is so much more we can and should do to support their transition and the work of The Trust will pinpoint gaps and deliver improvements in evidenced fashion to the benefit of veterans and their families.”

The Chairman of The Forces in Mind Trust, Air Vice-Marshal Tony Stables said:

“Our intention is to give those leaving the armed services, and their families, the best opportunity for a successful return to civilian life so that they can fully participate in society. As a first step, The Forces In Mind Trust will undertake a comprehensive review of the transition process from military service to civilian life for all service men and women, and their families. The aim is to ensure that we are able to provide the evidence needed to deliver projects, either directly or in partnership with other charities and organisations, so that those undergoing transition have a positive outcome.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will tonight attend the UK Premiere of DreamWorks Pictures’ ‘War Horse’ in aid of The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. Over 600 serving and ex-serving military personnel and their families have been invited to the Premiere, alongside beneficiaries of military charities, with the aim of raising awareness of the issue surrounding transition to civilian life.