Thursday 23rd March 2023
The Armed Forces Families Fund is delivering real change for Armed Forces communities, including Service children and partners of Service personnel:
- £2 million awarded to 54 projects specifically for Service pupils across the UK.
- £900K for 18 projects enhancing early years learning for Service children aged 0-5.
- £500K for 12 projects that will make a difference for the partners of our serving personnel.
What is the Armed Forces Families fund?
The UK Armed Forces Families Strategy was launched in January 2022 and represents the UK Government’s commitment to improving the lives of Service families. Following the launch of the strategy, the MOD created the Armed Forces Families Fund, a dedicated fund to deliver against the eight themes of the strategy: Family Life, Service Life, Family Home, Education, Health and Wellbeing, Childcare, Support to Partners and Spouses, and Non-UK families.
This fund helps to underpin much of the collaborative work with the Third Sector and other organisations, upon which the delivery of the strategy depends. This fund is administered on MOD’s behalf by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust. The Trust makes grants that have an impact on the lives of Armed Forces communities, including serving personnel, Armed Forces families, veterans, and their families.
The Armed Forces Families Fund in action: Stanchester Academy
How funding provided the Armed Forces Families Fund will be used to .
‘Stanchester’s Safe Space and Support’ project will provide a bespoke, supervised safe space for Service children. It will also be used as a meeting place, homework room and dining area, as well as a location for an additional Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) to provide one-to-one tutoring.
The project was designed following consultation with parents and pupils who ranked a safe space and Emotional Literacy Support, alongside one- to one tutoring as being the most impactful where service families are concerned.
As part of this project, a member of staff will also be trained as a ‘Bounce Forward Armed Forces Resilience Champion’, who will lead ‘Building resilience within military families’ sessions’ and other community events to help improve the lives of service children and their families.
Transforming Service children’s futures
Headteacher Gregg Mockridge said:
“We would like to thank The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and the Armed Forces Families Fund and mention how grateful we are to receive this grant. These grants are allocated for very specific projects and we are delighted to have the opportunity to transform the futures of our service children.”
Teacher Rebecca Hendry, who applied for the grant, was delighted to be awarded the funds:
“We have a high number of pupils that transfer to our secondary school in later years or mid way through the year. Many of our students experience having a parent deployed or based elsewhere and away during the week. By funding a specialist ELSA staff member and offer them extra tuition combined with a safe space we can ensure that they have all the support needed to help them.
The funding will help this project last until July 2024 and enables those pupils with the unique and often challenging circumstances of having a parent in the armed forces to talk to a trained member of staff and have the ability to catch up on core curriculum areas of maths, science and English that may have been impacted.
Supporting Service children’s wellbeing
Peter Davis, Head of the Armed Forces Families Team, said:
“We are really pleased with the breadth of work funded in this round of the Education Support Fund. Service pupils’ needs and the challenges they face have been properly considered in each of the 54 projects that will take place across the UK. From tackling the negative effects of separation, to allowing Service children the best chance of building resilience and developing their academic skills against a backdrop of mobility; these projects will make a positive difference to the wellbeing of Service children in many valuable ways and will contribute significantly to the implementation of the MOD’s Armed Forces Families Strategy.”
Further Funding available from April 2023
The Armed Forces Families Fund will reopen for applications from April 2023.
The Service Pupil Support Programme will open in early April. This programme will award grants to projects that meet one of the three key aims.
- Addressing the needs of SEND pupils through early identification and intervention using a collaborative and coordinated approach.
- Closing the gap in attainment between Service and non-Service pupils, using data led evidence.
- Identifying and addressing the needs of small cohorts of Service pupils within educational settings.
Further rounds of the Early Years Programme and Supporting Partners programme will open in Summer 2023; along with a specialist programme that will award a small number of strategic grants linked to themes within the wider Armed Forces Families strategy.
Find out more
For a full list of all projects funded under the Armed Forces Families Fund, check out the Trust’s website, www.covenantfund.org.uk
Photo: Rebecca Hendry with some of the 86 service pupils at Stanchester