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Wednesday 21st April 2021

The *NAAFI Welfare Fund Board supported by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (trust), is pleased to announce the first awards made to Forces units across the UK and overseas under the NAAFI Fund.

65 awards worth more than £700,000 have been made to help improve the quality of life for serving personnel and their families living on or near a military base.

This year, the Fund had an additional theme of tackling boredom and isolation, particularly in mind of the Covid-19 pandemic, but more generally encouraging our serving community to use their downtime well.

Supporting Service personnel and families worldwide

Awards were made that created renovated or repurposed outdoor areas, to provide facilities for serving personnel or Service children on or near the base. Several units identified the need for a community hub for both personnel and families; and provision of bikes to help people get out and active was popular.

Units from across the UK applied, and awards were made not only in England and each of the devolved nations, but overseas too including in Naples, Gibraltar, Cyprus and France.

Making the most of outdoor spaces

The United Kingdom Naval Support Unit received £20,000 to create an outdoor leisure area allowing military personnel to have an on-site, shaded facility that will allow them to relax and recuperate, bringing teams together on the base while helping to reduce boredom and isolation during their stay in theatre.

Lieutenant Callum Whyte told us: “The contribution from NAAFI Fund is nothing shy of outstanding. This award will be used to transform an unused block-paved area into a visually stunning, landscaped garden for our deployed personnel to relax in. With limited opportunities for R&R, the project will make a huge difference to everyone living within/alongside the UKMCC/UKNSF.”

Steve Marshall, NAAFI Chief Executive said “We are delighted to provide this valuable source of funding and to make a difference to the lives of our Armed Forces and their families, outside of what we are more traditionally known for. In round one we’ve funded a good mix of projects, across all three Services and we are eager to see them come to life over the next few months. We are also excited to see what we can achieve together with round two of funding and very much looking forward to seeing the bids start coming in.”

NAAFI Fund 2021

The NAAFI Fund has now reopened for the 2021 round.

As well as the continuing theme of improving life for serving personnel and their families living on or near a military base; this year the Fund will focus on making awards that seek to improve health and wellbeing, including mental health. Melloney Poole, Chief Executive, AFCT explains: “If you have a good idea that will improve wellbeing for our serving personnel and their families living on or near base, then have a look at our guidance; and then get in touch with NAAFI directly to share a short summary of what you would like to do. You’ll get feedback on whether you can fill out an application. We’ve put lots of information in our guidance to take you step-by-step through the process, which might particularly help if you have not previously applied for funding.”

This year, units can still apply for £5,000 to £20,000 and there is the added opportunity to apply for funding in excess of £20,000 for more ambitious projects of a larger scale. More information can be found in the NAAFI Fund programme guidance.

This remains a two-stage application process with units asked to submit a 50-word summary to NAAFI outlining their proposed project, no later than 14 July 2021. Successful submissions will then be invited to make a full application for funding before the deadline of 28 July 2021 with decisions made in October.

Find out more Full details about the awards made under the NAAFI Fund and how to apply to the new round, can be found on the Trust’s website:

*Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI).

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