Tuesday, 5 March 2024
Tuesday, 5 March 2024

£254,000 grant to charity for its work with homeless veterans

ROYAL British Legion Industries (RBLI) has been awarded a £254,000 grant by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for its mental health STEP-IN programme that supports veterans who were street homeless, or at risk of homelessness, to independent living.

The Trust is awarding grants on behalf of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs towards projects that contribute to the aims of the government’s ambition to reduce veteran homelessness and end rough sleeping. The £254,000 grant from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust will be used for work with veterans at RBLI’s Mountbatten Pavilion, the charity’s 28-bed emergency accommodation for homeless veterans, and those at risk of becoming homeless at its veterans’ Village in Aylesford, Kent.

Lisa Farmer, Chief Executive of RBLI this morning said:

“We are grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for its substantial grant of £254,000, which will enable us to increase our support to homeless veterans throughout the UK. The fund has been established as part of a programme of work to tackle veteran homelessness over the next year. The resource will be used directly to offer emergency accommodation and welfare support to veterans who are either currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.”

At Mountbatten Pavilion veterans go through the charity’s STEP-IN programme of structured coaching that has been designed to help them back to independent living within 18 months. A member of staff supports each veteran to identify life goals in structured STEP-IN coaching sessions, and staff design a programme to enable them to overcome any challenges.

John Cowman, Director of Living and Welfare at RBLI, welcomed the news and said:

“Our sector-leading service at Mountbatten Pavilion in Aylesford helps homeless veterans from across the UK to access the accommodation and the support they require to achieve stability, good physical and mental health, employment and, ultimately, independent living in the wider community. Specifically, the fund will be used to enhance the mental health interventions required to kick-start this journey to independence. Our work fits with Op Fortitude, the pathway for homeless veterans that was launched nationally by Veterans’ Minister Johnny Mercer to end veteran homelessness. Our partnership with PTSD Resolution and our Op Fortitude partner, The Riverside Group, will be central to the success of the enhanced support.”

RBLI’s emergency accommodation has an established pathway with housing providers nationwide, including The Riverside Group, who as part of Op Fortitude, an important initiative from the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, are working together to speed up access to emergency accommodation in every corner of the UK. This announcement coincides with the announcement of a new national hotline, part of Op Fortitude, for veterans to call in distress. RBLI is able to move homeless veterans in within 24 hours of referral. This relationship will see RBLI extend its reach across the UK as well as being able to advise and work with others to support homeless veterans.

PTSD Resolution is a partner in RBLI’s STEP-IN programme, which deliver a 12-week counselling intervention course at Mountbatten Pavilion, as the grant will also be used to pay for PTSD Resolution to provide more counselling and therapy sessions.

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