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Wednesday, 23 September 2020


Vital research into the impact of future trends on the armed forces community is launched

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A new paper has been published this week by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and Future Agenda.

The ‘Lifting Our Sights: Beyond 2030 – the impact of future trends on the transition of our Armed Forces Community from military to civilian life Initial Perspective paper provides valuable insights into the future trends which may impact the Armed Forces Community in 2030 and beyond.

This overview is based on 47 expert interviews and is the first of three phases in the twelve-month-long ‘Lifting Our Sights’ programme of research. The Initial Perspective paper will now be used to stimulate wider debate in a series of discussions, ethnographic research and expert workshops throughout the rest of the year.

The Initial Perspective looks at the macro societal, as well as the national shifts likely to occur in 2030. It considers trends affecting both the Armed Forces Community and the Armed Forces charities sector, such as rising health, wealth and education inequality, the impact of global warming, and COVID-19. Likely implications are highlighted and questions about the best way to address the challenges ahead are raised. This is an important first step and will help form the next project phases.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive at Forces in Mind Trust, said:

“We are extremely excited to publish the first phase of ‘Lifting Our Sights’. This is an important project which will help identify what the future landscape might look like for Service leavers and their families as they transition from military to civilian life.

“This initial perspective is just the beginning of the ‘Lifting Our Sights’ journey; we want as many people as possible to become involved, and to use the report to stimulate wide debate. This will help us to gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the Armed Forces Community, as well for the voluntary and statutory organizations that support them.”

The next phase of the research will delve deeper into the implications of the highlighted trends, and how they may impact the specific issues that are relevant to transitioning Service personnel, including areas such as the future of housing, career opportunities, mental health, and wellbeing. A series of digital workshops will be held in the autumn, and comments and questions are being sought from a wide range of stakeholders, such as what areas could usefully be added.

Academics, policymakers, members of the charity sector and business community, as well as senior stakeholders, have all been consulted and collaboratively will ensure everyone, including central and local government, work with the Armed Forces Community to develop the support they need.

To get involved please email douglas.jones@futureagenda.org.

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