Military service is difficult, demanding and dangerous. But returning to civilian life also poses challenges for the men and women who have served in the armed forces. We work with charities helping ex-service personnel and their families build a more resilient future.
Supporting serving and ex-service personnel and their families
“We are incredibly grateful to LPF for understanding our vision for how we can use sensory modulation in occupational therapy to support veterans living with trauma-related mental health problems, paving the way for other organisations to weave this unique intervention into their occupational therapy service. This type of treatment is already changing so many veterans’ lives.”Christie Alken, Combat Stress Lead Research Occupational Therapist
Each year, 15,000 personnel leave the UK Armed Forces and return to civilian life and their families. For the majority, the transition is successful, but a high proportion of veterans still find this process challenging, putting them in a vulnerable position. Since 2010, the Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund (LPF) has donated more than £4 million to support serving and ex-service personnel and their families. Since 2020, the LPF is proud to have established two new charity partnerships, with Combat Stress, the veteran's mental health charity, and RFEA, The Forces Employment Charity.
LPF has funded training and equipment for the new sensory modulation national pilot scheme run by Combat Stress. The programme is designed help veterans who are living with trauma-based mental health problems and who are going through the stabilisation phase of treatment with Combat Stress for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sensory modulation is a practice that helps individuals to understand their senses and to develop coping strategies to ground and calm them.
The pilot scheme is being delivered by Combat Stress occupational therapists to 1,300-plus veterans who suffer from mental health conditions including PTSD, anxiety or depression. The evidence shows this approach helps to strengthen veterans’ family relationships, increases their participation in trauma therapy, and improves their job satisfaction. Building on this initial pilot project, Lloyd’s has continued to work with Combat Stress to fund research that will develop further evidence for the use of sensory modulation in treating veterans who are experiencing trauma.
The pilot scheme and further research will showcase how this new approach can help veterans to build resilience and improve their lives and careers if used more widely. As a result of the Combat Stress research, sensory modulation has been embedded across the service and is attracting growing national recognition as a successful intervention with veterans.
Engagement with practitioners across the NHS and other voluntary sectors has also revealed a wider interest in using sensory modulation with military and ex-forces personnel, and a collective willingness to find ways to share this information across services to ultimately improve veteran recovery.
The Forces Employment Charity
LPF has also funded a pilot project with The Forces Employment Charity to introduce new Families Employment Advisors, to support spouses and families of serving Armed Forces and ex-service personnel with gaining employment. The pilot focuses on families in need, where the veteran is struggling to find or sustain work. Military spouses and partners can also experience greater difficulty in both finding and keeping employment due to frequent relocation, separation from family members who help with providing childcare, the impact of living in relatively isolated locations, and potentially negative employer attitudes.
As two-income families increasingly become the norm, members of the armed forces community are being increasingly disadvantaged which is why the service supports spouses and partners into employment. Securing a second income means a family can be more resilient through transition and beyond. The Families Employment Programme supports spouses or partners with career diagnostics, casework, and access to vocational training and suitable job opportunities. The programme aims to increase their confidence, stability, wellbeing and employability, to help them transition into employment, education or training.
People who have been part of the programme often have other barriers to overcome such as mental health issues, debt and housing problems, and the charity works to address these complex needs through a network of other military charities and organisations that provide specialist support. The success of the programme has enabled the charity to advise the Office of Veteran Affairs UK and it continues to contribute to the Government’s Veterans Strategy to highlight the importance of employment support for Armed Forces Families.
“The RFEA Families Programme for spouses and partners has made a significant difference to so many partners who have felt empowered, gained in confidence, and of course landed some super jobs. This has huge benefits for them, for employers who can harness this incredible talent pool, and helps the retention of those still serving. LPF’s support has been pivotal to the programme’s success.”Alistair Halliday, CEO, RFEA
About Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund
Founded in 1803, Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund (LPF) is the oldest military charity of its kind, supporting the armed forces community on behalf of the Lloyd’s market. We focus on improving the transition to civilian life for veterans and their families who need the most help.
Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund partners with military charities who are best placed to meet the mental health and employment needs of the military community.
In addition, LPF has an annual grant giving programme to award small grants to support charities that enable veterans and their families to build successful civilian lives and careers. Since 2020, the LPF has had two new charity partners in Combat Stress and the Forces Employment Charity, RFEA.
For over a century Combat Stress has been helping former servicemen and women deal with mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. Today, the charity provides specialist treatment and support for veterans from every service and conflict, focusing on those with complex mental health issues related to their military service. The charity’s specialist team is made up of different mental health professionals who treat veterans’ symptoms, help them to tackle their past, aim to improve their quality of life and assist them with taking on the future.
Founded as The National Association for Employment of Reserve and Discharged Soldiers in 1885, before becoming known as the Regular Forces Employment Association in 1967, RFEA has focused on preparing Armed Forces personnel for civilian employment while they are in service. Recognising the challenges Forces personnel face when making this transition, RFEA provides life-long support, jobs and training opportunities to Service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families, with a range of programmes and practical tools tailored to each individual.