Royal-backed trust to help soldiers
A charitable trust set up to help soldiers make a successful transition to civilian life is being launched with the backing of £35 million - and the support of the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Funding from the Big Lottery Fund means the Forces in Mind Trust (FIMT), which has been given partnership support from the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, will begin helping veterans and ex-service personnel this week.
The FIMT, a partnership of UK forces charities and mental health organisations, led by the Confederation of Service Charities, is launching on the same day that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend the UK premiere of War Horse in Leicester Square.
The couple will be joined by 600 serving and former military personnel and their families, including beneficiaries of military charities, at the premiere in aid of the royal brothers' foundation.
The FIMT aims to provide UK-wide long-term support and advice during the next 20 years to ex-service personnel who wish to ease back into everyday life after experiencing action on the front line.
According to the trust, soldiers and their families can experience poor mental health, family breakdown and alcohol-related problems as they attempt to settle back into civilian life.
The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry will back the FIMT with grants over a three-year programme, help to raise awareness of the issues facing veterans and carry out research on the most effective ways to support their transition to civilian life.
Nick Booth, the foundation's chief executive, said: "We are incredibly excited about this partnership with Forces in Mind.
"Taking a direct lead from our patrons, the foundation is committed to ensuring those who have given so much serving their country in the Armed Forces are, in turn, given as much support as they and their families need to re-integrate into civilian society.
"We hope the foundation's involvement and resources will further allow the Forces in Mind Trust to become a major new source of support and leadership in this incredibly important sector."