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£210,000 grant to help ex-Servicemen and women back to civilian life

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Glyndŵr University has been awarded a grant of over £210,000 to help ex-Servicemen and women make a successful transition back to civilian life.

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), has continued to help ex-Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, by awarding a grant of £210,859 over two years to the Wrexham university. The findings of the two-year research project will be used to develop future strategic policies.

Dr Nikki Lloyd-Jones, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Life Sciences, said the idea came about after the North Wales Armed Forces Forum identified a need to fill the gap in the cultural differences between military and civilian life.

The university will complete the project in partnership with members of the Forum, including representatives from the Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board and local authorities in the region.

“This is an exciting opportunity to undertake research intended to inform future public service deliverers,” said Dr Lloyd-Jones. ”From anecdotal accounts we know about service leavers’ experiences of navigating cultural differences when leaving the Armed Forces, we also know that those in the wider community who regularly interact with ex-Service personnel could improve how they respond to everyday needs.”

She added: “The research will explore this further, mapping out some of the significant decision-making issues experienced when becoming a civilian.

"Based in North Wales, the research team will be looking to recruit people to engage in this project, if you have left the Armed Services and live in the area we would like to hear from you. You can contact us through main reception at Glyndŵr University.”

Dr Peter Higson, Chair of the North Wales Armed Forces Forum said 'The Forum strongly supported the bid from Glyndŵr University and we are delighted that this has been successful. This work will make a huge and important difference to the support that we give the Armed Forces Community both in North Wales and across Wales generally.’

The initiative will enable the university and FiMT to gain a better understanding of current perceptions of public sector provision and any potential contrast with reality, through the development of an engagement model.

The aim is to enhance cultural understanding and integration which will help inform and influence policy makers and service deliverers who regularly interact with ex-Service personnel and their families.    

The project will develop a tool to evaluate integration, exploring the experiences of ex-Service men and women when going through the transition process, whilst also aiming to help generate a programme that will eradicate the sense of exclusion felt by some ex-Service personnel.

The study will be conducted in North Wales, but the findings should be applicable more widely by providing empirical evidence to develop strategic policies about facilitating and evaluating successful integration into civilian life for ex-Service personnel.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Although many of the research projects we have funded so far have included Wales within the scope, this is the first project that Forces in Mind Trust is funding based in Wales.

"Understanding the cultural differences is an important step towards improving the chances of a successful transition to civilian life, and so we are delighted to be funding this important research at Glyndwr University. The findings will lead to a better understanding about transition both in North Wales and more widely.”

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