Veterans Challenge Fund

I don't (after a admittedly a very quick search) Know whether this has been posted before, but I thought this might interest a few on here.

I only came across it by chance whilst searching for something else, perhaps it should have had better publicity?


Veterans Challenge Fund

Key information

Funding area:
UK wide
Open for applications
Full scheme details

Start date:
The Veterans Challenge Fund (VCF) supports the Strategy for Veterans, developed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in consultation with other government departments and ex-service organisations representing veterans.
Total Fund Value:
£ 750,000
Grant value average:
£ 17,000
Grant Value - maximum:
£ 100,000
Grant Value - notes:
The Fund is credited annually on 1 April with £750,000 for distribution during that financial year. There are no maximum or minimum limits, but past awards have ranged from £400 to £95,000 in value. Awards are restricted to a maximum of £100,000 to ensure fair distribution of funding.
Extended Description:
The Veterans Challenge Fund (VCF) supports the Strategy for Veterans, developed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in consultation with other government departments and ex-service organisations representing veterans.

The Strategy for Veterans has three key pillars, to ensure that veterans receive:

excellent preparation for the transition to civilian life following their service;

support in terms of the provision of advice and help from the Government and voluntary sector where needed;

recognition of their contribution to society.

Applications for financial support from the VCF must fall under at least one of these three headings, or be concerned with researching veterans’ issues or improving communication of veterans’ issues to service deliverers or veterans themselves. The VCF Screening Committee is keen to see bids that encompass the intergenerational passing on of knowledge or bids that support, or are part of, a project organised by schools. It is particularly aimed at supporting initiatives that would take the Veterans Programme in new directions, or into areas that are not possible as part of currently funded activities, though it is recognised that these could be small scale as well as the larger headline grabbing initiatives.

Further Information:
The Strategy for Veterans defines a veteran as:

all those who have served in the UK Armed Forces (whether regular or reservist);
widows/widowers and the dependents of ex-servicemen and women;
in exceptional cases, ex-members of the Merchant Navy who took direct part in military operations.
The VCF cannot provide funding to:

replace any existing sources of funding (including any in MOD) or to duplicate existing activities of other bodies;

support the routine activity of an outside body (e.g. core administration or running costs);

support ongoing/recurring activity, such as reunions or receptions or activities where other sources of funding already exist to offset the costs of these activities.

Key Criteria:
Decisions on whether to support a bid for financial assistance from the VCF will be based on the following factors:

Clear evidence that the bid reflects the veterans related policy priorities set out in the Strategy for Veterans (summarised above). This will ensure that each proposal can be robustly linked to the objectives of the Veterans Programme.
Clear evidence that the VCF bid wholly or partly addresses a specific and identifiable ‘gap’ in existing activity, equipment, facilities, or knowledge. Such a gap may be considered to exist if a lack of funds has previously prevented an activity from taking place.
Whether bids are able to demonstrate value for money.
Demonstration of clearly defined outcomes, accountability, and timescales for expenditure to ensure proper management of the activity.
Previously awarded funds:
Examples of previous successful bids include:

a veterans related Citizens Advice Bureau advice booklet and research into mentoring vulnerable service leavers (transition);
training courses for trainers in widow’s bereavement issues;
research into late onset PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder);
an educational display linked to the Far East Prisoner of War memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Application Procedure:
Applicants are strongly advised to discuss their bid with staff from the MOD’s Veterans Policy Unit prior to completing their application in order to discuss any queries they might have, and ensure that their idea is presented in the best fashion possible to the Veterans Challenge Fund Screening Committee (see the contact information below).

Application forms can be downloaded from the bottom of this page, or can be obtained from the Veterans Policy Unit or the Veterans Agency website (see links at the bottom of this page). Completed application forms should be sent to the address below.

There is no closure date for applications. The Fund is managed across the financial year based on when an applicant states that they would wish to call on the Fund’s resources.

Contact Information:

Veterans Policy Unit – Veterans Challenge Fund
Ministry of Defence Main Building
Floor 7, Zone H,
0207 218 9787/9225
House of Commons debates
Monday, 27 March 2006

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence
Veterans Challenge Fund

Edward Miliband (Doncaster North, Labour)
I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. Does he agree that the veterans challenge fund can play an important role in helping excellent organisations, such as the Dunscroft branch of the Royal British Legion in my constituency, at whose annual dinner I am speaking, as part of the veterans day celebrations? Does he further agree that all hon. Members have a responsibility to help to promote take-up and awareness of the veterans challenge fund, so that our most vulnerable veterans can get the support that they deserve?


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