New trust for veterans wins royal support

A CHARITABLE trust set up to help soldiers make a successful transition to civilian life has been launched with the backing of £35m 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, was launched yesterday – the day the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the UK premiere of War Horse in Leicester Square in aid of the royal brothers’ foundation.

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The FIMT aims to provide 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 and family breakdown 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, and help to raise awareness of the issues facing veterans.

Nick Booth, the foundation’s chief executive, said: “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.”