Grants are available to Armed Forces charities for projects and activities that support the mental health and wellbeing of veterans.

Funding body: HM Government
Maximum value: £ 35,000
Application deadline: 25/08/2020

The Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund is managed by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust and provided by the UK Government, which announced it was making £10 million available to support this cause in the Autumn Budget 2018. In February 2020 the Trust was then provided with a £10 million uplift for 2020/21 by HM Treasury to deliver charitable projects and initiatives that support veterans with mental health needs (although some of this was spent on meeting immediate needs by veterans as a result of coronavirus/COVID-19).

The Armed Forces Covenant Trust is an independent charitable trust that was established in April 2018 and is also responsible for delivering the £10 million per year Covenant Fund and the £30 million Aged Veterans Fund.

Objectives of Fund
The Positive Pathways Programme offers grants to charities or community interest companies working with Armed Forces veterans who need support to improve their mental health and wellbeing. The programme has two overall aims:

  • To support high quality work that benefits veterans who have mental health needs.
  • To enable the organisations that are delivering this work to build referral pathways, both into and onwards, from the support they offer working collaboratively with the Trust’s strategic partners.

Value Notes
Fixed grants of £35,000 for one year are available towards project costs.

Those receiving a grant under the Positive Pathways Programme will be able to get support and guidance from the Trust’s strategic partners to help connect their work with wider networks that support veterans’ mental health (more information about this will be provided to successful applicants within their offer letter).

The Positive Pathways programme has a total budget of up to £5.2 million.

Who Can Apply
Applications are accepted from registered charities or community interest companies (CICs) that have veterans or serving personnel and/or their families as their sole or primary beneficiaries.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Meet the Trust’s definition of an Armed Forces charity or CIC.
  • Have at least three unrelated trustees or directors.
  • Have a track record of supporting veterans with mental health and wellbeing.
  • Have at least one year’s worth of published accounts (either audited or independently examined).
  • Can demonstrate financial robustness and organisational sustainability for the period of the project including post grant reporting period.
  • Partnership working with other organisations, either informally or as delivery partners who will help develop and deliver the overall project, is encouraged.

Organisations that have received a previous Positive Pathways grant for one year and can demonstrate that their project has been successful and there is demand for it, can apply for continuation funding, providing the organisation does not have three or more active Positive Pathways grants. (Organisations cannot apply for a continuation grant for projects that have received funding for a two-year period.)

The Trust is keen to encourage applications from organisations supporting veterans in the West Midlands and West Scotland, as these are currently under represented in previous funding rounds. It does not expect to fund UK-wide or multi-region projects under this programme.

Eligible organisations can make more than one application to this programme for distinct and separate projects.


Funding is not be available for:

  • Charities or CICs that do not primarily support the Armed Forces.
  • Brand new charities or CICs that have no track record of supporting the Armed Forces community.
  • Local authorities, schools and other public sector organisations, though they can be a partner organisation.
  • Individuals.
  • Companies, clubs, community groups and other unincorporated organisations, which are not registered as charities. (If they have been properly constituted under an adopted governing document and have been operating under that governing document for at least three years, then they can be a partner organisation.)
  • Partnerships and social enterprises that are not registered charities or CICs (they can work as a partner with an eligible lead applicant).
  • Clinical care or treatment.
  • Capital schemes, such as building a veterans’ centre.
  • Topping up existing grants and aid from another government department.
  • Benefiting one person.
  • Investments.
  • Organisational fundraising activities, including sponsored walks or similar.
  • Grant giving (to other organisations or individuals).
  • Endowments (to provide a source of income).
  • Projects, activities or services that the state has a legal obligation to provide.
  • Retrospective funding for activities or management costs for projects that have already taken place.
  • Excessive contingency, research or management costs or professional fees.

Eligible Expenditure
Grants are available to fund a range of activities that will have a positive impact on the mental health and wellbeing of veterans throughout the UK (projects are not expected to be UK-wide or multi-region under this programme).

Applicants will need to demonstrate the following:

  • That there is evidence of a need for the project. (This could be through research or through the organisation’s own data and experience.)
  • That the activity is clearly defined and not a duplication of an existing service provision in the organisation’s area.
  • That veterans really want to take part and will be active participants in the activity being proposed. The Trust is particularly interested in funding activities and projects that are wholly, or in part, led by veterans.
  • How the activity being offered will help to improve mental wellbeing and what veterans will gain as a result of it.
  • That they are prepared to work with other organisations that can help connect the work into wider pathways of support.
  • Projects must be activity based, which might be:
    • Sports: adventurous and other sports including adaptive and disability sports.
    • Arts/culture activities: music, theatre or drama projects.
    • Getting outside: gardening, outdoors activities such as forestry or bees.
    • Heritage projects: including conservation or archaeology.

Grants can be used to pay towards most of the costs needed for delivering the project, such as:

  • Salaries and fees.
  • Travel.
  • Equipment.
  • Materials.
  • Venue hire.

How To Apply
The next application deadlines are:

Round 4 – 25 August 2020 (12:00) for a decision by the end of November 2020.
Round 5 – 30 November 2020 (12:00) for a decision by the end of February 2020.
An online application form is available to complete on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust’s website.

Useful Links
Grant Programmes
Positive Pathways Programme

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