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Cobseo Weekly News – Friday 20 November 2020

Raising accessibility standards for new homes

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government are seeking views on options to raise accessibility standards for new homes. They are seeking as wide a range of views of possible. The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 1 December 2020.

The consultation considers how to raise accessibility standards, recognising the importance of suitable homes for older and disabled people. In particular, it considers how the existing optional accessible and adaptable standard for homes and the wheelchair user standard are used and whether government should mandate a higher standard or reconsider the way the existing optional standards are used. Read more and take part here.

The Service Charity Sector and coronavirus (COVID-19) 

The coronavirus information hub can be found here with the following dedicated pages:

We remain committed to sharing updates from all Members, so please continue to send any updates on your services to Charlotte Fiander, Head of Communications, here and please share the Weekly News with all colleagues and contacts that you believe it could help. If additional contacts would like to be added to the Weekly News distribution list, please get in touch with Charlotte.

Changes to Members’ services during the ongoing pandemic

Some Members have recently updated the information currently shared on the Cobseo website COVID-19 regarding their current support for beneficiaries and services available following the recent nationwide lockdown. 

If any Cobseo Members have any updates to share, please send them through to Charlotte Fiander – Head of Communications – here so information can be updated online and shared wherever possible.

Sector news

Forces in Mind Trust awards £500,000 to the ADVANCE Study to explore military to civilian transition experiences of combat veterans

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded £500,000 to the ADVANCE Study Charity over the next five years, as part of a ground-breaking 20-year project exploring outcomes for battlefield casualties in the UK Armed Forces. The ADVANCE Study (The Armed Service Trauma Rehabilitation Outcome Study) is a collaboration between the Academic Department of Military Rehabilitation (ADMR, Stanford Hall), Imperial College London and King’s College London. It is the first comprehensive long-term cohort study to investigate the physical and psycho-social outcomes of battlefield casualties. Previous research into the long-term outcomes of Vietnam or World War II veterans have been inconclusive or focused on narrow criteria, resulting in the need for a methodologically robust cohort study. As such, the study is focused on those deployed in Afghanistan with the UK Armed Forces between 2002 and 2014, and will take place over a 20-year period. Read more here.

Invictus Games Foundation Conversation Webinar: ‘Beyond the Games: ‘The Unconquered Community –Thriving in a Complex and Uncertain World’

On 13 October 2020, the Invictus Games Foundation(IGF) conducted the fourth iteration of its ‘Conversation’ entitled ‘Beyond the Games: ‘The Unconquered Community –Thriving in a Complex and Uncertain World’. It followed on from the first iteration on 13 May entitled ‘Realising and Sharing the Invictus Spirit’, the second one on 8 July with the National Health Service (NHS) entitled ‘Preparing for Recovery: Learning from the Invictus Games Foundation’; and the third on 30 July entitled ‘the Sustainability of Projects post COVID-19’. The IGF is again indebted to the invaluable support provided by Ascot Rehab, the Fisher House Foundation and ISPS Handa in enabling the Conversation. It is also delighted that the webinar was attended by circa 100 people drawn from across the international community including the twenty Participating Nations of the Invictus Games. Read more here.

Armistice Day – reflections on the military’s outstanding service, past, present, and future by former Air Marshal, Sir Baz North and Lee Holloway, CEO of the Officers’ Association

For the first time in 100 years, there will be no gathering at the Cenotaph to mark Armistice Day this November. We will still remember the sacrifices of all those that fell during both world wars, and those from more recent conflicts, but it will be rather different. Another first this year has been that younger generations have seen our Armed Forces in action, in their hometowns and cities across the UK, as the 20,000 strong Covid Support Force has built hospitals, set-up and run testing stations and transported urgently needed PPE to the NHS front-line. As we struggle to adjust to the shifting sands of our new normal an interesting recruitment phenomenon is also occurring. Although rising job losses will continue to dominate the headlines in the weeks and months ahead as eye-watering unemployment numbers become worryingly familiar, for those businesses that are adapting and recruiting, the abilities of former military service personnel are cutting through. Read more here.

What impact has Veterans’ Foundation had on the Veterans’ community?

The Veterans’ Foundation have just released their Impact Report for the latest financial year, ended June 2020. Like the rest of the charity sector, The Veterans’ Foundation have experienced huge and unprecedented challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic but they are pleased to report that, in spite of this, they are is in good health and has done its utmost, as a grant-giving charity, to provide financial assistance to charities and other organisations directly helping and supporting veterans in need. They awarded £1.9 million of grants in the financial year and have awarded a further £800,000 since then. Read more here.

Warrington Yogini live streaming 30 days of yoga to fundraise for veterans

A yoga instructor from Warrington is doing 30 days of live instruction on her YouTube channel in order to raise money for the charity that supports blind and partially sighted veterans, Blind Veterans UK. Professional yoga instructor Katya Greer, 37 and from Glazebury in Warrington, is providing the sessions free of charge every morning in November. Read more here.

Combat Stress opens the Veterans’ Intensive Mental Health Service

Today we open the Veterans’ Intensive Mental Health Service (VIMHS), focusing on veterans with the most complex mental health needs – those who have several severe mental health conditions that often hugely impact their lives. Last year we began a review of our services to ensure we continue to deliver the best treatment and support to veterans across the UK in need of our expertise. Following a significant reduction in income at the beginning of the year, we made the very difficult decision to scale back our services and workforce to ensure we could continue supporting veterans now and in the future. We are committed to providing accessible, modern and evidence-based treatment, and are gradually taking on new referrals again across the UK. We are continuing to deliver the best possible treatment to veterans in need of our expertise as we position ourselves to support the NHS, which is moving to better serve veterans and their families within mainstream mental health services. In addition to complementing NHS mental health services for veterans, we are now working in partnership with NHS England to provide the High Intensity Service (HIS) and Complex Treatment Service (CTS) in the north of England. Read more here.

Mission Motorsport founder James Cameron Soldiering On Award

Mission Motorsport founder James Cameron talks to DRM about his Soldiering On Award and the veteran community COVID-19 response efforts. The 2020 Soldiering on Awards recognised many worthy winners including James Cameron, founder of Mission Motorsport, the Forces’ Motorsport Charity. The annual awards recognise the outstanding achievements of those who have served their country, and the diverse people and groups who work together in support of the Armed Forces Community. This year saw the inclusion of the Special Patron’s Award, recognising the special contribution the Armed Forces Community has played in the UK’s COVID-19 response efforts. Read more here.

Support SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity with new song – It’s Easy

On 11 November Anna Baines from Salisbury Wiltshire released It’s Easy in aid of SSAFA the Armed Forces charity. Anna is a military partner and works for SSAFA; seeing and supporting the important work SSAFA does to support the Armed Forces community. In just under a year, Anna is aiming to raise £2,500 for SSAFA. Her cut of the proceeds of It’s Easy will go towards her fundraising efforts until June, when she will take on a 5-day trek in the Balkans to complete her fundraising journey. Read more here.

Mission Motorsport receive Industry Accreditation as a Technical Training Centre

Mission Motorsport has recently become an Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) accredited training centre delivering not only a full level three, automotive industry approved light vehicle maintenance and repair course but also a level three Electric and Hybrid Vehicle technician course. A programme for courses in 2021 will be published in early December. Mission Motorsport is running skid pan training at Thruxton Circuit, Wiltshire on 8 December. Accessible to all, there is a discount of 50% for military and veteran personnel. Skid pan training is a low speed, risk free way to learn car control and ideal for anybody concerned with driving in wet or icy conditions. Read more here.

We’re ‘Lifting Our Sights’ and what do we see? Thoughts from Ray Lock, CEO of Forces in Mind Trust

Together with our partners Future Agenda, we have produced an initial perspective based on dozens of interviews and workshops as we identify the future trends that will affect the Armed Forces Community over the next decade. Earlier this year, I wrote in The House about the need for all those who support the Armed Forces Community, be they politician, official or charity, to look beyond the current trials and tribulations brought on by Covid-19. At this time of Remembrance, some of us are charged with looking forward not back and generating foresight through research and analysis. Hence the project that we at Forces in Mind Trust are now part way through: ‘Lifting Our Sights’. Together with our partners Future Agenda, we have produced an initial perspective based on dozens of interviews and workshops as we identify the future trends that will affect us over the next decade. Many are global trends, but we’re interested in their relevance to the UK’s Armed Forces Community, currently numbering around 6 million. Read more here.

There is still time to share your views to help improve health and wellbeing support for armed forces families in England 

The NHS questionnaire and series of virtual events to explore how it can improve health and wellbeing support for serving, reserve and veteran families in England is still live.  Anyone can share their views, however, the NHS is particularly keen to hear from serving, reserve and veteran families, people who are serving in or who have served in the British armed forces (regular and reserves) and organisations working with or supporting the armed forces community. To find out more, and to get involved, please visit the NHS England and NHS Improvement website. The deadline for responding is 30 November 2020.

Sandhurst pen pal scheme

The Sandhurst Trust has introduced a pen pal scheme for older alumni of the Royal Military Academy. 45 retired officers aged 76-92 are writing to or emailing a similar number of officer cadets aged 19-24. While it is widely understood that many older people are shielding and isolated at home, the cadets have a parallel existence. Confined to camp for the duration of each 14 week term and isolated in platoon ‘families’, the cadets have leapt at the chance to learn from the experiences of the veterans.  While the veterans may be amazed that today’s cadets patrol in the field with night vision goggles and a personal radio each…the cadets equally learn that exercises were conducted in the 1950s in hobnailed boots with bolt-action rifles.

Deptherapy’s Dr Richard Cullen becomes a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

Dr Richard Cullen, Chairman of Scuba Diving Rehabilitation Charity Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education, has been recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society is a prestigious Fellowship that is open to those who demonstrate a sufficient involvement in geography or an allied subject through publications, research or professional experience. Read more here.

Members can access the Cobseo news page on the website hereAll Members are invited to send their news with Cobseo to share on the website – please send it to

The jobs page on the Cobseo website can be accessed herePlease send all job adverts with full details explaining how candidates can apply and deadlines to

Member newsletters

Funding opportunities

Grants from The Veterans’ Foundation
The Veterans’ Foundation continues to provide grants to cover pandemic-induced need and other ‘normal’ grants.  The former may be considered out-of-committee and decided upon within a week.  The next deadline for normal grant applications this year is the end of Dec 20. The maximum grant in both circumstances is £30K, however, we have also introduced a NEW salary grant which can provide up to £40K spread over two years for salaries, only salaries, to help small and medium-wealth organisations.  The application process for all grants is online here: If you have any queries, please contact

A Force for Change in Armed Forces communities

In early 2020, the Trust ran an open consultation to explore how they could best make small grants locally. Based on feedback, they’ve designed the Armed Forces Covenant Fund: Force for Change programme which will support Forces communities in addressing local needs and promoting social inclusion. Grants of up to £20,000 will be available for one-year projects and this year, there will be an additional focus on supporting volunteer-run projects that need some additional help.

What could we apply to do? 

We will fund a wide range of projects under this programme. However, you must be able to show us that your project fits under one of these two main themes.

  • Empowering Armed Forces communities to become more engaged in their local area.
  • Providing opportunities for isolated members of the Armed Forces community to take part in activities that improve general wellbeing.

This year, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will be particularly welcoming applications for projects that help Armed Forces communities move to the ‘new normal’ while continuing to support local needs and reduce isolation. You could apply for work that builds on an earlier project you have been involved with or for a completely new idea. Your project will however, need to show that it is delivering a direct benefit to people from Armed Forces communities, and that it will help to reduce isolation.

When do I need to apply by?

Applications close at noon on 30 November. Find out more and apply here

Final round Positive Pathways Programme £35,000 for one-year project

As part of the Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, the Positive Pathways programme will award fixed grants of £35,000 for projects developed by and for Veterans. Projects should aim to improve veterans’ mental health and wellbeing by getting Veterans out and active – find full details here. The deadline for applications is noon on 30 November.

Assistance with writing Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust bids from Cobseo

If Members would like assistance with writing bids for funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, please get in touch with Rachel Pricehere who can provide advice and support.

Member events calendar

In light of current event cancellations, postponements and rescheduling, we will share the latest news here as well as in the Member Calendar below.

24 NovemberSCiP Alliance Virtual Training Conference for Schools: Yorkshire & North East
25 NovemberOfficers’ Association Virtual Employment Forum
25 NovemberBFBS Academy free webinar ‘The Social Slant’ with Matt Navarra
10 to 20 DecemberWalking Home for Christmas

Cobseo calendar

Cobseo Executive Meeting(for Executive Committee members only)2 December1400 to 1630Online

Cobseo Cluster meeting calendar

Care23 NovemberStephen Barnett, The Royal British
Research25 NovemberCaroline Tapper, FiMT Research

Training available from Cobseo Members

Please note that some of the courses listed below may be moved to be offered online or rescheduled. All updates will be shared here and on the Cobseo website and Members’ Twitter channel as and when available.

Employment training

BFBSSocial Media Storytelling30 November to 3 December   Online  
Defence Medical Welfare Services (DMWS) 10% off for Cobseo MembersLevel 3 Diploma in Human Welfare and Management23 November to 27 November 25 January 2021 to 29 January 2021 15 March to 19 MarchAndover  
Armed Forces Mental Health First Aid – two day2 DecemberAndover  
RBLI LifeworksVeterans’ five-day face to face course23 NovemberTBC  
RBLI LifeWorks FamiliesFamilies remote workshop24 NovemberOnline  
HighGroundRural Weekplease contact Anna, to find out more  
X-ForcesMilitary in Business Networking Virtual Event25 NovemberNorth East and Yorkshire  
Self-Employment Virtual Workshop30 November  
Military in Business Networking Virtual Event30 NovemberSouth and South East  
Business Continuity Virtual Masterclass2 December  
Military in Business Networking Virtual Event7 DecemberSouth Wales and West  
Brand and Marketing Masterclass15 December  
Military in Business Networking Virtual Event15 DecemberCentral and East England  
Self- Employment Discovery Virtual Workshop16 December  

Health and Wellbeing training


Additional needs support groups – click here to find out more

PTSD Resolution 

Trauma Awareness Training for Charities – click here to find out more

The Warrior Programme

Online courses (half day) are available on the following days:    

Click here for further information.     

Personal development

The Royal Artillery Centre for Personal Development offers a wide range of courses; click here for further details.

Cobseo contact details

The Cobseo team can be contacted by email and phone as before using the following contact details:

Ian Caws: / 0207 811 3224

Caroline Wood: / 0207 811 3225

Roy Brown: please contact by email

Charlotte Fiander: / 0207 901 8903

Rachel Price: / 07900 615 346

Natalie Chambers: / 0207 811 3200

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