International research centre for veterans’ issues opening at Anglia Ruskin University in Essex

Alex Cooper (director, FiMT Research Centre), Hans Pung (chairman, FiMT and president of Rand Europe

Alex Cooper (director, FiMT Research Centre), Hans Pung (chairman, FiMT and president of Rand Europe), Matt Fossey (director, Veterans and Families Institute, Anglia Ruskin University) and Professor Iain Martin (vice-chancellor, Anglia Ruskin University), celebrate setting up of new veteran's research centre at Anglia Ruskin University. Picture: PHILIP MYNOTT - Credit: Archant

A new international research centre focusing on veterans’ issues is being opened at Anglia Ruskin University’s Chelmsford campus.

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has given funding to the university to run the FiMT Research Centre.

It follows on from the work of the university’s Veterans and Families Institute which has already been carrying out such research – including a pilot project supporting veterans in the criminal justice system in Suffolk.

The new centre will sit within the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education as an integrated part of the institute.

It will not only help policy makers draw up accurate interventions, but also support the media in reporting veterans’ issues and support services with their work.


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The centre will provide advice and support and also produce fresh research into issues affecting ex-service personnel and their families. It will also organise an annual conference and awards ceremony to celebrate such research.

The FiMT research centre will also manage the Veterans and Families Research (VFR) Hub, a newly-launched, easily-searchable and free-to-use online resource of international research-related information on veterans.

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Lord Ashcroft, university chancellor, author of the Veterans Transition Review, and patron of the new FiMT research centre, said: “In my work on the transition of service personnel back into civilian life, one theme that has arisen time and again is the problem of finding reliable, easily accessible information that could help policy makers reach decisions, the media report accurately about veterans, and be an invaluable resource for the Armed Forces, veterans and the wider public.

“The Veterans and Families Research Hub, operated by the FiMT Research Centre at Anglia Ruskin University, will become the first port of call for everybody who wants to find good information and the best research. It is welcome and much-needed, and I encourage everybody to use it and submit their research and studies to it, so that we quickly establish the world’s centre of excellence in this field.”

Ray Lock, chief executive of FiMT, said: “The launch of the research centre and hub represents a significant step forward toward this vitally important goal, which in turn will result in better understanding of and service provision for ex-service personnel and their families.”

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