Tuesday 26th March 2024

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (The Trust) is delighted to announce 21 new, targeted projects worth £870,000, that will deliver real change for young Service children in the latest round of the Armed Forces Families Fund: Early Years programme.

That’s a total of more than £2.1 million in grant awards since the programme launched in 2022!

Enhancing training opportunities

In Scotland, Argyll and Bute Council have been awarded £79,920 for their two-year project, providing a series of training and mentoring sessions for Early Years staff, including childminders, who work with Armed Forces families stationed at HM Naval Base Clyde. Collaborating with external organisations, the project will deliver innovative and practical training for the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) workforce, developing accessible resources for both ELC staff and Armed Forces families.

Early Years Development Officer, Ailsa Dominick, said:

“The funding will help develop ELC practitioners’ emotional literacy skills. The training and mentoring sessions will be focused on the needs of Naval families, with a specific focus on how to support each stage of the emotional cycle of deployment therefore enhancing the quality of ELC for families across the area.”

Providing specialist support

With an award of £24,719, Sandhurst Station Nursery aims to provide comprehensive Special Educational Needs (SEN) training to all staff members, alongside delivering specialised SEN training to select individuals. This will increase expertise within the nursery ensuring that there is an SEN trained practitioner present in each room throughout the nursery opening hours.

Lucy Hawkner, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Sandhurst Station Nursery, told us:

“This funding could not have been granted at a better time. A recent Lived Experience survey told us that Permanent Staff at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst need good quality, accessible Early Years provision that better covers the long working hours of a Training Establishment. This funding will allow us to safely trial longer opening hours to better serve Permanent Staff and their families. The funding will also be used to ensure all our staff receive SEN training, and to increase the working hours of our 1:1 SEN staff to better support our children with additional needs. We are so thankful to the Armed Forces Family Fund: Early Years Programme for enabling us to make these positive changes that will directly improve the lived experience of Armed Forces personnel and their families.”

Support for our youngest Service children

Sonia Howe, Director of Policy and Communications at the Trust, said:

“We’re thrilled to have been able to support so many fantastic Early Years projects providing a clear benefit to our youngest Service children. The aim of this funding is to increase capacity of these setting, help meet increased demand and fund much-needed additional training and resources to equip Early Years settings to meet the needs of all Service children. These latest awards reflect the aims of the programme, and we’re keen to see the positive impact they will have.”

Find out more

Check out the full list of awards made in this latest round on their website www.covenantfund.org.uk.

Keep up to date with funding opportunities.

 For the latest updates and announcements on funding opportunities the Trust has available throughout the year, sign up to their e-newsletter via their website www.covenantfund.org.uk

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