A great new programme from the NCCF & BNTVA wins grant support from the Office of Veterans Affairs. Almost twelve months ago the NCCF began looking at how we reach our potential beneficiaries, Care Wellbeing and Inclusion Fund applications were falling and whilst the number of beneficiaries remained fairly constant we became concerned that many people who could benefit from the NCCF were just not coming forward.

We realised there were three key things that needed to be done 

  • Increase the Beneficiary Community reach
  • Encourage more CWI Fund Applications
  • Increase engagement within the beneficiary community

To deliver a project that would address these three goals nationwide would be a huge task that would swamp the resources of the charity. We developed the idea of running a pilot scheme so that we could develop each stage of the process ensuring it was maximised to our goals in our community.

Along with a number of initiatives from both the NCCF and the CHRC the Community Care Check concept was showcased to the Veterans Minister and representatives from the Office for Veterans Affairs and the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust at the Victory Services Club in London at the end of January 2023. 

We were asked to submit a bid for funding by the OVA for the Community Care Check Pilot.

The creation of this programme affects a significant sea change in the manner the NCCF delivers its charitable purpose. 

We will move from reactive to proactive methodology, using £70,000 of the Office of Veterans  Affairs funding, we are going out into the community, looking for interventions and expanding the reach of our interactions, we can achieve our change and adopt a proactive methodology along with building a unified supportive community under the BNTVA Connect initiative.

The OVA funding means that our initial cohort can be 150 beneficiaries who connect to a family pool of just under 1,000 people. Anecdotal evidence shows that any increase in health and well-being amongst beneficiaries propagates throughout their family. The NCCF has dedicated an additional £30,000 to the project along with ringfencing £200,000 to fund the increase in Care Wellbeing and Inclusion grants made while it is live.

The pilot will run over the next two years and the initial cohort of 150 beneficiaries has been selected from both the NCCF and BNTVA, under a data-sharing agreement. This will ensure that we can grow the project adapting and learning as we progress. Once the pilot has completed we will be publishing the results and analysis which will drive the development of a national outreach project.

This is a great pilot project for our community, we will be developing a national strategy to take the ‘Community Care Check’ and ‘BNTVA Connect’ out across the UK and at the same time we will be delivering direct help to those in
most need.

Ian Hall NCCF Chairman

As the pilot progresses we will be facilitating meetings under the banner ‘BNTVA Connect’ These will range from telephone support networks, through local coffee mornings or afternoon teas to mini-conference events across regions. 

The outreach team will be headed by Ian Higginbottom, the son of a military veteran who also worked within the nuclear industry. Ian has wide experience in developing and maintaining interactive relationships, he is professionally qualified in Safeguarding and is a member of the Befriending network.

In the first instance at the end of this year, we will write to every person in the pilot region advising them they are eligible to join the pilot cohort. We will also provide details of what this involves and specific security information they can use to validate any contact from the outreach team. 

The progress of the pilot will be reported in future issues of exposure.