Focus On Families

In this report, DSC explores armed forces charities' support for families. The report investigates the range of services provided by armed forces charities, the types of beneficiaries supported and how this support is delivered. It also explores the extent of collaboration, evaluation and challenges experienced by armed forces charities.


Download the report and the supporting materials via the links below.

New research shines light on armed forces charities' varied support for families

New research, published by the Directory of Social Change (DSC) and funded by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), shows that armed forces charities supported at least 89,000 individual family members and spent at least £68.5 million on support in the previous year.

Focus On: Armed Forces Charities' Support for Families finds that 268 of the UK’s approximately 1,800 armed forces charities provide support to families, comprising around 15 percent of the sector.

Researchers found that support for families is varied, including support through social groups, with mental health, education, finances, and much more. It is most common for charities to provide these different types of support to spouses and/or partners, but education support is most commonly provided to children.

The report calls on the sector to strengthen existing partnerships and gather more data in order to improve processes for identifying beneficiaries and recommends expanding the commitment to measuring impact in order to further improve beneficiaries' outcomes.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive, FiMT:

“We know that Armed Forces charities provide important and highly dedicated services to support the families of serving and ex-Service personnel. This report from DSC has helped to improve our understanding of the sector and the support available to Armed Forces families, as well as highlighting some of the challenges service providers face. We hope that action can now be taken to address some of these challenges, improving processes for impact measurement and identifying beneficiaries, as well as increasing the already high levels of collaboration in the sector.”

  Collette Musgrave, Chief Executive, Army Families Federation:

“The three Families Federations welcome this report and its focus on the assistance that armed forces charities provide to families. We are grateful to the Directory of Social Change and Forces in Mind Trust for highlighting the challenges that our armed forces families face, the sacrifices they make and their need for effective support.”

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Armed Forces Charities' Support for Families in Numbers


Armed forces charities support families


Individual family members supported by survey respondents last year

£68.5 million

Spent by survey respondents on support for families last year