Increased funding for LGBT charities supporting veterans

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LGBT charities that support military veterans will receive £45,000 in government funding.

The Veterans Affairs Bureau is providing the money to charities that support people who testify as part of an independent review that examines the impact that the pre-2000 military ban on homosexuality had on Veterans.

Funding has been provided to Fighting with Pride, the LGBT Foundation and Forward Assist to ensure veterans can comfortably share their experiences of service in the armed forces.

The funds will also provide direct support to veterans and their families who submit a submission to the Independent LGBT Veteran Review, including guidance on mental health and wellbeing support for those who may be struggling before , during and after testifying.

Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Minister James Heappey said:

We want to make sure those who testify in the Independent LGBT Veterans Review can do so in a safe space. Through these grants, veterans who may need assistance to testify will be supported throughout the process.

We want Veterans’ voices to be heard so we can tailor our services to help all who have served. I encourage those who have not yet submitted a testimonial to the review to share their stories.

Veterans providing their testimony will be supported while submitting their submissions for review, such as through transcription of verbal testimony and offering one-on-one emotional support during the process.

Fighting with Pride Executive Director Caroline Paige said:

Fighting With Pride is thrilled to have received a Veterans Affairs grant to do critical work to connect LGBT veterans to the Independent LGBT Veterans Review call for evidence.

This welcome support will allow FWP to raise awareness of the importance of this unique opportunity for LGBT veterans and those fired because they were perceived as LGBT, helping them to say what has happened to them in the past, what has happened to them. been the impact has been on their whole life and creating a better future for those living with the consequences of the ban.

Hiren Patel, Operation Equality Project Coordinator for the LGBT Foundation, said:

Thanks to Operation Equality, we know LGBTQ+ veterans are still dealing with the fallout from the ban. This forced people out with family and friends and resulted in loss of livelihood.

With funding from the LGBT Veteran Review, we can create an LGBTQ+-centric service that helps veterans access in-person story sharing and support from our team, ensuring that the experiences of a wide range of LGBTQ+ veterans inform the research.

We look forward to supporting the review and understanding the full extent of the distress caused by this ban.

To date, more than 500 people have submitted their testimony to the Independent Review.

From this testimony, the review team will be able to make evidence-based recommendations on how the government can meet its commitment to the Veterans Strategy Action Plan and ensure that the service and experience of every LGBT veteran is understood and valued.

Notes to Editors

Veterans interested in testifying in the review can learn more here.

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