Hub will become home of veterans' research

Published: 25 November 2014 at 11:18

New initiative to centralise information is launched at Westminster

A research hub set to become the "recognised home of authoritative information on veterans" was officially launched at the House of Commons this morning.

The Veterans' Research Hub (VRH), set up by Anglia Ruskin University's Veterans and Families Institute and jointly funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, will collate all research on issues facing the military, veterans and their families.

The VRH was set up following recommendations by Lord Ashcroft in his Veterans' Transition Review, published in February. The VRH aims to inform Government policy to ensure the best possible care for military veterans.

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, said:

"It is widely – but quite wrongly – supposed that veterans are unusually likely to become homeless, to go to prison, to suffer from mental illness or to commit suicide. Employers too often doubt that service leavers will be able to adapt to a civilian working environment.
“The problem is not lack of information; if only it were. The problem is an abundance of information, much of it inaccurate or misleading, supplemented by assumptions about former service personnel that are half-baked, outdated or simply wrong.
“The antidote to this is good information, available from a reliable source. That is what we are launching today. The Veterans Research Hub will identify and house high-quality, peer-reviewed research. We intend that it should become the recognised home of authoritative information on veterans’ issues.”

Professor Michael Thorne, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, added:

"As well as stimulating and facilitating collaboration, we envisage that the Veterans Research Hub will enable researchers, policy makers, journalists, veterans and serving personnel and their families, together with the general public, to access up to date, informative and above all accurate research in this expanding field."

Chairman of The Forces in Mind Trust, Air Vice-Marshal Tony Stables said:

"FiMT’s early work indicated a very real need for a sound evidence base, not least because many of the issues surrounding veterans were based on anecdotal or emotive evidence. One of the four business strands, on which FiMT’s endowment from the Big Lottery Fund was awarded, was the creation of a ‘Veterans Research Foundation’. We are delighted to join with Lord Ashcroft and Anglia Ruskin University in this exciting project."

Anglia Ruskin's Veterans and Families Institute was launched in April and aims to produce and publish world-class research, influence the delivery of national policy and to work collaboratively across disciplines and institutions.