Today (2 October 2014) the government is allocating nearly £10m to help support 200,000 emergency services personnel and volunteers, funded through LIBOR fines. This funding will be focused on mental health, physical recuperation and bereavement support. It is the first time that LIBOR funding has gone to support emergency services personnel.
Over £8m of the funding will go to English charities, with the remaining £1.6m made available to the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland governments.
The English funding will be divided as follows:
- mental health – up to £4m to help mental health charity MIND in developing a package of targeted support and information for all emergency services personnel. This will include anti-stigma work, establishing peer support groups and embedding training and awareness raisin within employers, charities and other groups
- physical injury – £3m to address physical injuries incurred on the frontline with £2m specifically to enhance existing Police and Fire Service Treatment and Rehabilitation Centres, and provide funding so ambulance and search and rescue personnel can also benefit from these facilities
- bereavement – £1m to bring together numerous charities that provide support to the bereaved families of emergency services personnel, and to ensure further coverage across all the emergency services. Funding will also be provided to support families as and when the need arises. Today we are launching an open call for a partner to manage an endowment that will support bereaved families of active service personnel into the future.
- development of the Ambulance Services Charity – grant funding to help the charity expand so it can provide a high level of support to all Ambulance Services personnel and volunteers in times of need
The Rt. Hon George Osborne, The Chancellor of the Exchequer said:
Emergency services personnel regularly put their lives on the line to protect the most vulnerable in society, and these funds will help support both them and their families through bereavement, mental health issues and physical injuries sustained through their vital work.
Having personally introduced MIND’s fantastic Time to Change campaign in the Treasury, I’m delighted to be able to support their activities further with £4m from Libor fines.
It’s only right that fines from those who’ve demonstrated the worst of values are used to support brave emergency services personnel who demonstrate the best of British values.
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson said:
This fund will enable inspirational charities such as MIND to continue the great work of supporting our hard working emergency personnel and their families.
Managed by the Cabinet Office, this money will really make a difference through innovative programmes and I urge relevant organisations to partner with us to manage our new endowment fund that will help bereaved families of active service personnel.
Paul Farmer, the Chief Executive of MIND, said:
We’re delighted that the government recognises the importance of supporting the mental health of people who work in blue light services. Good mental health should be a priority in any workplace but it is especially important that people exposed to traumatic or life-threatening situations receive appropriate support. We’re looking forward to working with police, ambulance, fire service and search and rescue staff across England.
The Chancellor announced that £10m of funding would go to emergency services charities in the Autumn Statement 2013, which was followed by a wide reaching consultation with emergency services frontline staff and support organisations. Analysis of the consultation due to publish on 3 October, clearly highlights three priority areas for funding – mental health, physical injury and support for bereaved families – the key focus of the grant awards we are making.
There is also a small grant award to the Ambulance Services Charity to support their development.
The LIBOR fund has been raised through fines imposed on banks for misdemeanours and attempted manipulation of financial markets. This latest allocation builds on £35 million of LIBOR funding already given to military good causes in previous tranches, £60 million to support Armed Forces personnel, their families and veterans and a further £10 million per annum which has been earmarked from 2015 to support the Armed Forces Covenant.
Image courtesy of Benjamin Ellis on Flickr, used under Creative Commons