From education to employment

Awards shortlisting success for Veterans Centre


The Westminster Centre for Research in Veterans at the University of Chester has been shortlisted for an award recognising its research and innovation. 

The team has reached the finals in the North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards 2023 in the Ruth Young Research Implementation category for its Tackling Serious Stress project. 

Hosted by the Innovation Agency; NIHR Clinical Research Network North West Coast (CRN NWC) and Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast (ARC NWC) the awards are an opportunity to celebrate success and the excellent work being undertaken in health and care across the region.

The Tackling Serious Stress project was established as part of a £4 million award from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (AFCFT) to seven projects across the UK to address a nationally identified problem of serious stress with military veterans and their families.

The Centre supported these projects to provide a diverse range of therapeutic clinical interventions, social prescribing activities, peer mentoring and practical support in employment and accommodation. 

The team carried out an independent evaluation of the programme including an economic cost-benefit analysis. This was the first time such a large, geographically dispersed study had been conducted with the veteran community. 

The study results were launched at a high-profile Chester event attended by the Cabinet Office, NHS England, leading charities, grant holders and beneficiaries.

The project’s long-term legacy is that the research has proven that a mixture of approaches including social prescribing and peer support can have measurable benefits and this is influencing commissioning of Mental Health services.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday, June 22 2023.

Colonel (Retd) Alan Finnegan, Professor of Nursing and Military Mental Health at the University of Chester, who is the Director of the Westminster Centre for Veterans Research, said: “It is really encouraging to see our work recognised in this way and I would like to thank all the team at the Veterans Centre for their commitment in bringing the project to fruition.”

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