• Emma Bowkett

How does loneliness impact the Armed Forces and their families



What we did:

Neighbourly Lab, alongside the Campaign to End Loneliness and the King’s Centre for Military Health Research have run a year long evaluation of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust’s Tackling Loneliness programme. We are pleased to announce the launch of our evaluation work, and our report exploring the methods to tackle loneliness in the armed forces community. The report can be found here.


Through our findings we have identified several principles that projects can follow to achieve the greatest success. This can be found through our design principles tool kit on the Trust’s website here. We have also created a platform for grantholders to share and celebrate the successes of their project called the Impact Gallery which can be found here.


Why tackle loneliness:

The Trust ran a consultation in 2020 asking, what should they be supporting people on. They found that 9 in 10 of their respondents said that loneliness was something that they should be focusing on. The Trust therefore gave £4million in grants towards organisations committed to tackling loneliness in the armed forces community.


In our evaluation we sought to focus on what is specific about armed forces loneliness both for armed forces personnel and their families. We outline various risk and protective factors which are unique to this population including:


By outlining these factors it will allow grantholders to target their support to those who might be most in need and refine their scope towards preventing loneliness as well as alleviating it. The feedback from the AFCFT shows the importance of developing specific services to tackle loneliness within this community.




Anna Wright, CEO of the AFCT


Our main takeaways from this evaluation:

Throughout our time on this evaluation we have learned the real value of funding projects which have a specific focus on loneliness and widen access to all that may be vulnerable to experiencing it. As an evaluation team we have reflected on the importance and successes of this grant.

Robin Hewings, Campaign to End Loneliness



Emma Bowkett, Neighbourly Lab


To find out more about the Tackling Loneliness programme and the individual projects on this grant go onto the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust’s website.


On Tuesday 15th November,10-11am there will be a webinar dedicated to the Tackling Loneliness programme. Join the discussion now!





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