A major national study of the impact of the Royal British Legion break service on veterans and their families, is being carried out by Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).
The study will evaluate links between leisure activities and wellbeing by focusing on three styles of break offered by The Legion: break centres, family holidays and adventure breaks for young people.
Breaks are provided to families of serving and bereaved veterans and in particular to those facing financial difficulty, illness, bereavement, or social isolation.
Dr Giles Barrett from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Dr Emma Murray from the School of Law, who are both affiliated with The Centre for the Study of Crime, Criminalisation and Social Exclusion (CCSE), will lead a team of nine researchers in the study, which runs until August 2018.
Dr Barrett said: “It is widely acknowledged that the challenges and demands of serving in the armed forces and the needs of personnel and their families have changed significantly in recent years.
“Our research will give The Legion vital evidence on how satisfied staff and families are with the Breaks scheme plus a bespoke tool-kit of training, and policy recommendations to inform how the scheme can best support veterans and their families in future.”
The research is part of LJMU’s commitment to the community to act as a catalyst for social change, enhance lives; and influence policy and debate.
Breaks Operations Manager at the Royal British Legion Paul Flood said: “We know serving members of the armed forces and veterans can experience a range of issues, from financial worries and mental illness to social isolation and dealing with traumatic events.
“Children of service families are also exposed to experiences, such as parental separation and frequently moving house, which can result in high levels of anxiety, stress and low self-esteem.
“The Royal British Legion provide approximately 11,000 breaks per year to help bring families together and improve their well-being.
“Providing the best possible service is our priority, so we are delighted to have commissioned LJMU to independently evaluate our Break Services.”