Sector Insight: Armed Forces Charities

An overview and analysis, 2020

Sector Insight: Armed Forces Charities


Armed forces personnel, their dependents and their service to this country have seldom been the subject of such high levels of political, public and media interest. In this report, DSC address some of the myths and misconceptions.

This comprehensive insight into armed forces charities in the UK includes: an overview of their objects and activities; in-depth analysis of their finances; a detailed look at their service provision and grant making; geographical comparison of specialist support needs and provision; examination of the current health and future challenges for the sector.

Download the report and the supporting materials via the links below. 
A limited amount of printed copies of the report are available. To register you interest in obtaining a copy, please email research@dsc.org.uk  

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive, FiMT:

Sector Insight is part of a series of reports by DSC that Forces in Mind Trust has funded over the last seven years, and we are very proud that they are regularly used by some of the most senior policy makers, media commentators and service providers. Our overriding ambition is to make an impact – these seminal reports have done so up to now, and I’m determined that the latest work will continue this success.

While the data from this report was collected before Covid-19, it provides us with an excellent and thorough picture of what the Armed Forces charities sector looked like before the pandemic and will enable us to examine what the impact on the sector will be in the years ahead. Over the last few months, we have been working closely with DSC and Cobseo - the Confederation of Service Charities to measure the impact of Covid-19 and there is no doubt that it has been huge and devastating for many of our charities. We will continue to produce high quality independent research and foster collaboration both within the sector, and with government, to help identify the best way forward.


General Sir John McColl, Chair of Cobseo – The Confederation of Service Charities:

Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector will undoubtedly need to change significantly over the coming months and years, and the hard decisions that will need to be made will be informed by the detailed and thorough analysis of the Sector provided by this report.

The Service Charity Sector has a long and successful history of co-operation and collaboration and whilst good progress has been made in delivering efficiencies and rationalisation, we can and need to do more to ensure that the vital support provided by Armed Forces charities can continue. This report provides a comprehensive starting point to enable the Sector to move forward, and the breadth and depth of the research will benefit the whole of the Armed Forces Community that we are all here to serve.

Explore the Data

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UK Overview in Numbers

1,843

UK armed forces charities 

£1.1 billion

Total annual income

£985 million 

Total annual expenditure