Staff from The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) visited The Poppy Factory ahead of Remembrance Day, to see how the factory supports ex-servicemen and women.

The RNRMC are proud to be able to support the incredible work that the Poppy Factory does each year by way of distributing grants to the charity.

About the Poppy Factory

The Poppy Factory is the country’s leading employment charity for veterans with health conditions or impairments.

The factory works with businesses across the country to provide bespoke opportunities and ongoing employment support for hundreds of disabled veterans of all ages and from all Services, helping to restore their financial independence through sustainable and rewarding work.

Their factory in Richmond also employs around 30 disabled veterans to produce the poppies and wreaths for the Royal Family and The Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal– something they have been doing since they were founded in 1922. 

The RNRMC were invited to the Richmond Poppy Factory to see exactly how the charity supports vulnerable veterans and even got the chance to make a poppy.

Helping People like Gary

The wide-reaching arm of the Poppy Factory offers help, guidance and even employment possibilities for thousands of veterans each year. The charity spends over 5,000 hours shaping veterans CVs, it had 623 new veterans register for their employment service last year and 173 veterans started new jobs following the charity's support. One of these veterans was Gary.

Royal Navy veteran, Gary, was moving from job to job without much directions following his medical discharge from the Royal Navy. In and out of work, he was suffering from depression, anxiety and insomnia and finding it hard to identify his pathway forward.

 “I had major social issues; I was living on my own and couldn’t leave the house. I didn’t know what direction I was going with my life but I decided to get some help.”

 “I sat down with an Employability Consultant and explained my lack of confidence and inability to speak in front of people. I felt like I was always going to be at the bottom, which was frustrating because I knew I could achieve more than that. I made a pact then that  I was going to challenge  myself  and  beat this problem.”

“The Poppy Factory helped me with my driving licence and with my anxiety, putting me on the right courses before I started employment. They sent me to an open day with Transport for London, which led to an interview and a job offer which starts on Monday!”

Making a Poppy

In the age of technology and mechanical processes, it may surprise some people to learn that each poppy sold during the Remembrance period for The Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal is made by hand.

Each poppy and wreath will have been pieced together by a man or woman who, at some point, would have served their country in any one of the three armed forces. These poppies and wreaths are then packaged up and sent to organisations around the world in time Remembrance Day on the 11th November.

Staff from the Royal Navy's National Charity were lucky enough to meet some of the employees at the Poppy Factory who work tirelessly, year-round, to create the 12.5 million poppies needed for the Poppy Appeal.

There was even time for staff to handmake their own poppy ahead of Remembrance Day.

Visiting the Poppy Factory

Visitors are welcomed to arrange prearranged, 2-hour tours of the factory in Richmond, Surrey. These tours can be for individuals or for parties of up to a maximum of 35 people.

For more information, click here