Type Charity for veterans  seeking employment
Location Nationwide
Grant amount £87,000
Date March 2015
Website www.poppyfactory.org

How the Charity helps working age - veterans

Poppy Factory is the country's leading employment charity for veterans with health conditions or impairments. The transition to civilian life can be tough and many veterans need support to regain confidence. They may not have had access to appropriate levels of guidance and expertise. The Poppy Factory provides the lifeline they need, specialising in supporting those veterans who are furthest from the employment market.

By providing free, ongoing employment support and bespoke opportunities within businesses across the country, they have helped hundreds of disabled ex-service men and women to restore their financial independence through sustainable and rewarding careers.

Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity grant

In march 2015, Poppy Factory received a large grant of £87,000 from The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity. Our support will go a long way in helping Poppy Factory with the huge costs of providing their employment service for Royal Navy and Royal Marines veterans including the management, marketing, and administration. 

On average, the cost of directly supporting one veteran is £5,000, therefore this grant is expected to support 17 veterans. These 17 individuals will now have a much easier transition from service to civilian life which would likely have been much more difficult without the help of Poppy Factory. 

Steve, Poppy Factory beneficiary

Steve, currently Apprentice Community Garden Worker at a community farm, served as a leading radio operator in the Royal Navy for 10 years and then spent 15 years on the road, selling locks and hardware. He has been a recovered alcoholic for 19 months, having suffered from alcohol addiction for about 6 years. Whilst recovering from addiction, Steve undertook volunteering activities. This gave him the incentive to find paid, meaningful employment.

Although he had a number of barriers which made it difficult to find work, with time and support from his Poppy Factory Employability Consultant, he secured a role at a community farm. Much of his work is with groups of the long-term unemployed; since he began the job, three people have found full-time work and apprenticeships and three are starting college.

Steve is also now looking to the future. He will be studying for a two-year foundation degree. Of The Poppy Factory, he says: “I might have got into a rut but it gave me the incentive to get off the settee, sort myself out and look to the future. Without The Poppy Factory, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

Richard, Poppy Factory beneficiary

Richard, currently studying at university, was medically discharged from the Royal Marines in 2011 after sustaining back injuries in Afghanistan. After working in Mozambique as a project manager and in the Gulf of Aden in maritime security, his back injuries, coupled with the onset of PTSD, caught up with him and he returned to the UK.

At The Poppy Factory, he received help from volunteer mentor Julie Tarling. “Julie helped me by speaking to her contacts, finding out what I needed for specific roles and mentoring me on my CV. She helped me to move from a military to a civilian mindset," says Richard. Julie Tarlin, Volunteer Mentor said: “There were lots of good skills, qualifications and experience there but it was a bit difficult to follow without a military background. We worked on presenting it differently so it would be picked up more clearly by people in the commercial environment. Richard really grabbed the opportunity and took on board everything I was saying. The Poppy Factory is a great thing to be involved in — it can really help. It has opened my eyes to the issues people face when they come out of the Forces.”