For almost a century, The Poppy Factory has specialised in offering a diverse amount of working opportunities for sick and injured veterans. Having provided over 350 disabled veterans with sustainable and rewarding jobs, this employment charity seeks to provide the possibility of a career to those who are injured, have an illness or medical injury and are no longer supported by the Career Transition Partnership.
The Poppy Factory was established by Major George Howson MC in 1922 to help disabled ex-service men and women. Following him receiving a grant for £2000, he set up a small factory on Old Kent Road along with five ex servicemen. It was here that Howson suggested that they make poppies, and the poppies were even designed so that they could be constructed with one hand.
John, who served for a total of 26 years with the RAF had a heart attack and was diagnosed with diabetes and arthritis, leading to him being discharged in 2005. Six years later The Poppy Factory supported him for the first twelve months of being a part-time medical trainer at the Wolverest Group.
At a recruitment fair, The Poppy Factory also encountered Helen, who suffered from MS and was in a wheelchair. They discussed possible routes which she could pursue and helped inspire aspiration and motivation in Helen to get back into the world. Shortly after, Helen acquired a job in the offices at Ormerod. Initially, the offices weren’t wheelchair accessible, but The Poppy Factory worked with the employer to arrange the installation of a stair lift so Helen would be able to work there easily.
Today, they provide free, ongoing opportunities within particular businesses across the country in the hope of providing veterans with sustainable, rewarding and meaningful work. They assist veterans in finding employment either directly, as an employee in the factory, or indirectly, by supporting them into pursuing a career elsewhere.
For more information visit: http://www.poppyfactory.org/