On a visit today to The Poppy Factory in Richmond, Mr Ellwood saw first-hand the work the charity does to help veterans with disabilities into meaningful employment. The Poppy Factory, which also employs around 30 disabled veterans, produces 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.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said:
The work The Poppy Factory does in helping businesses across the country provide employment for disabled veterans is hugely important and I’d like to thank them for all the work they do.
It’s important that Government works with charities to provide comprehensive support to veterans, including the Armed Forces Covenant and the new Veteran’s Gateway.
While most veterans successfully re-integrate into civilian life, a small number do face challenges after their military career. The Ministry of Defence and other Government Departments work with the charity sector to provide comprehensive support.
This support includes the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise from the nation enshrined in law to make sure that service personnel, veterans, and their families are treated fairly and receive the support they deserve.
In June of this year, the MOD launched a new Veterans’ Gateway, a single point of contact for veterans, allowing them to get the support they need. The initiative is backed by £2 million of Government money.
The MOD in July of this year also launched the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The innovative new strategy is designed to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the Armed Forces, their families, veterans, and Defence civilians.
During the visit Mr Ellwood met with Poppy Factory staff working to help disabled veterans back into employment, as well as staff who produce the famous Poppies for Remembrance. As one of the UK’s leading veterans charities The Poppy Factory has a tremendous record of getting disabled veterans back into employment, with 70% of veterans who the charity helps remaining in employment after 12 months.