The Poppy Factory

The Poppy Factory has a long association with the Borough of Richmond and being a part of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce is helping us to grow and thrive in the community.

We are able to meet and talk with many local businesses in an informal setting, including some, like The Poppy Factory, with an historic presence in the Borough. The diversity of knowledge and experience that is shared at the various events organised by the Chamber of Commerce means that, whichever ones you choose to attend, you can be certain that a number of networking opportunities and new ideas will be available to you. Being able to engage with businesses borough wide enables us to ensure that our founder’s vision continues, The Poppy Factory was originally founded in 1922 to provide employment for wounded soldiers returning from WW1. Major George Howson believed that every disabled veteran who wants to work should have the opportunity to do so.

In its heyday, the charity employed over 350 men to hand-make the poppies and wreaths for the British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal (which we continue to do today). Howson was an innovator, and the factory was designed around the needs of his disabled employees.

Fast-forward most of a century and The Poppy Factory has evolved around the changing requirements of ex-Service personnel. Veterans want careers that utilise the wide variety of skills and experience that they gain by serving in HM Armed Forces, and they want to find work in a location that suits them – nearer their friends and families.

Thus The Poppy Factory’s disabled employability expertise was taken on the road.

A dedicated team of regional consultants work with each veteran to create a personal career plan, give free CV and interview training, and source local job opportunities with supportive employers. A network of volunteer mentors and ongoing in-work support ensures that Poppy Factory ‘clients’ thrive in their new workplace.

Any veteran with a physical or mental health condition can register, as long as they are no longer being supported through the Career Transition Partnership as part of their resettlement.

The Poppy Factory’s Getting You Back To Work service has already helped hundreds of disabled veterans into meaningful and sustainable work.

To find out how you can benefit from their life-changing service (or if you would like to support the programme), visit