As our successful AGM came to a close yesterday in the stunning St Martin-in-the-Fields, we had a moment to reflect upon a very positive 2014 and to think about our goals for our future.
The Poppy Factory supported 245 disabled veterans in 2013/14 and helped 129 of these directly into employment in the year. We have proved that there is a definite need for our employability service and we want to grow to be able to fulfill our overall ambition – that every disabled veteran that wants to work should have the opportunity to work.
We estimate that there are 35,000 unemployed veterans that have a medical barrier to employment in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to be able to help all of these we need to be securing a bright future for between 500-1,000 disabled veterans every year.
Whilst we want to help as many people as possible, we must not sacrifice our very personal, bespoke service for the sake of growth. We are planning carefully for the next few years so that we can scale our renowned service up in a sustainable manner.
Ex-Service personnel are not the only benefactors of our service either; We launched our “Social Return On Investment” results at our AGM yesterday and you will see below that both the state and employers benefit from our service. We returned £2.23 in social value for every £1 invested in our employability service, partly due to Poppy Factory clients being less reliant upon NHS support. As this figure includes the start-up costs of our service, we can only expect this figure to grow over the years.
Employers are even stating that employing Poppy Factory clients contributes to increased revenue! It really is a win-win-win for all involved.
If you want to support what Zac Goldsmith (MP) calls “The very first social enterprise”, then please spread the word about our work – we need all the help we can get to help provide futures that shine for those most in need.