London Welsh is proud to announce local Richmond-based veterans charity The Poppy Factory as the club’s second official charity this season.
The club will be joining forces with The Poppy Factory for the 2015/16 Greene King IPA Championship season to help raise funds for this iconic charity’s life-changing employability service for disabled veterans.
“Veterans often find it tough transitioning to civilian life, and health conditions or impairments can make it seem nearly impossible to find meaningful work and to regain their financial independence.” said CEO of The Poppy Factory, Melanie Waters. “We are thrilled that London Welsh want to help us raise funds to support this vital work and raise awareness of some of the challenges they face.”
As well as producing poppies and wreaths for over 90 years within its factory in Richmond, The Poppy Factory also works with businesses in England and Wales, providing a regional service which builds confidence in the veteran’s transferable skills and help to recognize how they can overcome any medical barriers to sustainable work.
Disabled veterans – being so far from the jobs market – are some of the hardest-to-help individuals in the community. As a testament to The Poppy Factory’s personal approach, 75% of its disabled clients remain in work for 12 months or longer, and by helping 500 of these veterans into work since 2011, The Poppy Factory is estimated to have saved society over £10m.
At half-time in Saturday’s Championship match against Jersey at Old Deer Park (KO 2pm) The Poppy Factory will be presented with a London Welsh shirt, while volunteers from the charity will be bucket collecting at London Welsh’s home game against Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday 7th November at Old Deer Park, the day before Remembrance Sunday.
Bleddyn Phillips, Chairman of London Welsh, said: “We are privileged and proud to be associated with the local Richmond-based charity, The Poppy Factory, and the excellent and inspirational work it does at its headquarters on the Petersham Road.
“You have only to visit the premises and witness at first hand the commitment and dedication shown by its employees to appreciate the tremendous good the charity does in helping to reintegrate disabled ex-service personnel into the community. We offer them and all associated with the charity our very best wishes for the future.”
Liz George, Head of Fundraising at The Poppy Factory, said: “We are delighted to be partnering London Welsh to champion the employability needs of disabled veterans. We hope to direct the monies raised towards our regional service in Wales and we hope that club supporters will get behind us to help these veterans find meaningful work.”