A rigorous independent review has commended the quality of employment support offered to the Armed Forces community by The Poppy Factory.
Veterans who have been supported into employment were interviewed as part of the audit, which was carried out on behalf of the Department for Education in January to assess whether the charity should keep the matrix Standard accreditation that it first gained in 2020. The matrix Standard is the international quality standard for organisations that deliver information, advice and guidance.
“Passionate, skilled and focused”
The assessor found that comments from veterans were “overwhelmingly positive”. He highlighted the transformative impact that skilled support can have for those who face multiple barriers to employment, such as poor physical and mental health, drug and alcohol dependency and homelessness.
The report said: “Looked at as a whole, this accreditation review clearly evidenced that the Poppy Factory employment service is delivering a specialist information, advice and guidance experience of a high quality. The whole organisational approaches to impact, outcomes and a transformative information, advice and guidance experience for veterans are embedded with rigour and delivered by a workforce that is passionate, skilled and singularly focused upon making a difference to the veterans’ employment and career goals.”
It commended The Poppy Factory’s Employment Consultants for their strength as a team and their person-centred approach, taking time to understand each veteran’s background and situation, and helping them to make measurable progress on their journey towards employment.
The Poppy Factory’s matrix Standard accreditation was renewed for three years up to February 2026, with continuous improvement checks scheduled annually.
Veterans Mental Health Awareness Standard
A separate assessment also resulted in The Poppy Factory gaining the new Veterans Mental Health Awareness Standard in February. It follows a three-month pilot involving the charity and other organisations in the Veterans’ Places, Pathways and People (VPPP) network, which The Poppy Factory leads in London.
Nick Grace, Veterans Mental Health Awareness Standard Project Manager within Cobseo, the Confederation of Service Charities, wrote: “The Poppy Factory clearly demonstrated the appropriate level of awareness and its commitment to improving the non-clinical and safe support given to veterans with mental health needs … your participation has had a direct influence in creating a much-improved Veterans Mental Health Awareness Standard that will be implemented in 2023 across the VPPP Programme for which you can be extremely proud.”
Debbie Boughtflower, Director of Operations at The Poppy Factory, said: “Every day, we see the enormous difference our employment support can make to those in the Armed Forces community who face significant barriers to work and are struggling to find a way forward. So it is hugely rewarding for everyone in the team to have our efforts recognised in this way. There’s always more that can be done, and we’ll continue working hard and striving for excellence on behalf all those we support.”
More you might like
- Find out about employment support for the ex-Forces community
- Read inspiring stories of veterans who are transforming their lives
- Book your visit to The Poppy Factory in Richmond-upon-Thames