Employment support for ex-Forces NHS patients


GPs, mental health nurses and mental health practitioners, practice nurses and all other health professionals can refer patients directly to The Poppy Factory’s free employment service, using a simple online form.

One-to-one employment support for ex-Forces patients is available throughout England and Wales, offering ongoing help for anyone who has served in the Armed Forces or Reserves and has a mental or physical health condition.


Positive progress through employment support


  • The Poppy Factory's employment consultants have expertise in working with people with mild, moderate and complex mental and physical health conditions (e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder).
  • Through our life-changing employment support we know employment can have a very positive effect on mental health and wellbeing. We deliver our support at a pace that is appropriate for the client’s needs.
  • Alongside supporting clients, we work with NHS partners to help break down health and social barriers that make entry into employment difficult.
  • We welcome referrals from clinicians across England and Wales.

In November 2022, the University of Nottingham’s Institute of Mental Health published an evaluation of our employment service embedded within Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. This pilot project was funded by Forces in Mind Trust.

The report was overwhelmingly positive. Veterans perceived the service as a ‘safe space’ and clinicians trusted The Poppy Factory to support veterans with
often complex needs at an appropriate pace.

Read the report here
Read about our regional projects backed by NHS England here
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What NHS clinicians say about our service


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“The key thing that makes The Poppy Factory’s service so unique is empathy and an understanding of the veteran experience. The solution may be training or voluntary work initially, or a short contract to introduce them more gradually to the workplace. It’s about the right approach and the right pace for each individual.”
“The role of employment can be absolutely crucial – it gives structure, it gives people a sense of identity. It also gives people the capacity to talk about something that isn’t their mental health; they’re not defined by their mental health and this can be incredibly beneficial to feelings of self-worth.”
“It provides a seamless pathway to provide support to our veterans. A beacon example of a truly integrated approach that has huge benefits for our service users.”
“Working with The Poppy Factory has been fantastic. They have achieved something that statutory services alone could not achieve.”
“There are no long waiting lists, the referral process is easy to follow.”

Get support

To make a referral on behalf of a patient you can use our online referral form.

Alternatively, patients can self-refer using this form.

Project funded by NHS England
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