Alison’s picnic fundraiser raises £1,000 for veterans with health conditions. And who doesn’t love a picnic?!

hannah General

Alison Steele from Codsall in Wolverhampton has raised over £1,000 with the help of her friends and family by hosting a picnic as part of The Poppy Factory’s summer fundraising activity, #OperationPicnic.  

Alison hosted the picnic in her garden and asked the 56 family members, friends and neighbours to make a donation to attend. As well as this, Alison and her friend Penny asked local businesses to support the event by donating prizes for a raffle. In total, 18 businesses and individuals donated prizes, including hair salon vouchers, food hampers and also a framed aerial photograph of the winner’s home, taken from a drone.

Alison said: “The weather was beautiful on the day and the picnic had a real community feel as I’d encouraged people to bring friends along. My initial target was to raise £300 so when the last few donations came in, I was delighted to see we’d raised £1,000.”

Alison was inspired to hold the picnic when she learned about The Poppy Factory’s summer fundraiser, #OperationPicnic, while visiting her daughter for Richmond’s May Fair in Surrey.

“I hadn’t heard of The Poppy Factory before visiting Richmond but I was interested to learn of the charity’s support for ex-Forces personnel when they return to the civilian world. The cause touched me particularly as a few of my daughter’s friends had been impacted by the after-effects of war.

“I arranged the picnic to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings as I knew people would be more willing to support the Armed Forces community on this important day.”

Alice Barrett, Partnerships Manager, said: “We’re amazed by the amount of effort Alison put in to make her #OperationPicnic a success. She is a champion and we feel very lucky to have her support with our summer fundraising activity, as well as the support of her husband Gary and her friends and family.”

The Poppy Factory is asking members of the public to host a picnic any time this summer and for attendees to make a donation. Picnics are so easy to organise and a great excuse to have fun with friends, family or work colleagues.

Alice said: “There are no rules when it comes to picnics. They can come in all shapes and sizes, be held indoors, outdoors, in the office or even on the move! For anyone who wants to host a picnic, we’ve made some special poppy bunting which is available to download online and have some great activity ideas and games.”

All funds raised from picnics held throughout the summer will go to the charity’s award-winning employment service, which supports veterans with health conditions to find sustainable and rewarding employment. To date, The Poppy Factory has helped over 1,200 veterans into work since the service began in 2010.

If you would like to host your own #OperationPicnic, contact Alice, at or call 020 8939 1821.