Poppy Factory CEO announced as successor to head of Help for Heroes

Tim Husband Disability


“It has been an enormous privilege to have served as The Poppy Factory’s first CEO” – Melanie Waters


This week, our CEO of 6 years, Melanie Waters, has announced that she is stepping down from her position in November to take on the role of CEO at fellow veterans’ charity, Help for Heroes.

Melanie has been absolutely instrumental in changing the lives of over 600 disabled veterans since The Poppy Factory’s employability programme (Getting You Back to Work) was created under her watchful eye in 2010.

Although she will be hugely missed around the building (and at the staff BBQ’s!), Melanie remains an integral part of the Service charity sector. Her appointment to Help for Heroes is seen as a step forward for collaborative working in the sector for the good of all WIS veterans.

Melanie said, “It has been an enormous honour to have served as The Poppy Factory’s first CEO and to have led the charity’s transformation over the last 6 years into an employability expert for those veterans with disabilities.”

“It has been an immense privilege to be a small part of our veterans’ lives, their inspiring stories will stay with me forever. I am hugely thankful to the team here; they should be extremely proud of their hard work and their achievements, changing lives every day. Most of all, I am grateful to our selfless supporters, without whom our success would, no doubt, be limited.”

In the last year alone, over 500 veterans have registered for The Poppy Factory’s support. With this growth in demand, we have spent the last year developing a new 5-year strategy, driven by an ambition for a world in which every workplace values disabled veterans.

This will position The Poppy Factory as a leading employability expert and a model employer. It intends to provide a leading, evidence-based employability service that is effective at both supporting our veterans back into work and helping transform the way all employers think about employing disabled people.

Mark Perowne, Chairman of The Poppy Factory, said, “I, the Trustee Board and all the staff, thank Melanie for the huge contribution that she has made to The Poppy Factory over her time with us and for building a strong foundation on which we can realise our ambitions. The Board and the Executive team are now committed to delivering the new plans that Melanie has helped to shape.”

The Poppy Factory is now recruiting a successor to Melanie to take the charity forward. Applicants must be handy with a barbecue.

(Click here to read a press release about this story.)