Veterans’ Minister and OVA Director discuss ex-Forces employment support at The Poppy Factory

Dan Hodges General

The Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty MP, and the Director of the Office for Veterans Affairs, Jessie Owen, paid a visit to The Poppy Factory on Wednesday, September 15 to discuss employment support for veterans with health conditions.

The two leaders heard how specialist employment support can be truly life-changing, significantly improving veterans’ confidence, financial security and health and wellbeing.

They talked about the benefits of close partnership working across government and the military charity sector and the potential to streamline processes so that no veteran is left behind.

Mr Docherty and Ms Owen also took the time to watch a short film about Afghanistan veteran Gary, who felt lost in the civilian world until he received employment support from The Poppy Factory, and is now using his experience to open a martial arts gym on the south coast.

And they met members of the production team, who are supported to work year-round making Remembrance wreaths at the charity’s factory in Richmond-upon-Thames.

Veterans Minster Leo Docherty with Deirdre Mills. Chief Executive of The Poppy FactoryMinister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty MP, said: “It was terrific to meet the team at The Poppy Factory and hear about the vital employment support this charity offers to veterans. We will continue to work together to ensure all veterans have the support they need.”

Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister and the Director to The Poppy Factory, and to have the opportunity to talk about employment support. By working closely with government and our partner organisations, we can reach many more veterans who need the right support to move forward.”

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