Poppy Factory Visit Evokes Wartime Memories
Residents enjoy a special outing to mark Remembrance Day.
We were delighted to organise a poignant trip to the Poppy Factory in Richmond, Surrey on 11th November. Residents Jean, 96, Joan, 89, and Kathleen, 85, enjoyed a fascinating talk about the factory, which is the sole producer of remembrance wreaths in England and Wales and this year celebrated its centenary.
Recalling some of her memories of World War Two, Jean said: “I was 13 when the war started, and I remember my father being keen to join the war effort. I trained as a secretary at college in Maidstone and then London before spending time living and working in Japan and Hong Kong. I came back to England to join the Wrens (Women’s Royal Naval Services).
Jean also revealed that she’d kept a diary since 1941 in which she’d documented life during the war and how she dreamed of becoming a journalist or foreign correspondent.
Jackie Avenell, Lifestyle co-ordinators who has been part of our team for 18 years, said: “The residents had a fantastic day, and the talk, in particular, was really interesting. We were also very lucky to be able to visit on November 11th and were able to join the factory team in the two-minute silence.
“Getting older shouldn’t mean that you can’t go out and enjoy new and interesting experiences, especially those that stimulate conversation about the residents’ lives and backgrounds. It’s always fascinating to hear their stories. Many of our residents have connections to the war so the visit to The Poppy Factory was particularly relevant.”
The Poppy Factory was founded in 1922 in the Old Kent Road in south-east London to employ soldiers who were wounded in the First World War before moving to its current home in 1926. Alice Barrett, Senior Partnerships Manager, said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome the residents of Queen Elizabeth Park Care Home on November 11th, which is such a significant date for all in the ex-Forces community. Every penny raised through group visits like this will help us support hundreds of veterans with health conditions into employment across England and Wales.”