People are invited to visit one of Richmond’s historic buildings throughout this summer, ahead of it’s two year closure.

The Poppy Factory will undergo a transformation in order to make the building more accessible and inclusive for the veterans there.

Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory said: “The Poppy Factory has been producing the iconic poppy for almost 100 years. We want members of the public to come and see the work our veterans produce, including the wreaths for the Royal Family.

“We are also delighted that we can soon begin the process of transforming our factory into an accessible and inclusive space for all those with health conditions who work here.”

In November 2017, The Treasury awarded The Poppy Factory £2.5 million to support the factory's renovation.

Ahead of planned closures, the Poppy Factory offers a tour with a charity expert that includes watching a presentation and a film about the factory and how it came to produce its own poppy’s.

Founded in 1922 by Major George Howson MC - a British Army officer in the First World War and winner of the Military Cross in 1917, George Howson’s vision for the charity was to provide employment for veterans injured during the First World War.

The factory moved to Richmond from Old Kent Road in 1925 and has been there ever since and in 2010, the charity launched a new service supporting veterans with mental and physical health conditions back into work in their communities across the UK.

Ms Mills added: “Visitors will also hear about our employment service, which helps veterans with mental and physical health conditions move back into work across the UK, helping to restore financial independence and make a positive difference to veterans’ lives.”

Factory tours are free and run in the morning and afternoon from Monday to Thursday. Friday tours are only held in the morning.

The Poppy Factory relies on generous contributions that go directly towards supporting wounded, injured and sick veterans back into work.

Gifts to the charity can be made online or on the tour.

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