Employment support for wounded, injured and sick veterans is worth £5.7m

New study measures the social value of The Poppy Factory’s employability service, which supports hundreds of ex-Forces men and women into work each year. For every £1 invested in the service, the social return is estimated to be £4.80.

Supporting wounded, injured and sick veterans into meaningful and sustained employment is an investment in their future that is worth around £5.7 million, according to a new study.

Research has found that the employability service run by national charity The Poppy Factory has a positive impact for veterans, the NHS, the state and wider society. It is estimated that for every £1 invested in the service, the social return on the investment (SROI) now and for the next five years is approximately £4.80.

Improved job prospects and increased earnings potential for veterans with mental or physical health conditions were found to have the most significant social value, worth an expected £3.7 million while receiving support over five years.

Improved mental and emotional wellbeing was the second most significant finding, generating £1 million in social value through improved confidence and financial comfort, relief from depression and anxiety and reduced clinical costs.

Another estimated £650,000 is generated through improved physical wellbeing, including the mental and emotional wellbeing from relief of drug and alcohol problems and the need for fewer medical appointments. Further value is created through increased engagement with charitable and community causes, reduced re-offending and reduced housing benefits.

The study also found that if cost efficiencies recently brought in by The Poppy Factory had existed in 2017/18, the social return on investment would be £6.89 for every £1 of expenditure.

The research conducted by PwC UK is based on secondary research as well as a survey of 443 veterans supported by The Poppy Factory in 2017/18, all of whom have a mental or physical health condition.

Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory, said:

“This report from PwC UK reveals just how much value there is in employing ex-Forces men and women with health conditions, both for the veterans themselves and for society as a whole.

“It is clear that every penny spent supporting wounded, injured and sick veterans into meaningful and sustained work is an investment well made. And whilst it is important to measure the social value of our specific employability service, we also believe it is important to highlight the continued contribution that our veterans can make to our wider society.”

Mark Thompson, Director in PwC UK’s Sustainability practice, said:

“It’s been a privilege to witness the dedication and commitment that staff at The Poppy Factory bring to their employability service. We hope our SROI study will further aid them in their understanding of the impact of their work and serve as a platform for its further development.”


Notes to editors

For further details, please contact Dan Hodges on 07496 645 869 or email danh@poppyfactory.org

*** The report will be launched at PwC UK’s offices at More London Riverside, London SE1 2RT, from 5.30pm to 8pm on Wednesday, September 18th. Media who would like to attend are asked to check availability and register interest by email to danh@poppyfactory.org ***

The study measured the social value generated for the 443 veterans that started their employment journey with The Poppy Factory in 2017/18 (‘the 2017/18 cohort’), as well as the value of the service to the State (as represented by the Department for Work and Pensions, local authorities, the Criminal Justice System and the National Health Service and wider society. The analysis measures both the social value generated in the period that individual support is received as well as the expected social value for these stakeholders in the future (i.e. five years beyond the intervention year).

The Poppy Factory

The Poppy Factory is now the country’s leading employability organisation for veterans with mental and physical health conditions. From its base in Richmond-upon-Thames, the charity provides tailored support across England and Wales to help ex-Forces men and women with health challenges to return to meaningful work.

The Poppy Factory works with many businesses around the country to transform the way employers think about recruiting people with physical or mental health conditions.

The charity has helped more than 1,200 individuals into work since it started its Getting You Back to Work programme in 2010. The Poppy Factory aims to deliver the most effective support for its veterans and the service is built upon a solid evidence base. This has ensured that over 70% of veterans supported by The Poppy Factory have remained in work for 12 months or longer, which compares significantly higher than other services.

In April 2019 The Poppy Factory won the Healthcare and Rehabilitation Award at the Soldiering On Awards. The awards celebrate the achievements of the military community by honouring serving personnel, veterans, their families and organisations that support them.

In June 2019 The Poppy Factory also won the Disability and Health Employment Award at the ERSA Employability Awards. The awards, hosted by the Employment Related Services Association, celebrate the hard work and dedication of the employment support sector.

In August 2019, The Poppy Factory was recognised by the Ministry of Defence for its outstanding support for the Armed Forces community with an Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, the highest badge of honour available to those that employ and support those who serve, veterans, and their families.

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