Two thirds of workers would worry they couldn’t pay bills if they lost their job this Christmas

A staggering number of UK adults said they would be worried about being able to pay their rent, mortgage or bills if they lost their job this Christmas, according to figures published by The Poppy Factory today.

These stark figures show how vital employment is, especially during the festive period where pressures to spend money are increased. The survey also found that 80 per cent of people who celebrate Christmas wouldn’t be able to afford to buy friends and family Christmas presents if they lost their job.

The Poppy Factory – the country’s leading employment charity for veterans with disabilities, based in Richmond – is launching a campaign to highlight the struggles faced by thousands of veterans with mental and physical health conditions who are out of work this Christmas.

The Poppy Factory’s Chief Executive, Deirdre Mills said:

“This is a particularly difficult time of year for the veterans that we support. There are thousands of veterans with disabilities out of work this Christmas and we need more help to provide vital one-to-one support. By giving them the confidence they need and restoring their financial independence through employment, we can make a huge difference to their lives and to their families.”

Speaking about his time unemployed at Christmas, A Poppy Factory veteran said:

“After over 30 years in employment, I lost my job and then my home within two months, putting strain on my family. As a father, the hardest thing was not being able to buy presents for my daughter. Everything just fell apart at the same time.”

The Survey, carried out by YouGov found:

  • 66 percent of workers would be worried about being able to pay their mortgage/ rent and/ or bills (79 per cent for those who celebrate Christmas).
  • 80 percent of workers who celebrate Christmas said that they wouldn’t be able to afford to buy Christmas presents for family and / or friends if they didn’t have a job.
  • 60 percent of UK adults thought that having a job at Christmas time has a positive impact on their wellbeing and mental health.
  • Almost half of UK adults (47 percent) said that not having a job at Christmas time would make them feel more isolated (i.e. alone) than at any other time of year.
  • 66 percent of unemployed people agreed that they would benefit from one to one support and guidance to help them find a new job.

The Poppy Factory started its programme to get disabled veterans back into work in 2010, and has so far helped 840 men and women into employment. The charity also employs 36 veterans and dependents with disabilities in its factory, making the Remembrance products for The Royal British Legion and the Royal Family, since 1922.

To join the campaign, follow @PoppyFactory and use #GiveBackToVeterans

To support The Poppy Factory’s life-changing work, visit to donate or text ‘JOBS11 £5’ to 70070 to donate £5 or ‘JOBS11 £10’ to donate £10.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2082 adults, of which 1,263 are in employment and 1,885 celebrate Christmas. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd – 23rd November 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

Notes to editors

About The Poppy Factory:

The Poppy Factory (TPF) is the country’s leading employability organisation for disabled veterans. From its base in Richmond, Surrey, the charity provides tailored support across England and Wales to help ex-Forces men and women with disabilities or health challenges to return to meaningful work.

TPF works with many businesses around the country to transform the way employers think about employing disabled people.

The charity has helped 840 individuals into work since it started its Getting You Back to Work programme in 2010 and a similar number have registered for support for this year alone. 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 TPF’s disabled veterans remain in work for 12 months or longer (which compares significantly higher than other services).

If you would like to support us or know more about our work please visit

TPF also employs around 30 veterans and dependents with health challenges at its factory in Richmond, producing remembrance products for the Royal Family and for The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

For more information, please contact Joanna at

Our Executive Members

By @Cobseo 54 years ago

Afghanistan support

In light of recent events in Afghanistan, please find information and support resources here