Disability organisation 104 films has been awarded a National Lottery grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), for an exciting project to explore the history of the Poppy Factory, Richmond.
Money raised by National Lottery players will enable 5-10 local disabled young people to make a film about the history of the Poppy Factory and the disabled people who have worked there.
The Poppy Factory has been producing Remembrance products for The Royal British Legion and The Royal Family since it was established in 1922 by Major George Howson MC for soldiers injured during WW1. Today, there continues to be a diverse workforce many of whom have health conditions.
The factory in Richmond was opened on Petersham Road in 1925 after the operation became too large for its original premises with the millions of poppies being produced. Housing for the workforce and their families was built on adjacent land and in 1932 the present factory was built. The original factory was demolished in 1972.
Today, The Poppy Factory is the country’s leading employment charity for veterans with health conditions and impairments. In 2010, the charity started a community-based service across England and Wales to support disabled veterans who are struggling to either find a job or who are in a job that makes their health worse.
Justin Edgar from 104 films says “We are recruiting young disabled people aged 15-25 to take part and ask anyone who is interested to get in touch through our website www.104films.com. Its designed as a fun project to get young disabled people involved in researching heritage and learn filmmaking skills along the way. It feels great to be celebrating something that goes on within our town that we should be very proud of and we are delighted to have the support of The Poppy Factory”
Other organisations backing the project include the Imperial War Museum. 104 films run community projects as well as making films with disabled filmmakers, including the feature film Notes on Blindness for the BBC which was nominated for 3 BAFTAs last year and Unrest which is shortlisted this years Oscars.
Filming at The Poppy Factory Day 2.
Photos reproduced with permission of 104 films.