Sales of seed of Mr Fothergill’s Poppy Victoria Cross have now resulted in a massive £39,823 being raised for the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the home of the Chelsea Pensioners. The Suffolk seedsman will continue to support the organisation until at least the centenary of the end of World War One in 2018. Mr Fothergill’s donates 25p to the Royal Hospital’s charity from every packet of 250 seeds priced at £1.99 it sells through its retail stockists.
Rachael Ferguson, corporate partnerships officer of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, was presented with a cheque by the company’s David Carey for £15,360.75, the value of sales so far in 2015, when she attended Mr Fothergill’s annual Press Day in August.She said: “The support of Mr Fothergill’s and their customers has been truly overwhelming. We are deeply thankful to them for helping us offer a fitting home and the highest possible care to the Chelsea Pensioners, the nation’s veterans.”
Mr Fothergill’s commercial director Tim Jeffries commented “We are thrilled about our links to the Royal Hospital Chelsea. It an inspiration, from its caring staff and impressive setting to the Chelsea Pensioners themselves. Our staff and the nation’s gardeners are committed in their efforts to raise money, and it is heartening that our retail stockists also want to know how much we have raised together for the cause”.
The Royal Hospital Chelsea was established in 1682 by Charles II to provide a safe home for military veterans ‘broken by age or war’, the Christopher Wren-designed Royal Hospital admitted its first pensioners in 1692. The scarlet tunics and black tricornes of its residents and the Royal Horticultural Society’s Flower Show held in the Royal Hospital grounds every May are equally well known and respected around the world.