On entering the Royal Hospital as a Chelsea Pensioner, you will receive a warm welcome from fellow veterans and staff. Accommodation is provided in the newly refurbished Long Wards, where you will have your own bedroom with en suite facilities and study area.
In the communal lounges you can socialise with fellow Pensioners and admire the magnificent views of the Royal Hospital.
All meals are provided in the beautiful dining rooms of the Great Hall and the Chelsea Pensioners’ Club, with different menu options available every day.
Chelsea Pensioners are encouraged to wear their uniforms; it is mandatory to wear the scarlet uniform when representing the Royal Hospital on a recognised visit or when on parade, such as the annual Founder’s Day parade in June. Otherwise within a two mile of the Royal Hospital the blue day-to-day is normally worn. The blue uniform is also worn at breakfast and lunch in the Great Hall. Most Chelsea Pensioners wear this throughout the day in and around the Hospital, but Pensioners are permitted to wear their civilian clothes whenever they wish to dress down (usually in the evenings).
The social life of the Royal Hospital is rich and varied with a number of activities on offer every week, such as bingo, gardening, film nights, pottery and bridge club. There are also frequent invitations to attend special events outside the Royal Hospital, from charity fundraisers to sporting fixtures. Every year Chelsea Pensioners have the opportunity to represent the Royal Hospital at various ceremonial and commemorative events, including at the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph.
In addition, Pensioners participate in projects that support the wider community as part of the Royal Hospital’s outreach programme.
Every year the Chelsea Pensioners are welcome guests on the Channel Islands, for a celebration of history, Liberation and reconciliation.
Chelsea Pensioner and London Marathon veteran Fred shared his advice with charity duo.