Retail sales of Mr Fothergill's Poppy Victoria Cross seed this Spring (January to June 2014) have raised more than £24,000 for the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the home of the Chelsea Pensioners, in the centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War.
The Suffolk seedsman has also announced it will continue to support the Royal Hospital for at least another four years, until the centenary of the end of the Great War in 2018. Mr Fothergill's has pledged to donate 25p to the Royal Hospital's appeal from every packet of Poppy Victoria Cross seeds sold via its retail stockists during 2014.
Presenting a cheque for £24,462.50 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea to some of the resident Chelsea Pensioners, the company's sales director David Carey, said: "Sales of Poppy Victoria Cross have been phenomenal this Spring, making it our biggest selling variety. It just shows the huge support there is for our former armed service personnel among Britain's millions of gardeners."
He was accompanied by national field sales manager Richard Keegan and leading territory managers Larry White, Stuart Clements and Sylvia Thomas, who received a personal tour of the Royal Hospital as thanks for the special efforts they have made in promoting the joint venture.
Royal Hospital Chelsea fundraising manager Kate Marsh said: “On behalf of the Chelsea Pensioners, I would like to say how delighted we are to receive this incredibly generous donation from the sales of Mr Fothergill’s Poppy Victoria Cross seed. The funds raised will help us to provide the very best care and service to the Chelsea Pensioners, many of whom are taking part in First World War remembrance services across the country this year.
“Our sincere thanks to Mr Fothergill’s for their support and we hope more people are inspired to grow their beautiful Victoria Cross poppies.”
To grow your own beautiful poppies and support the Royal Hospital Chelsea, you can purchase Mr Fothergill's Poppy Victoria Cross seeds here.
The Chelsea Pensioners will be taking part in the annual Lord Mayor's Show in London this year, to celebrate their 325th anniversary.
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