The Soldiers’ Arts Academy links serving and veteran Army personnel and their families with professionals from the creative arts. Through a range of workshops, projects and productions they give participants the opportunity to discover new interests, recover from difficult experiences, transition into civilian life and even find new careers. 

This Christmas, we’re delighted to be sharing the Royal Hospital’s first-ever handmade advent calendar. From the photograph of the our colonnade – which forms the backdrop of the calendar – to the treasures hidden behind each door, every part of the calendar has been made by a Chelsea Pensioner. 

Illustrator Mike Payne visited the Infirmary at the Royal Hospital Chelsea this morning to present his latest artwork, commissioned by the son of Chelsea Pensioner Terry Chaffer.

Although Chelsea Pensioners Rick Graham and Ernie Boyden are separated by a generation, they bond over the hobby they share. Both are keen painters and enjoy working together in the Royal Hospital’s art room.

As part of Dementia Action Week, the Royal Hospital Chelsea is joining other organisations in Sloane Square in promoting a series of free cultural events, including an art exhibition featuring work by the Chelsea Pensioners.

The Governor, Sir Adrian Bradshaw, and the Chelsea Pensioners were delighted yesterday to welcome to the Royal Hospital Chelsea another Veteran, Johnny Mercer MP, who completed three tours of Afghanistan.

The Chelsea Pensioners were the guests of honour last week at a photography exhibition which showcased photos taken by the Pensioners during a course held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea earlier this month.

The Chelsea Pensioners recently partnered with artists Scarlett Raven & Marc Marot (creators of the critically acclaimed “Danger Tree” project) to create a new augmented reality artwork to commemorate WWI.

A group of Chelsea Pensioner artists are to exhibit their London-themed work at an exhibition at the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s Margaret Thatcher Infirmary (MTI) next week.

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Pensioners holding a Christmas wreath outside
Festive thoughts from the Chelsea Pensioners

Christmas is almost here and although life is still far from normal the Chelsea Pensioners are enjoying being part of our community at this special time. We are celebrating in many of the traditional ways at the Royal Hospital – while ensuring guidelines are followed and the Chelsea Pensioners stay as safe as possible. 

Stirring of the Christmas Pudding Ceremony 2021
Festive fun at the stirring of the Christmas Pudding ceremony

Chelsea Pensioners and staff gathered together in the Great Hall on the last day of November to usher in the start of Advent with the first of the Royal Hospital’s annual Christmas traditions. 

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