MP Johnny Mercer Visits the Royal Hospital

26th April 2019

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 Wren buildings are such an important part of Britain’s heritage, but I was even more pleased to witness the excellent standard of care for the Pensioners. Veterans meeting together always have stories to share, so I learned a lot! This wonderful institution sets the bar for veteran care – I would love to see the Chelsea model adopted by others around the country,” said Johnny Mercer.

Mr Mercer visited the Pensioners’ art room where he was able to watch just some of the wide range of activities on offer for the Chelsea Pensioners at the Hospital - all designed to encourage positive mental wellbeing in older age. Experience has shown that activities help to build a sense of community and promote active aging and now form an integral part of the ethos of the 327 year old Hospital.

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Brompton Cemetery Seed Sowing
Sowing wildflowers in memory of past Chelsea Pensioners

On 6 May, Chelsea Pensioners and members of the Royal Hospital’s grounds team joined representatives from the Royal Parks, the Royal Parks Guild and the Friends of Brompton Cemetery to sow a patch of wildflower seeds in Brompton Cemetery as part of the Battlefields and Butterflies initiative.

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100 years old and still going strong

Recent research backs up the anecdote that Chelsea Pensioners not only live considerably longer than their peers outside (by over five years, on average), but that their lifetimes once they come to the Royal Hospital are extending, year on year. This strongly suggests that the care and community here contribute to greater longevity – as well as improving quality of life. 

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