Chelsea Pensioner Ray Pearson – formerly an NCO instructor in the Royal Engineers and a journalist – is keeping himself busy during lockdown at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, despite a health scare.

The Royal Hospital welcomed BBC's Defence Correspondent Johnathan Beale to see what life is like for the pensioners under these new restrictions and speak with the Hospital's Governor, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw.

Healthcare systems in countries around the world are facing a considerable challenge in their Coronavirus preparation and response. The increased risk to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions is putting pressure on organisations which have a primary focus on caring for older people.

Pensioners and staff alike are always delighted when volunteers and dogs from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home make their monthly visit to the Royal Hospital. Read on to meet the dogs and follow them when they last visited the Infirmary.

​​With the country likely to be under prolonged isolation, the Governor of the Royal Hospital has reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the Founder’s Day celebrations this year.

In March 2009, the Royal Hospital opened its doors to the first female Chelsea Pensioners: Dorothy Hughes and Winifred Phillips who both sadly are no longer alive. You can meet some of today’s female Pensioners below.

Last Sunday, six intrepid staff members put on their running shoes to raise money for the Royal Hospital and Chelsea Pensioners at the Vitality Big Half marathon. 

After 38 years, Ron Willmore – the Royal Hospital’s Grounds Manager – is hanging up his gardening gloves and retiring. Discover how his committment was honoured, and meet his replacement Ric Glenn.

England’s most senior nurse has appointed the lead on health and wellbeing for Chelsea Pensioners as her advisor on improving support for care home nurses.

On 16th January Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch and some of his team delivered a fascinating talk to a group of Chelsea Pensioners and staff members, including our Governor, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw.

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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.

Chelsea Pensioner Centenarians
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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