Royal Hospital Chelsea Appeals For More Female Pensioners

Since 2009, women have been eligible to become Chelsea Pensioners.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea, home of the famous Chelsea Pensioners, is hoping to encourage more women to join up.

The hospital has held a special veteran's breakfast morning to allow potential-pensioners to find out more.

Pat Rosewell, who served in the Women's Royal Army Corps, attended the event.

"I'm single, I've got no one to worry about except for myself and I just love the camaraderie here," she said.

"I love the fact they're on show, they represent the Royal Hospital and I think I could do that and I really, really want to.

"I need people around me, I'm a people's person, and I just want to get out, have fun and represent the Royal Hospital."

Royal Hospital Chelsea 270120 CREDIT BFBS
Royal Hospital Chelsea has been allowing women to become Chelsea Pensioners for the past 11 years.

To become a Chelsea Pensioner, there are specific criteria.

According to the Royal Hospital Chelsea website, applicants must be a British Army veteran, over the age of 65 or the State Pension age.

An applicant must also have an Army Service Pension or War Disability Pension - if not, a weekly financial contribution is required.

Applicants must also be "free of any financial obligation to support a spouse or family" and able to live independently in sheltered accommodation.

There are currently 14 female Chelsea Pensioners.

"This is the place to be, it's absolutely fantastic," said Chelsea Pensioner Monica Parrott.

"When you come here after living on your own, widowed or whatever you might be and you're so lonely - this is a blessing.

"This place is just ideal for people who are on their own."

Women have been eligible to become Chelsea Pensioners since 2009.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea has been looking after British Army veterans since the end of the 17th century.

There are currently around 300 Chelsea Pensioners.