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The charity’s adaptability during the pandemic was perhaps best illustrated by the disabled veterans of Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory.

Forced to adopt homeworking during the lockdown, they worked tirelessly to safeguard the 2020 Scottish Poppy Appeal by producing more than one million poppies during this time.

The Factory was able to reopen on a limited basis in July, allowing for wreath production and dispatch to be ramped up ahead of the remembrance period.  As if the impact of the pandemic was not enough to contend with, torrential rain in August saw the Factory’s temporary home at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh submerged in a flash flood, destroying hundreds of thousands of poppies in the process. A week later our permanent home at Warriston Road, which is undergoing a building compliance refurbishment programme, was broken into. As the site was unoccupied nothing was stolen and, thankfully, the area which sustained some malicious damage had not been refurbished. 

Work at the Warriston Road site was progressing well with a new roof having been completed just as the lockdown began. The unavoidable pause to the project forced us to extend our tenancy at Redford Barracks by a further nine months, but we are delighted with the progress made since work restarted in June. We now expect the project to be complete by June/July 2021, with the Factory recanting in early July.

We will also implement a new visitor experience in the forthcoming year as part of the redevelopment of Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory, ensuring that when members of the public, schools and other groups visit, they have an appreciation for our history and heritage, and leave with a greater awareness of our vital, life-changing work and the need for support that highlights the heritage and learning opportunities that we deliver as an organisation.

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