ALEX MCLEISH HELPS LAUNCH SCOTTISH POPPY APPEAL

23rd October 2018 Laura Hayward

Scotland national team manager Alex McLeish was today joined by a team of 11 members of the Armed Forces community, both serving personnel and veterans, to mark the beginning of this year’s particularly poignant Scottish Poppy Appeal.

Alex met the group at Scotland’s national stadium, Hampden Park, to offer his support to this year’s Appeal which concludes on the 11th day of the 11th month, marking exactly 100 years since the beginning of the end of the First World War.

Earlier this year, Poppyscotland commissioned a special Centenary Poppy with the text “1918-2018” embossed in gold across the traditional and iconic red paper poppy; the first significant change to the design of Scottish poppy in more than a generation.

Poppyscotland uses money raised to provide vital support to the Armed Forces community in Scotland. This includes specialist advice and employment support, home adaptations, mobility aids and tailored funding packages. The charity is aiming to raise even more money this year to continue to deliver support to those who need it most.

Alex McLeish, Scotland national team manager, said: “It was an honour to meet some of the Armed Forces community at Hampden Park and to support the Scottish Poppy Appeal in this important year.

“I hope the Scottish public will be inspired by these 11 incredible individuals to get behind this year’s Appeal and help raise as much money as possible for those who have served, those still serving, and their families.”

Those joining Alex McLeish at Hampden included several veterans who served in conflicts from the Second World War right up to Afghanistan, all of whom have benefited from Poppyscotland’s life-changing support.

Also represented were soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland and sailors from HMS Prince of Wales, along with Poppyscotland volunteers who will be out in their thousands collecting donations over the coming fortnight.

Last year, the Scottish Poppy Appeal raised almost £3 million and the charity is hoping to break the £3 million barrier for the first time ever this year, enabling them to provide support to those who urgently need it.

Gordon Michie, Poppyscotland’s Head of Fundraising, said: “This is clearly a huge year for the charity and the nation as a whole. It is an opportunity for us all to say ‘Thank You’ to the generation who served, sacrificed and changed our world. We will never forget, but Poppyscotland will always support those in our Armed Forces community who continue to need help today.

“We work all year round to ensure this is the case, and we hope to continue to do so for the next 100 years. The Scottish Poppy Appeal raises more than £2 million each year, and, with the increased focus on the Centenary commemorations and our stunning new Centenary Poppy, we hope this will help make this a record fundraising drive.”

The Scottish Poppy Appeal is Scotland’s largest annual street collection and runs until the 11th of November. More than five million poppies and 60,000 collecting tins are distributed around Scotland ahead of the event in October and November. This year, nearly two million Centenary poppies are being sent to communities across Scotland.

Money raised from the Poppy Appeal – and Poppyscotland’s year-round fundraising – enables the charity to deliver support to members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland by providing tailored funding and assistance.

It is hoped interest surrounding the Centenary Poppy will encourage the public to dig deeper this year, which will, in turn, provide a further boost for the life-changing support provided by Poppyscotland to the Armed Forces community in Scotland.

Poppies are now available across Scotland. You can donate in a variety of locations via a 10,000-strong network of volunteers. To donate online, please click here.