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Earlier today, John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, was at St Augustine’s High School, in Edinburgh, to be given a tour of a ground-breaking new project launched recently by Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland. Mr Swinney was welcomed aboard ‘Bud’ – an 18-tonne purpose-built truck which has taken to the streets of Scotland to teach communities about the importance of remembrance and the heritage of the poppy. Mr Swinney, who met Poppyscotland Chief Executive Mark Bibbey and St Augustine’s headteacher Michael McGhee, said: “I welcome Poppyscotland’s ‘Bud’ truck as an inclusive and accessible way to enthuse younger generations in the experiences and memories of those who have served with the Armed Forces and Veterans Community. Poppyscotland is to be commended for developing an innovative, engaging and interdisciplinary learning experience and activity for schools. ‘Bud’ will help to bring history to life for children and young people. I recognise how important it is that current and future generations learn and do not forget about the sacrifices made by the young men and women of the Armed Forces to keep us safe.”


In these uncertain times, we want to keep you informed and updated. Poppyscotland Volunteers are our lifeblood and we know you will have questions. We have answered some frequently asked questions below. If you any further questions, please contact

What is coronavirus?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan city, China. It can cause a cough and/or a fever/high temperature.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater).

A new continuous cough is where you:

• have a new cough that’s lasted for an hour
• have had 3 or more episodes of coughing in 24 hours
• are coughing more than usual

A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature). You may feel warm, cold or shivery.

Some people will have more serious symptoms, including pneumonia or difficulty breathing, which might require admission to hospital.

What can I do to reduce the spread of the virus?

Stay at home

• Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
• If you go out, always stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
• Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Do not meet others, even friends or family.

You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

I am worried that I may be more susceptible to Coronavirus. Can I take a break from volunteering to reduce risk to myself?

With the Government advice to socially distance and stay at home, we have currently suspended all volunteer activity.

Do let your Poppyscotland contact know (if you haven’t done so already) regarding your current volunteering status; this enables arrangements to be made to stay in touch and support provided as required whilst you are away from volunteering with us.

Where can I find out more information about Coronavirus?

Please refer to the following links:

Scottish Government Website

NHS Scotland

Can I still visit people in their own homes or attend Poppyscotland offices as part of my volunteer role?

As of Tuesday 17th March 2020, the decision was made that no home visits are to be made by Poppyscotland colleagues to the homes of the people we support. Our staff are prioritising those most in need and communicating by telephone or video chat where appropriate.

Our GetHelp number is fully operational, so if someone you know in the Armed Forces community needs our support, they can continue to contact us on 0131 550 1557 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). Out of working hours they should contact the Veterans Gateway on 0808 802 1212.

I am due to attend face to face volunteer training related to my role at Poppyscotland – will this still go ahead, and should I attend?

With the Prime Minister announcing ‘Stay at home’ measures on 23rd March and those Poppyscotland staff that can, being advised to work from home, volunteer training will be cancelled or postponed.

Please get in touch with your Poppyscotland contact who can provide up to date information, and may also be able to provide guidance on alternative training methods.

The Volunteer Gathering (scheduled for 18th April 2020) is postponed until further notice.

I was hoping to get involved with the VE Day events in May – will they still go ahead?

Poppyscotland and Legion Scotland have agreed that as a result of the pandemic, events commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day will not take place. We have also cancelled all face-to-face fundraising activity and events around VE Day.

We are continuing to work with the Government and other partner organisations to identify ways to commemorate the anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May, paying tribute to our Second World War generation.

Details of alternative commemorations will be updated through Poppyscotland and Legion Scotland channels, once confirmed.

See our website for more information


Legion Scotland

I am well and would like to offer help as a volunteer to those in need.

We have begun exploring options of how our volunteer network may be able to support others at this challenging time. We will aim to circulate opportunities as and if these become available.

In the meantime, you may wish to contact your local authority and/or local community groups to find out how you can help. (Some suggestions below)

Volunteer Scotland – Advice and information to promote good neighborliness and links to volunteer roles:

Ready Scotland have provided guidance and advice on helping in your community. Including information on connecting with your neighbours and providing practical help and emotional support.

You can contact and register with your local Volunteer Centre. They should be able to direct you to which opportunities are needed most in your local area and can be conducted safely at that time.

Trussell Trust Food Banks – supporting with access to food banks in your local community.

I am at home and I think I have symptoms of Coronavirus, what should I do?

If you’ve developed a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature in the last 7 days, stay at home for 7 days from the start of your symptoms even if you think your symptoms are mild. Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection can be found here.

You should phone 111 if:

  • your symptoms worsen during home isolation, especially if you’re in a high or extremely high risk group
  • breathlessness develops or worsens, particularly if you’re in a high or extremely high risk group
  • your symptoms haven’t improved in 7 days

Where possible, update your Poppyscotland contact.

If you have a medical emergency, phone 999 and tell them you have COVID-19 symptoms.

What can I do to stay active while social distancing?

We want you to stay safe, and active at this challenging time. It is important we all follow the guidance from the Government and NHS.

We have developed some resources and ideas of how to stay active whilst social distancing.

Click here to give them a go! 

If you have any concerns regarding Coronavirus and carrying out your volunteer role with Poppyscotland, please speak with your Poppyscotland contact.



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