The third annual Aberdeen Poppy Day saw scores of volunteers from businesses across the North East take to the streets in support of Poppyscotland. Staff from organisations including RBS, Zenith Resources and Aberdeenshire Council joined veterans, serving members of the military and other volunteers to collect money on a day of fun and fundraising.
Lending his support to Aberdeen Poppy Day was golfer Paul Lawrie, who took time away from the course to throw his support behind this year’s Scottish Poppy Appeal. The 1999 Open winner said: “I know how important it is to try and raise as much as we can for Poppyscotland. We should all be grateful for the job the Servicemen and Servicewomen did and continue to do today. It’s important to do your bit and I’m delighted to help out. The Poppy Appeal is a big deal – and rightly so.”
Amongst the collectors hitting the streets, shopping centres and supermarkets were father and daughter pair Ian and Alison Pirie. Ian served with Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for nine years, where he served in Northern Ireland, Canada and Germany. Alison, an HR Advisor for Aberdeenshire Council, which has allowed staff to take time away from their normal duties to support Aberdeen Poppy Day, joined her father to collect for two hours on Union Street.
Ian said: “As a veteran, the Scottish Poppy Appeal is a cause very close to my heart. I will be taking up my usual place to pay my respects at the Remembrance Sunday parade, but I was more than happy to give up a couple of hours this morning to do my bit for the Appeal.”
Alison added: “I received an email from Poppyscotland inviting staff from Aberdeenshire Council to take part in Aberdeen Poppy Day, and, when I mentioned it to my dad, he was keen to join me. Poppyscotland is such a worthy cause, and, as well as collecting this morning, I’ll also be encouraging staff at Aberdeenshire Council HQ to dig deep when I spend more time collecting around the office at lunchtime tomorrow.”
In addition to scores of collectors across the city, Poppyscotland’s 18-tonne mobile learning resource, Bud, took pride of place in St Nicholas Street. Bud welcomed visitors young and old to learn more about the history and heritage of the Poppy, and to share their stories of reflection and hope. The pipes and drums from Robert Gordon’s College also entertained the crowd with a stirring performance.
Gordon Michie, Head of Fundraising for Poppyscotland, said: “The support we have received from local businesses, celebrities and the general public has been truly humbling. Aberdeen Poppy Day has been another roaring success.
“While it will take some time to count all the money, the thousands that we expect to have been raised will allow Poppyscotland to provide more of the vital, life-changing support to those in the Armed Forces community who urgently need our help. Together with the people of Aberdeen and the North East, we are showing them that we are behind them. Always.”
Money raised from the Scottish Poppy Appeal and the charity’s year-round fundraising helps to provide support to members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland by providing tailored funding and assistance. The charity also funds services in advice, employment, housing, mental health, mobility and respite.
The 2019 Scottish Poppy Appeal reaches its conclusion on Armistice Day this coming Monday when the nation will fall silent for two minutes at 11am to remember those who have served and sacrificed so much in defence of the country.