Thank you and welcome!

At Poppyscotland, we know how important it is to keep you, our outstanding volunteers, informed and updated on what is going on around the country. I am so pleased to welcome you to our first poppymail, specifically for our volunteer network.

From supporting in one of our welfare centres or collecting in your home town to sharing stories of reflection and hope on board Bud and organising the Scottish Poppy Appeal in your area, your time makes life changing differences to our Armed Forces community living in Scotland.

On behalf of everyone at Poppyscotland and the people we support, thank you for your energy, enthusiasm and time.

May I also take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful Christmas and all the very best for 2020.

Gordon Michie
Head of Fundraising, Poppyscotland
(Royal Air Force 1988 - 1995)

How your time helps veterans and their families in Scotland...
... Meet Calum
For Calum Cook, a life in the Armed Forces was something that had always appealed. The 25-year-old, from Larkhall, in Lanarkshire, says: “It was something I’d always wanted to do. I had watched television programmes and had seen what the young soldiers were doing. 

Everything was going well for Calum as he embraced life in the Army. He joined the Boxing Team and started to lose the weight required in order to develop the required ring craft. Thereafter, he decided to go for promotion, but it was a combination of his love for boxing and the requirements for the promotion course that would change the course of Calum’s military career and life in general.
“I had lost lots of weight and it meant I was too light to carry the exceptionally heavy weight which formed part of the training for promotion. I just don’t think I had the bulk to cope with the excessive weight. My back was killing me and even when I was putting on the webbing, which is only 5KG, it felt heavy.

“I spent 18 months in agony before I could get any help. I ended up in hospital and only then did I get the help. But, despite that help, it has just got worse ever since. I’m in pain all of the time. The doctors haven’t found anything, so it is classed as chronic back pain.
Following medical discharge in 2018, the pain had robbed Calum of his mobility and now it was proving a Herculean task to even get out the home he shares with wife Roxanne and their two young daughters. It was at this point that Poppyscotland found out about Calum’s predicament and help was forthcoming.

Calum takes the story on: “When I’d been down in Lilleshall, I had a shot of a recumbent bike, which was perfect for me as I cannot sit in a normal bike for too long. A recumbent bike means that the rider is in a laid-back reclining position. It helped to reduce the pain as much as possible – and I was able to cycle for quite a few miles. It was the first time I’d been able to cycle properly for ages.

Poppyscotland funds provided Calum with a recumbent bike, self-propelling wheelchair, washing machine and a hoover. 
Calum is in no doubt that the support from Poppyscotland has made a huge difference to his life, especially the arrival of the bike. He says: “It has been a massive help. Life is better. I’ve got more freedom. I’m getting fitter. I’ve got more motivation. It has given me a bit of independence back which I didn’t have that before. With the bike, I get to go out a lot more. I get to do fitness training now which I could never do before. I can sit on the bike for hours. I can take the dog out for a walk with me on the bike. That bike is probably the best thing I’ve ever had in my life.

And while things like a new washing machine and hoover may not sound as important in comparison, they, too, have given Calum and Roxanne a boost. Calum adds: “The old washing machine was terrible – it washed for 15 minutes and the clothes were not even clean when it had finished. It may not sound much, but it’s not a good feeling when you are not able to wash your children’s clothes properly.”

Calum was aware of Poppyscotland, but did not realise that they could help younger veterans such as himself, as he explains: “I thought the Poppy money went to care homes where the Old and Bold are in. I didn’t realise you could receive funding for the kind of stuff that I’ve got.”
"It has been a massive help. Life is better. I’ve got more freedom
Your time in volunteering with Poppyscotland allows us to continue our life-changing work. We would simply be unable to support people like Calum and his family if is was not for you, our incredible volunteers.

On behalf of all those we support, thank you.

Volunteers share stories of reflection and hope

This ground-breaking new project aims to explore a contemporary understanding of remembrance and was launched at the end of April 2019.

Known as ‘Bud’, the 18-tonne truck transforms into an interactive learning space and will travel to schools and events across the country and is expected to reach 50,000 people in its first year. Not only is it fully booked for the remainder of 2019, fewer than half of the available dates for 2020 remain. The feedback from the schools and communities it has reached so far has been outstanding, and by early next year we’ll already have visited all 32 Scottish local authority areas.

Exhibits within the mobile museum include historical artefacts, interactive displays and the moving stories of veterans and their families who have been supported by Poppyscotland. Visitors to Bud will also have the opportunity to make their own poppy using the same methods as the 34-strong team of disabled veterans at Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory in Edinburgh, who still hand-produce the five million poppies for the annual Scottish Poppy Appeal.

We do, however, need volunteers to help with this exciting venture. Are you able to spare some time to help us engage with future generations? Bud volunteers support groups to navigate the range of exciting experiences on board, supporting the team to answer questions and deliver practical and informative sessions. We are also keen to welcome current former members of the Armed Forces community, happy to share their stories and experiences. 

If you can help when Bud is in your area, we would be delighted to hear from you!

Poppyscotland Volunteer committee wins Scottish Fundraising Award

"We are over the moon that these dedicated volunteers have been recognised as one of the best volunteer groups in the country!"

Katriona Harding

Events Fundraising Manager

We are delighted to share the news that our incredible team of long-standing volunteers have won ‘Best Voluntary Group of the Year’ at the Institute of Fundraising Scotland awards 2019!

The Poppyscotland Sportive committee, who have worked so hard and made the Sportive a success, are a working party of Poppyscotland volunteers who have raised almost £300,000 by developing, managing and delivering the Poppyscotland Sportive cycling event for the past 7 years.

The committee have used their spare time, expertise and knowledge of cycling to grow this event from the pilot in 2014 where 156 riders took part to one of the UK’s best loved Sportives with over 900 registrations in 2019.

Katriona Harding, Events Fundraising Manager at Poppyscotland shares her appreciation for the work of the volunteer group:

"A huge amount of time and effort has gone into making this event the biggest non-Poppy Appeal fundraiser for Poppyscotland and we are so proud of the success and recognition the team have achieved. An incredible success which will make a significant impact in the lives of veterans who are suffering mental health issues, homelessness, poverty or struggling to find employment."
We are over the moon that these dedicated volunteers have been recognised as one of the best volunteer groups in the country. Next year’s event will be launched and open to registration at the start of March, taking place on 
Sunday 27 September 2020.

In addition to the outstanding work of the committee in the year round planning and preparation, we have a team of individuals, groups and Cadet Forces volunteers who come out on the day to feed, motivate and support the event participants. 

If you’d like to take part or volunteer as a marshal, with tea and toast or at one of our feed and water stations, please get in touch!

Contact us on
if you would like to be involved in the 2020 Poppyscotland Sportive.

RAF Air Cadets from South East Scotland Wing manage the East Linton feed station for Sportive 2019.

Meet the 2019 President's Award winners
October saw the launch of the 2019 Scottish Poppy Appeal. There was no better time to recognise the incredible commitment and dedication of our volunteers. 

We were so please to be able to present 6 President's awards, with a seventh to be presented at the Poppy Appeal Volunteer Gatering in April 2020.

We also recognised over 250 volunteers for their years of service. You can nominate others and we are welcoming nominations now. 

We need volunteers to help with an innovative and exciting new exhibition
One hundred stories of Scotland during WWI are told through the perspective of 100 young artists. The exhibition is entitled What Do We Learn From All Th1s?’ and was commissioned by the Scottish Parliament.

Five print studios in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness, with artists from 14 years of age upwards, contributed to the project which marks the culmination of Scotland’s WWI centenary programme.

The artworks depict stories including individual acts of valour on the battlefield, naval tragedies off the coast of Scotland, workers toiling in factories at home to the brave members of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals at the Western Front. 

Poppyscotland volunteers will be supporting in their local area as the travelling visits a range of location throughout 2020. 

The Gathering - confirmed for 2020
Saturday 18 April 2020 will see Poppyscotland Area and Supermarket Organisers come together at the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline. 

The annual volunteering event has three key aims:

  Inform our Organisers from across the country of our work over the last 12 months. Allow key volunteers to provide feedback to Poppyscotland on how we can continue to improve, and support;

  Celebrate the successes of Poppy Appeal 2019;

  Thank our volunteer network for their time, commitment, support and enthusiasm. 

Invites will be making their way to our network of Area and Supermarket Organisers in early 2020.

Volunteer Engagement Survey

Volunteer comments

"I have found volunteering for Poppyscotland to be most humbling and have met some truly inspirational people, with many stories to tell."

"Being a volunteer has been one of the most rewarding and exhilarating experiences"

"I think it very good getting a chance to give my views"
At Poppyscotland we value your feedback!

In 2019 we received 520 responses to our first digital volunteer engagement survey. With each issue of poppymail, we will share comments, feedback and let you know how we are valuing the views of our volunteers. 

We received a number of requests to reduce postal mailing and increase the use of digital communications.
Not yet in a position to move completely away from post, we successfully ran a trail with 20 of our Poppy Appeal Area Organisers, completing their 2019 poppy orders online. Continuing to grow this in the coming year, we will further reduce the number of postal mailings.

We have also developed an improved Volunteer Download section to our website. We will continue to improve the 'look and feel' in 2020. There is already lots available for you to download and complete digitally.


of respondents would recommend volunteering with Poppyscotland.


of our volunteers prefer email over any other communication method, with 6.6% preferring post.

All statistics taken for the Poppyscotland 2019 Volunteer Engagement Survey.  

Events for 2020
As a year-round charity, we have lots going on throughout 2020.

The below table has detail of some of the activity we already have planned. 
DateActivityLocationVolunteer Activity
Sat 29 FebCome Dancing with Poppyscotland InvernessSupporters, Collectors
Sun 8 MarInternational Woman's DayCountrywideCollectors
Sat 18 AprSponsored Zipline River Clyde, GlasgowCheerers, Supporters, Participants
Sat 18 AprPoppy Appeal GatheringDunfermlineArea Organiser event
Sun 26 AprThe KiltwalkGlasgowCheerers, Supporters, Participants
Fri 8 MayVE Day - 75 yearsCountrywideCollectors
Sun 7 JunThe KiltwalkAberdeenCheerers, Supporters, Participants
Sat 27 JunArmed Forces DayCountrywideCollectors
Sun 16 AugThe KiltwalkDundeeCheerers, Supporters, Participants
Sun 30 AugMen's 10KGlasgowCheerers, Supporters, Participants
Sun 13 SepThe KiltwalkEdinburghCheerers, Supporters, Participants
Sun 27 SepPoppyscotland SportiveEast LothianSupport roles, Cheerers, Feed Stations
Sun 4 OctGreat Scottish RunGlasgowCheerers, Supporters, Participants
20 Oct - 12 NovField of RemembranceEdinburghCollectors, Support roles
Thu 29 OctCity Poppy DayEdinburghCollectors
Wed 4 NovCity Poppy DayInvernessCollectors
Thu 5 NovCity Poppy DayAberdeenCollectors
Fri 6 NovCity Poppy DayGlasgowCollectors
Sat 7 NovPoppy SaturdayCountrywideCollectors
Sun 8 NovRemembrance DayCountrywide-
Wed 11 NovArmistice DayCountrywide-
If you would like any further information on our 2020 events, or if you look to organise something in your local area, please get in touch.