“Poppy-up” Shops set to open their doors as Centenary Appeal draws near

12th October 2018 Fraser Bedwell

Soldiers from past, present and future have joined forces to launch a bumper new merchandise range to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

The Poppyscotland collection, which includes the charity’s first-ever gentleman’s brooch, is available to buy online now and will be available to at 27 aptly named “Poppy-up Shops” across Scotland until November 10.

To unveil the new catalogue, veteran Ronnie Wilson, a former Queen’s Own Cameron Highlander, and ex-Army officer Stella Bartram, one of Scotland’s foremost fitness experts, were joined by a soldier, and a 16-year-old with ambitions to serve her country.

LCpl Joseva Naycavou took a break from a busy schedule which includes life as part of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland [2 SCOTS], and fixture commitments around the world as a key member of the Scotland 7s squad, to take part in the photoshoot, alongside Cassie Smillie, a member of Kelvinside Academy’s Combined Cadet force.

The Fijian-born forward said: “Comradeship is everything to me, whether it’s in the barracks or on the rugby pitch. During Poppy Appeal, it’s incredibly heart-warming to see people across the country wear the poppy with pride, whether it’s on a brooch, a bag or a badge. Just by doing that, they are making a huge difference to the lives of ex-Servicemen and women.”

This year’s range includes clothing, pin badges, stationary, mugs and bags, with special centenary edition T-shirts and jumpers. Renowned remembrance artist Jacqueline Hurley has also produced a stunning landscape entitled Scotland Remembers, which is available as a limited-edition print, a mug, T-shirt or commemorative plate.

Fraser Bedwell, Head of Marketing at Poppyscotland added: “We are thrilled with how the new merchandise looks, and we can’t thank our ambassadors enough for their help in launching it.

“Our merchandise is very important in raising the vital funds which allow us to provide life-changing support to the Armed Forces community – those who have served, those still serving and their families. 2018 is a particularly poignant year for us, as it marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, but the demands on our services are increasing all the time. This new merchandise range is great way for the public to show their support and help Poppyscotland to provide our veterans with the help they urgently need. Those who have served and sacrificed so much deserve our continued support.”

Details of how and where to buy the Poppyscotland merchandise range can be found at www.poppyscotland.org.uk/shop.

Cassie Smillie, 16, said: “The CCF is such a huge part of life at Kelvinside Academy and it has given me a far better understanding of the sacrifices Forces made and continue to make for our country.

“I know our school has big plans around the centenary to pay its respects to the former pupils who gave their lives during the Great War. I plan to wear the merchandise with pride to support such an incredibly worthwhile cause.”

Veteran and Poppyscotland volunteer Ronnie Wilson said: “I have been involved in Poppyscotland for more than 20 years and the iconic poppy symbol means so much to me. It symbolises the work they do to look after people who served in the forces. “I’m always happy to help the charity, and I’m very impressed with the new merchandise.”

Stella Bartram, who owns Gym G5 in Glasgow, described the poppy is an iconic symbol of life and hope. She added: “It’s not just about sacrifice, but the possibility for support and also a new beginning for those who have been wounded or become sick.

“The new Poppyscotland merchandise is vibrant, colourful and meaningful, and I am sure people will wear it with pride.”