This year Sine Ward becomes the first woman to lead the Scottish Poppy Appeal in the East of Scotland, having moved from her role as Regional Fundraiser East. Meanwhile, her counterpart in the West, Robert McRae, will be undertaking his 11th Appeal (no age jokes!). Here, we find out what makes them tick.

What part of this year’s Appeal are you most looking forward to?

Robert – It is always enjoyable to go out and visit various locations, chat to volunteers and interact with the public.

Sine – This will be my first Poppy Appeal in my new role so I’m looking forward to all of it and ensuring it is a success.

Have you noticed any difference for the Appeal during the World War One Centenary commemorations?

Robert – Yes and no. The Appeal varies greatly in each area of the country and so the impact of commemorations is very geographical.

Sine – Yes. I have found the public is taking more of an interest in the Appeal and our Armed Forces community.

If you could have all the money and time in the world what one thing would you most like to add to the Appeal?

Robert – If all the money could bank itself it would make life a lot easier! It really is a big undertaking for all our volunteers, which we appreciate. While we work very hard to improve our systems, unfortunately there is not a “one cap fits all solution”.

Sine – If time stood still, I would visit every Area Organiser to see how they were getting on, and ensure they were enjoying their experience. If I had all of the money in the world, we wouldn’t need to fundraise for the Armed Forces community.

What did you do before you joined Poppyscotland?

Robert – It seems a long time ago now, but I was a retail manager for over 20 years and my last employer before moving to the charity sector was TK Maxx.

Sine – Before joining Poppyscotland, I worked in fundraising at CHILDREN 1ST and St Columba’s Hospice.

What is your favourite book, film and band?

Robert – Letters to Daniel by Fergal Keane, the BBC correspondent, is my favourite book. For escapism I love all the Star Wars films. As far as music taste is concerned, I will spare my blushes by keeping my CD collection under wraps.

Sine – I’m a fan of dancing so I like music to get moving to, especially ceilidh tunes. I also enjoy documentaries and non-fiction books. It’s all about the facts.

You can contact your Poppy Appeal organiser here:

Sine Ward (East)

Robert McRae (West)


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