Coronavirus: Scottish Poppy Appeal Goes Contactless

The move by Poppyscotland has been taken to help reduce contact between buyer and seller amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This year's Scottish Poppy Appeal is going contactless as part of efforts to keep the public and volunteers safe amid COVID-19.

Due to the crisis, contactless forms of payments are being used to keep contact between buyer and seller to a minimum.

Gordon Michie, Head of Fundraising as Poppyscotland told Forces News: “We know it’s different, we know the challenges that we all face in our day to day lives just now.

“We are going to ask our fantastic supporters, the fantastic Scottish public just to go that extra mile and support us.”

QR codes and microchips, which are automatically recognised by smartphones, have been placed on poppy boxes to allow people to give in a socially distanced manner.

Mark Collins, interim Chief Executive of Poppyscotland, said: "Our incredible team of disabled veterans at Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory do remarkable work each and every day.

"Adaptability is a key strength instilled in service personnel and this has been especially evident from the factory veterans this year, given that they have produced more than one million poppies from home during lockdown."

"Just as they have had to adapt to the ever-changing world that we live in, this year’s Scottish Poppy Appeal is also having to adapt," he added.

"The new technology that has been introduced is a terrific advancement and will help to ensure this vital fundraiser goes ahead, but does so in a safe way for the public and Poppyscotland’s volunteers alike."

Four million poppies were loaded onto trucks at Redford Barracks, Edinburgh (Picture: Poppyscotland).

The campaign, launched on Thursday, was marked with the loading of four million poppies - all made by ex-service personnel - onto trucks at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh before being taken across the country. 

Lady Haig's Poppy Factory is currently based at the barracks whilst it undergoes redevelopment.

Lockdown meant the team was based at home for several weeks, but poppy-making continued.

Poppyscotland is also distributing poppies and tins to every school in Scotland, rather than having volunteers deliver them as part of its coronavirus safety measures.

The Scottish Poppy Appeal is the largest annual charity street collection in Scotland and raises almost £3 million each year for ex-service personnel. 

Cover image: Poppyscotland is using contactless technology for this year's appeal (Picture: Poppyscotland).