Poppyscotland announced today  that the 2012 Scottish Poppy Appeal has raised £2,586,788. Although proud of the result, the charity emphasised the need to raise more money in 2013 to continue to deliver vital support to Scotland’s Armed Forces and veterans’ community.

Thanks to the generosity of the Scottish public during the November campaign, Poppyscotland provides practical support to the most vulnerable ex-Service people and their families across Scotland who struggle with a multitude of complex needs, from physical injury and mental illness to securing employment and housing.

Scottish singing star Susan Boyle, who launched the 2012 Appeal in Glasgow with 80 members of two of Scotland’s Military Wives Choirs, paid tribute to the public, saying:- “This is a fantastic achievement and I am delighted that the people of Scotland have given so generously. Their support is truly unforgettable and it will make a world of difference to veterans and their families who need help.”

The 2012 Scottish Poppy Appeal total is lower than the 2011 figure of £2.68 million with the charity citing the current financial climate as the reason. However, with charity donations across the UK falling by 20% in 2011/12* Poppyscotland is bucking the trend with only a 3.76% drop.

Chief Executive Ian McGregor explained: “Whilst we did not exceed the 2011 total, we are very proud of this result. We recognise the difficulties faced by individuals and families, with the country in recession and the cost of living rising. We are immensely grateful to the public for digging deep once again to help Scotland’s veterans and we extend our heartfelt thanks to them and to the many volunteers who work tirelessly on our behalf.”

However, as a charity that relies wholly on public donations, Poppyscotland must raise more money this year to continue to deliver its existing services and a range of new initiatives, which include a welfare centre in Inverness, new employment services to help veterans get into work, wider access to specialist advice and a purpose-built break centre offering respite to serving and ex-Service people and their families.

Ian McGregor emphasised the importance of raising money all year round, saying: “Our fundraising activity continues far beyond November. Sadly, the demands on our services show no sign of diminishing and whether someone has left the Armed Forces two weeks ago or 20 years ago, we will be there. Quite simply, in order to ensure a better future for Scotland’s veterans and their families we need to raise more money.”