Published On: Wed, Oct 24th, 2012 at 4:32pm

Susan Boyle lunches Poppy Appeal 2012 in Glasgow

Singer Susan Boyle helps to launch the Poppy Appeal 2012

At an event in Glasgow today Susan was joined by around 80 members of two Scottish military wives choirs – West of Scotland and Edinburgh Garrison, whose partners are currently serving in the Armed Forces. The choirs performed their version of Proud (M People) before Susan officially launched the Appeal, organised by Poppyscotland.

Speaking of her involvement in the launch, Susan said: “My father served in World War II so the Scottish Poppy Appeal is a cause close to my heart. The money raised means that Poppyscotland can provide much-needed support to thousands of veterans and, of course, their families. The Armed Forces community today really needs our support and I hope the Scottish public will get behind the 2012 Appeal and give as much as they can when putting money in the poppy tins.”

Poppyscotland uses money raised from the annual Scottish Poppy Appeal to provide support to the Armed Forces community in Scotland. More funds are needed to continue to deliver both existing services and a range of planned new initiatives, which include a presence in the north of Scotland to make welfare services more accessible to the local serving and ex-Service population; new employment services to help veterans, including those with mental health issues and those in the criminal justice system; wider access to specialist advice; and a purpose-built break centre in Scotland to offer much-needed respite to serving and ex-Service people and their families.

Poppyscotland Chief Executive Ian McGregor explained why the Scottish Poppy Appeal is so important to the charity: “The Scottish Poppy Appeal is vital. The demands on our services are growing and the sad reality is they show no sign of diminishing. Operations in Afghanistan mean Servicemen and women will continue to suffer life-changing injuries, while mental health issues amongst veterans, such as PTSD, are a real and growing problem. For some, simply the loss of the security of the Armed Forces means that dealing with issues such as finances or finding suitable employment or housing can be overwhelming. We believe there will be a long tail of consequences for veterans both while the war in Afghanistan continues and far beyond the planned withdrawal in 2014.”

The West of Scotland and Edinburgh Garrison military choirs at the launch event have both received support from Poppyscotland through grants to assist with childcare to allow them to practice. This has been a real boon for some of the members, whose partners are serving and can be away for six to nine months at a time. Following the success of the inaugural Military Wives Choir which enjoyed success on TV and in the charts last year, various choirs have been set up across the country. Their popularity has grown as they give people an opportunity to take part in an enjoyable pursuit and provide an environment to socialise and offer much-needed support.

The 2012 Scottish Poppy Appeal runs from 24th October to 11th November. Various activities are planned during this time, including a two-week TV & radio advertising campaign. Poppy Week takes place from 5th to 11th November.

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