SCOTS schoolkids accompanied Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop on a tour of the Lady Haig Poppy Factory yesterday. (Tues)
In the week leading up to Remembrance Day, the children also visited the mobile World War II museum, and spoke with veterans about their wartime experiences.
They also learned how to make their own poppy during the visit to the factory in Edinburgh.
The organisation has 33 mostly disabled war veterans working all year round making over five million poppies to be sold exclusively for the Poppyscotland appeal.
Ms Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “The poppy factory is hugely important in producing the poppies leading up to Remembrance Day, and also in the employment in provides.
“It also gives an opportunity for youngsters to learn more about the history of the poppy, what those in the armed services, both in the past and the present, are doing for the country.
“I’m very pleased the government is supporting the resources that are here and I think more schools would benefit from learning about and understanding the poppy factory.
“I think it’s very stimulating and enjoyable visit for them, but it has a serious note for them to understand why it is adults wear poppies.”
The children from Pirniehill Primary School, in Edinburgh, spoke at length to veterans and also were allowed to make their own poppies to take home.
First opened in 1926, the Lady Haig factory originally made wreaths with locally grown laurel leaves, wax poppy seeds and moss which was gathered by members of the Girl Guides.
It moved to its present premises in the Warriston area in 1965, and was officially opened by the Duke of Edinburgh a year later.
Last year the appeal raised a record £1.76 million which went to provide financial assistance to individuals and helping them with a range of issues including mobility needs, home repairs and respite breaks.
A spokesperson for the Lady Haig Poppy Factory said: “It was wonderful Ms Hyslop could attend today, especially with the children visiting.
“It’s incredibly important that the youth of today know, learn and respect what the poppy appeal is all about. Hopefully they will be the poppy wearers of the future.”
Ms Hyslop added: “Poppyscotland is very important in supporting the many veterans, many of them are young and many of them have seen action some time ago.
“But there are many families that can be supported through support for housing and support for families and for helping people back into employment.
“It’s the responsibility for all of us, especially in government, that we support Poppyscotland and the veterans who fully deserve our backing.”