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Tribute to veterans
Scotland's only poppy factory marks its 90th anniversary this year.
The famous Lady Haig's Poppy Factory in Edinburgh employs veterans with disabilities to hand-assemble Scotland's poppies and wreaths.
Each year over five million poppies and 8,000 wreaths are produced for the annual Scottish Poppy Appeal. The 40 disabled ex-Servicemen have just completed the production of poppies for the 2011 Appeal and are commencing work on the 2012 fulfilment.
Minister with responsibility for veterans Keith Brown toured the factory, met veterans and made his own poppy.
Commenting on the visit, Mr Brown said:
"The Scottish Poppy Appeal run by Poppyscotland is a fantastic example of the respect and pride we bestow on our war veterans. Without the funding raised by the appeal, many simply would have nowhere else to turn for support.
"In many respects, the issues facing our armed forces as they return from battle are similar to what they would have been 90 years ago when the poppy appeal was established. Over the years there has been a tremendous amount of money donated and, as our military involvement continues to grow, so too does the need for us to support our ex-Servicemen and women.
"The work done at Poppyscotland, particularly in employing veterans, shows a strength of community spirit and allows poppy wearers in Scotland to show their support with pride on Armistice Day."
The minister also met representatives from Poppyscotland, the charity that runs the Scottish Poppy Appeal. As well as supporting the veterans who work in the Factory, Poppyscotland provides year-round support to veterans and their families, many of whom struggle with the transition from military to civilian life.
Money raised through the annual Scottish Poppy Appeal, which raised a record £2.35 million in 2010, is used to provide support to veterans through direct financial assistance to individuals and grants to organisations that deliver specialist services to veterans in Scotland.