A REMARKABLE £40,324.87 was raised in Dunfermline for the 2020 Scottish Poppy Appeal – despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With scores of dedicated volunteers forced to stay at home and many of the usual poppy outlets closed, there were fears that the pandemic could have a catastrophic effect on the annual appeal.

However, thanks to the tireless efforts and ingenuity of local volunteers, the total was only marginally down on the sum raised in 2019 of just over £42,000.

Led by area organiser Christine Evans, who has been a Poppyscotland volunteer for 20 years, the appeal had incredible support from across the community.

It worked for the first time with the Edinburgh and Fife branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to help with supermarket collections, as well as the Legion Scotland Riders Branch, other local groups, clubs, businesses and individuals.

Christine said: “The generosity of the public has been phenomenal and we are all feeling overwhelmed by the support we received.

“I’m immensely grateful to the public who have donated so generously, and to my fantastic team of volunteers who have worked so hard. Our fundraising was limited by the restrictions in place and we were unable to undertake any street collections.

“Many pubs that would usually take collecting tins were shut, while footfall in the town was drastically reduced with so many people working from home.

“We’ve achieved a huge amount under very difficult circumstances but we couldn’t have done it without local help and support.”

Help also came from the Rotary Club, who were out in force and distributed and collected in tins from businesses throughout the town.

Thanks to the support of Robert Stalker, from Blachere Illuminations, the appeal once again decorated trees throughout the town with poppies as well as the poppy projection onto the City Chambers.

Numerous local businesses, large and small, sponsored a tree and raised an amazing £2,800 in the process. Sponsors included Amazon, Technip, Optos, Kingdom Housing Association and many more.

Thanks has also gone to Tesco, Asda and Aldi, as well as the Kingsgate Shopping Centre, for accommodating volunteers and keeping them safe.

The Scottish Poppy Appeal raises funds to provide life-changing support to the armed forces community in Scotland, including vital practical advice, assistance and funding.

Poppyscotland’s head of fundraising, Gordon Michie, paid tribute to the charity’s local fundraisers, saying: “Christine has led the Poppy Appeal in Dunfermline for seven years, helping to raise a remarkable total of more than £320,000 during that time.

“To continue that success in such challenging circumstances is a huge achievement that has only been possible thanks to the dedication of Christine and her amazing team of volunteers.

“We’re immensely grateful to them and to the people of Dunfermline, whose generosity will allow us to continue to provide our life-changing support to the armed forces community in Fife and throughout the country.”

For more information on how to get involved, contact Ian Jackson on 0131 550 1597, by email at volunteer@poppyscotland.org.uk or visit www.poppyscotland.org.uk/volunteer.