The Proclaimers launch Poppy Appeal in Edinburgh

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THE Proclaimers have launched this year’s Scottish Poppy Appeal.

Twins Charlie and Craig Reid were in Edinburgh to give their backing to the charity, which helps veterans who are dealing with physical injuries, mental illness and those trying to secure work and housing.

Charlie and Craig Reid at the appeal launch today. Pic: Ian Rutherford

Charlie and Craig Reid at the appeal launch today. Pic: Ian Rutherford

They said the new film Sunshine on Leith which features a number of their hit songs is “extremely relevant” to the appeal, as it tells the story of young soldiers returning from Afghanistan.

The twins are longtime supporters of the charity as both their father and grandfather served with the forces.

Their grandfather was killed in France in 1940 while serving with the Royal Scots as a driver. Their father served with the Scots Guard in the 1950s.

Craig said they had always bought poppies and were longtime supporters of the cause.

He said: “We’ve always supported the charity and we have always bought poppies. The males in our family have always been involved with the armed forces and like hundreds of thousands of people in Scotland we have seen the affects this can have on life, some peoples lives are destroyed. For example our grandad was killed in France in 1940.

“We are asking people just to think about what they are buying, say a pizza or a pint or a cup of coffee and instead put that money towards a small donation.

“The more money that goes in the tins, the more Poppyscotland can provide.”

Charlie said it was a “massive honour” to be involved with poppyscotland.

He said: “You get asked to help by a lot and you can’t always do it, but we didn’t even have to think about this.

“We would just ask people to make a small donation to help.”

Last month five million poppies were loaded onto lorries for distribution from Lady Haig’s poppy factory.

All the poppies and wreaths are handmade by ex servicemen at the factory in Edinburgh.

The appeal was launched in Glasgow last year by singer Susan Boyle.

Last year the Scottish Poppy Appeal raised almost £2.6m for ex-servicemen and their families who

However this was slightly lower than previous years were the charity had managed to raise over £2.8m. At the time the charity blamed the economic climate for the fall in funding.

This year Colin Flinn, head of fundraising at Poppyscotland said they are hoping that their ten thousand volunteers throughout the country will help get people donating.

He said: “as we rely wholly on public donations, quite simply it is vital that we raise even more on 2013. The Scottish public has always been terrific in its generosity and we are calling for them to support us once again.

“We have 10000 volunteers trying to saturate communities across the country and we are hoping that people can be persuaded to give up that coffee or donut and make a donation.

“We are seeing increasing numbers of people who need help after battlefield injuries or have mental illnesses and need support. But we can’t help if we don’t have the funds.”