Crochet poppies are a big success for Ann

Ann Whittaker (right) and her colleague Louise Hyndman from Sainsbury's Kirkcaldy with some of her crocheted poppies and teddies
Ann Whittaker (right) and her colleague Louise Hyndman from Sainsbury's Kirkcaldy with some of her crocheted poppies and teddies

A cashier from Sainsbury’s supermarket in Kirkcaldy is doing her bit for Poppy Scotland – by crocheting thousands of poppies.

Ann Whittaker’s creations, which also include poppy-themed teddies, owls and poppies in pots have proved so popular that she and her mother-in-law Jean Whittaker, who lives in Lancashire, have spent all their spare time over the last few months making them.

And this year alone they have raised around £1200 for the charity which helps thousands of ex-servicemen and women and their families, overcome physical, emotional and financial difficulties.

This is the third year Ann, who lives in Cowdenbeath, has been making her poppies, and each year they have proved more and more in demand.

“This year being the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 has really drawn people’s attention and I knew it would be busier than ever, so I began making my poppies back in January,” explained Ann, who has worked in the Kirkcaldy store for four years and the company for 19 years.

The poppy idea came about after Ann, who originally worked in the petrol station at the Fife Central Retail Park, decided to make crocheted flowers to brighten up her and her workmates’ uniforms.

“I made some flowers in the company colours and everyone admired them and wanted one. Then when it came round towards November someone said to me I should make some poppies and sell them for charity.

“I thought it was a good idea and made a few, then people saw them and more people asked if they could have one, so I made a few dozen and asked the manager if it would be okay to sell them in the petrol station.

“He said that it would be fine as long as all the money was going to Poppyscotland, and they just flew off the shelves, so I had to make more. It has just grown from there and each year I have had to make more and more to cope with the demand. I added the different sized poppies, poppy pots then the teddies and owls and everything has gone down really well.”

With the special 100 years anniversary this year, Ann decided to do something more and the supermarket came up with the idea of raffling off a poppy-themed hamper. It included a teapot, for which Ann crocheted a poppy tea-cosy, poppy mugs, specialist teas and biscuits, and ticket sales for the raffle raised over £400.

“We put all the money from the sales of the poppies, teddies and the hamper together and, as of last weekend it had raised over £1100, with more still coming in,” said Ann.

“I am thrilled that it has done so well, and I am going to have to look at recruiting more volunteers to help myself and my mother-in-law next year if demand is still so high!”