A ground-breaking new project that aims to explore a contemporary understanding of remembrance has been launched by leading Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland…

Known as ‘Bud’, the 18-tonne truck transforms into an interactive learning space and will travel to schools and events across the country in the coming years. First to have an opportunity to visit Bud were pupils from St Denis’ Primary School in Glasgow.

Following this inaugural outing, Bud will travel the length and breadth of Scotland visiting schools and diverse communities. Not only will it interpret the heritage of the poppy but will host activities for groups to explore and share a contemporary understanding of remembrance, the nature of conflict and the poppy’s role in modern Scottish society as a symbol of unity and hope.

Exhibits within the mobile museum include historical artefacts, interactive displays and the moving stories of veterans and their families who have been supported by Poppyscotland. Visitors to Bud will also have the opportunity to make their own poppy using the same methods as the team of disabled veterans at Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory who hand-produce the five million poppies for the Scottish Poppy Appeal.

Following the visit, guests will then be invited to visit the Bud website to share their own story of reflection and hope which will result in the creation of their own poppy avatar – a personalised visual representation of what the poppy and remembrance means to them.

Speaking at the launch, Poppyscotland Chief Executive Mark Bibbey said: “At the heart of every poppy is a person’s unique emotions, opinions and stories, and that’s why we created Bud. This is not about imposing a particular view on visitors; quite the opposite in fact.

“Through contemporary conversations about the poppy and our heritage, we hope to better understand the significance of remembrance and its importance to society. We aim to challenge assumptions and create conversations, and, ultimately, engage a more diverse audience.”

Bud was made possible thanks to a £731,200 of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and a £730,000 award by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds. Further funding was provided by the Celtic FC Foundation, Edinburgh Trust No2 Account, First Bus, Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust, Neat Vehicles, PF Charitable Trust, The Basil Death Trust, The Murdoch Forrest Charitable Trust and the Welsh Family Trust.

Riona McMorrow, Acting Head of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Scotland, said: “With reports of conflict in the news almost daily, remembrance is as relevant now as it was after the First World War 100 years ago. Bud is a unique and innovative idea which will expand on the work of Poppyscotland and Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory.

“Thanks to National Lottery funding, it will allow diverse groups, including rurally-remote and multi-faith communities, to explore what this little flower represents to them and why it is important to remember as part of building a peaceful future.”

Headteacher of St Denis’ Primary School, Louise Mackie, said: “The pupils have really enjoyed their time on Bud. We have previously made use of the excellent Poppyscotland Learning materials in the classroom and will continue to do so, but being able to deepen their understanding of the poppy and remembrance in such an interesting way has been fantastic.

“Being the first school to visit Bud is a real honour and I’m sure thousands of other students and members of the public will find their Bud experience as moving and thought-provoking as we did. It is so important that we learn the lessons from the past and it is something our pupils are very enthusiastic about.”

Bud can travel anywhere in Scotland and forthcoming visits include the Falkirk Foundation, Grampian Pride, and the Royal Highland Show. In addition, Bud can be reconfigured to enable Poppyscotland to deliver face-to-face welfare support to members of the Armed Forces community across the country as well as assisting with volunteer recruitment and development.