Oban pupils need votes in Poppy competition

Oban High School pupils Victoria Sassano (front) and Ruby display their poppy-themed face coverings at the War Memorial in Oban.

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Two pupils at Oban High School have been shortlisted in the final of a national competition by a poppy charity.

Victoria Sassano, aged 13, and Ruby Smith, aged 14, are in the running to win £500 worth of Amazon vouchers for the school but urgently need as many online votes as possible before Poppyscotland’s Fundraising Heroes competition closes on April 30.

The pupils, who care about remembrance and are keen on fashion design, came up with creating 12 stylish, poppy-themed face coverings as a way which Poppyscotland could raise funds.

The pandemic has shut down vital sources of income for the charity with shops closed and many Poppy fundraisers confined to their homes for shielding.

Yet it needs income to support thousands of ex-service men and women across Scotland as well providing advice and support on housing, mental health, mobility and employment.

Ruby and Victoria came up with designs which would appeal to broad sections of any community, interest and faith.

The thoughtful designs, including those for the different nations of the UK, the cross, the Star of David, NHS logos to support key workers, rainbow masks to support the LGBTQ+ community, and even the option of personalising masks with initials for people to mark someone who had passed away.

The inclusive idea has seen them shortlisted as one of only three finalists from secondary schools across Scotland in the Most Innovative Fund Raising category.


But to win, they urgently need people to go online and vote with a simple click at http://learning.poppyscotland.org.uk/competition/

And they’re not the only ones from Oban High School proudly represented in the finals and needing votes.

You can also vote for Jessica McCann and Mirren MacCorquodale who are shortlisted in the Tapestries with Matching Stationary section.

Pupil Isla Russell has also been shortlisted in the Poppy Hunt category.


Ruby and Victoria said: ‘We are very proud to have been selected to represent Oban High for such a worthwhile cause.

‘We were both very moved with the veteran example Captain Sir Tom Moore gave in his dedication to fundraising and were looking for an idea that would get more young people interested in raising money for the armed forces community in Scotland.

‘It would be great if people could vote for our idea to put Oban on the map and also help raise funds for our school.’

Victoria’s mum, Caroline, said: ‘They are two very nice girls and I think they have done a brilliant job with the effort they have put in and I am very proud of them and the school.’

Ruby’s mum Anna said they were inspired by Captain Tom Moore who sadly passed away recently having been knighted for raising £39 million for NHS charities.

Anna said: ‘It was the idea that they could design masks that everyone needs while incorporating the poppy and making them attractive to younger people.’

Ruby (left) and Victoria with their designs.