Appeal for poppy volunteers

The search is on for volunteer hosts to help look after thousands of ceramic poppies when they arrive in Orkney in April.

Would you like to get the chance to help care for Orkney's spectacular ceramic poppy display later this year? Poppies: Weeping Window will be installed at St Magnus Cathedral in the Spring and it's hoped members of the public will get involved.

The announcement that the display is heading to Orkney was made recently by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary, and will help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland.

Image by Matt McNulty

Now a team of volunteers is needed to help host the poppies when they go on display between the 22nd of April and the 12th of June. Orkney Islands Council is working with Voluntary Action Orkney to recruit Volunteer Hosts for the role.

Full training will be given and the Volunteer Hosts will be supported by Cathedral staff. The display will be open seven days a week from 9am to 8pm and volunteers are needed for the following shifts:

  • 9am to 1pm.
  • 1 to 5.30pm.
  • 5.30 to 8pm.

The aim is to have a minimum of two volunteers covering each shift. The installation will be in Orkney for several weeks and volunteers are welcome to take part in one or more shifts.

St Magnus Cathedral will host the poppy display - image by Iain Sarjeant

If you would like to volunteer and be part of this unique opportunity, please visit the VAO offices in Bridge Street, Kirkwall, OIC Customer Services in Kirkwall, or the Warehouse Buildings in Stromness, to pick up a volunteer registration pack.

You can also register online.

For further information please contact Fraser Devine or Rob McGregor at VAO. Phone 01856 872897 or email

Poppies: Weeping Window is from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red – poppies and original concept by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces.

The installation was originally at the Tower of London in 2014 where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one to honour every death in the British and Colonial forces of the First World War. Newsletter

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