Age Scotland’s Friendship Line will help tackle loneliness this winter

Iain Gray MSP does not want anyone in East Lothian to be alone this winter and is working to promote Age Scotland’s national friendship line to older constituents who might be needing a chat to help them know someone is there to listen to them.

New research from Age Scotland, the national charity for older people, shows that more than 157,000 over 65s in Scotland are expecting to feel lonely over the festive season. This could be as many as two older people on every street in East Lothian.

Their free 0800 12 44 222 service offers older people the chance for a good chat, support and friendship. Volunteers are available to chat with people over the age of 50 about anything they want to discuss, and they can even schedule a regular weekly call. It is open from 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“We know that older people are at greater risk of experiencing isolation and loneliness at the best of times, but with public health restrictions continuing to reduce opportunities for social interaction for months to come, that risk is set to increase dramatically this winter.

“No-one should have to be lonely and this initiative from Age Scotland means that older people looking for some social contact know that a friendly chat is just a phone call away. It is a great service and I’m pleased to help promote it to constituents over 50 experiencing loneliness.”

Age Scotland’s chief executive Brian Sloan said:

“We know that the Christmas period is the loneliest time of the year for many older people in Scotland but this one will be like no other. It’s heart-breaking that more than 157,000 over 65s expect to feel lonely this year, which could be as many as two older people on every street in East Lothian. 

“The impact coronavirus has had on all of our lives has been drastic and as a result levels of loneliness throughout this year, among people of all ages, have been rising at an alarming rate. It has been particularly felt by the hundreds of thousands of older people who live alone, have no local support networks and who do not have access to the internet.”

Find out more at www.agescotland.org.uk/friendship.