Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called on the Scottish Government to make use of the “colossal” Scotland Cares volunteer database to tackle loneliness across Scotland this winter.
He stressed that staying apart and indoors for months has been “an incredibly isolating experience” for thousands of people who would benefit from check-in calls and safe, friendly contact.
By May, more than 76,000 people had signed up for the Scotland Cares volunteer scheme.
Alex Cole-Hamilton commented:
“Loneliness is a big problem in Scotland in normal times but this year the problem is immense.
“Thousands of vulnerable and older people have been forced to stay indoors for months on end with little contact with friends, family or anyone at all. That’s been an incredibly isolating experience.
“In the first wave of the pandemic we saw an outpouring of good will from people across the country who wanted to support each other and help people nearby in whatever way they could. Colossal numbers of people signed up.
“More than 76,000 volunteered for this scheme and we know that many have been barely contacted at all.
“December is usually a social and merry month. People who are feeling lonely already will find the run up to Christmas especially tough.
“We want to put that resource to good use this winter and encourage volunteers to make calls to people feeling lonely and boost the nation’s spirits. The Scottish Government has here a huge and willing voluntary workforce that can be re-activated and a loneliness epidemic. This initiative could make a massive difference.”