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Celebrity support for Age Scotland fundraiser, The Big Wheesht

Published on 31 August 2021 09:03 AM

Scottish actor James Cosmo is lending his support to Age Scotland’s September fundraising challenge, which asks participants to “haud their wheesht” to tackle loneliness and isolation among older people across Scotland.

The national charity for older people launches The Big Wheesht this Wednesday (1 September), aiming to highlight the unwelcome silence that so many older people live with on a daily basis.

Fundraisers can get involved at any point during the month and there are a number of ways to take part – from staying silent for a day to avoiding social media for 24 hours, organising a silent disco, or even nominating someone else to haud their wheesht.

Money raised through The Big Wheesht will go towards the charity’s national friendship line, which is here to listen, provide friendship and offer support to older people struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation.

The fundraising event has now received backing from star of Braveheart and Game of Thrones, James Cosmo. He asked participants:

“Please support Age Scotland in their Big Wheesht campaign. Loneliness and isolation is a dreadful situation. We can all help. Thank you.”

Former STV children’s television presenter, Glen Michael, has also shown his support – even getting his old friend from Cartoon Cavalcade, Paladin the talking lamp, involved as part of a special video message for the charity.

Age Scotland’s Director of Charity Services, Michelle Supple, said:

“We’re delighted to have support from James Cosmo and Glen Michael accompanying this year’s Big Wheesht, and we hope to see as many people as possible accepting their challenge to “haud yer wheesht” for a good cause.

“Loneliness and unwanted silence has a devastating impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of older people in Scotland on a daily basis. In fact, our recent research revealed that 10% of people over 50 – an estimated 218,000 in Scotland – feel lonely most or all of the time, with 53% saying that lockdown had made them lonelier.

“We’re truly grateful to James and Glen for speaking out and helping raise awareness of how we can all play a part in tackling loneliness and isolation.

“So, if you know someone who’s a real chatterbox or obsessed with social media – be it a family member, friend, colleague or even a teacher – why not nominate them to haud their wheesht and support older people in Scotland.

“Whether you choose to take part yourself, challenge someone else, or make it a group activity, we hope you’ll join us for The Big Wheesht this September.”

To sign up for The Big Wheesht or find more information, please visit www.age.scot/BigWheesht

-- Ends --

Notes to editors:

  • Text Wheesht to 70085 to donate £5 for a friendship call to a lonely older person in Scotland and tag five friends to join in. Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £5 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text WHEESHTNOINFO to 70085.

Contact Age Scotland's media team:

Age Scotland provides a seven day a week response service to media enquiries through a dedicated telephone line and email.

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