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Blog: Celebrating random acts of kindness

Published on 19 February 2021 02:08 PM

Last year, our research found that around 94,000 over 65s in Scotland said they wouldn’t have got through the pandemic without the kindness of strangers.

That’s the equivalent of one older person on every street in Scotland who was helped by a neighbour.

These figures also showed that 21% of older people (219,000) had someone help them by collecting their prescriptions or medicine during the pandemic and 29% (303,000) had someone help them by shopping for essential items.

As lockdown continues, we’re delighted to see an extraordinary level of community spirit still going strong. From fundraisers to corporate donations raising money and smiles, community group efforts and volunteers going above and beyond, we wanted to take this opportunity to shine a light on some of the acts of kindness shown to older people in recent weeks.

The power of kindness, friendship and human connection is not to be underestimated and, although Random Acts of Kindness Week is drawing to a close for another year, it’s important not to let it fade or falter.

Birthday generosity

For his birthday this year, kind-hearted Shaun Payne asked for donations instead of gifts in the hope of bringing joy to those in need of it. He’s planning on creating 50 hampers for older people in Livingston, with any leftover funds going to Age Scotland.

You can donate to Shaun’s efforts here: https://bit.ly/3apkqhf

A family affair

In the run up to what would have been beloved mum, granny and great granny Betty Grant’s 99th birthday, 20 members of her extended family aged 1 ½ to 72 are running, cycling, walking and toddling a total of 1322km to raise funds for Age Scotland.

While Betty was able to spend her time at home supported by family and fantastic carers, the Grants realise that not all older people are lucky enough to get that sort of daily comfort and interaction so wanted to support our work to combat loneliness and isolation.

They’ve already more than doubled their intended goal of £600 and hope to raise even more in Betty’s memory ahead of 1st March.

Intergenerational efforts

6-year-old Emily from Bilston in Midlothian has been walking regularly with her parents during lockdown. It was during one of these walks that Emily decided she would like to help people, in particular older people who were feeling lonely.

Throughout January, Emily walked 1km per day to raise money for Age Scotland and managed to raise £670! It’s fantastic to see young people like Emily who are thinking of others and supporting our work with older people.

Frosty fundraisers

Jacqueline Malley took social media by storm as she took advantage of the recent cold snap to support older people. Her snowpeople, Jock and Aggie, brought plenty of smiles in Dunblane and beyond and helped raise £1,135 for Age Scotland.

She said: “During this difficult time I wanted to share some joy and laughter to remind everyone that we are all in this together… even Jock & Aggie. If people would be so kind as to share this far and wide to help raise money for this great charity - even ‘a wee penny’ can go a long way.”

Spreading the love on Valentine's Day

It can be one of the most difficult days of the year for people who are on their own, but we’re delighted to have been part of several efforts to make older people feel valued this Valentine’s Day.

Our partners at SKY brought a smile to the faces of many older people last week by donating and delivering 400 of these lovely little boxes of Valentines treats.

For many older people who live alone and have limited contact with others during these times, the doorstep chat and sweet treats were a much-needed boost.

In West Dunbartonshire, dedicated volunteers from our Golden Friendships member group delivered Valentine’s cheer thanks to a partnership between Strathmore Foods and Age Scotland.

We teamed up with the food company to help donate 1,000 meals and greetings cards which were distributed to community groups, housing complexes and individuals throughout the local area.

The Big Knit begins

Last but by no means least, we have already started receiving wonderful donations of knitted hats as part of this year’s Big Knit campaign such as these from Pat and Linda at the Grey Matters - Active Ageing group in Helensburgh.

Not only is it a great way to pass the time at home, but every one donated to Age Scotland throughout the Big Knit will go towards funding our vital friendship line service. For patterns and inspiration visit www.age.scot/bigknit 

We're here to help

Call the fundraising team on 0333 323 2400 (lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) or email fundraising@agescotland.org.uk

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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