YOUNG Scots are being encouraged to bring some much-needed joy to older people experiencing loneliness this winter, through a new campaign launched by Aldi and Age Scotland, the national charity for older people, this month.
The ‘Festive Friends’ campaign will ask shoppers with young children to share their favourite poem or joke on a Festive Friends postcard and submit it through post-boxes which will be in all Scottish Aldi stores from Tuesday, 7th November until Sunday, 19th November.
Postcards will be distributed to 90 of Age Scotland’s community groups hosting a Christmas event throughout late November and December, funded by Age Scotland grants.
Age Scotland has member groups in communities around the country; for many older people, this will be one of the biggest social events, if not the only social event, they will attend this winter.
Aldi Scotland will also be donating £1,000 to Age Scotland to support 200 calls on its Friendship Line, a free telephone service which older people can call to have a friendly chat during their day, to help combat feelings of isolation.
One Friendship Line call to an older person costs £5, and shoppers who are able can also donate directly to the charity via QR codes found on every Festive Friends post-box.
The campaign has launched off the back of recent findings from Age Scotland’s Big Survey*, which indicated that almost two-thirds (66%) of older people don’t feel valued for their contribution to society. The campaign aims to remind them of the joy of shared friendships and people thinking of them, near and far.
Stacey Kitzinger, Head of Fundraising and Marketing at Age Scotland, said: ““We’re delighted to team up with Aldi to help spread some festive cheer this winter and make a difference to the lives of older people in communities across Scotland.
“While many of us are looking forward to spending the festive season with family and friends, it is heartbreaking to think that the equivalent of one older person in every street in Scotland feels lonely all or most of the time.
“The festive period is an opportunity for communities and generations to come together.That’s why we’re encouraging younger shoppers and their families to add some sparkle to an older person’s day this winter and share their favourite poem or joke on Aldi’s Festive Friends postcard.
“Money is tight for many, but reaching out doesn’t have to cost anything and knowing someone is thinking of them could be the best gift an older person feeling lonely receives this winter.”
Richard Holloway, Regional Director at Aldi Scotland, added: “This is a fantastic partnership which should make a really positive difference to people living in communities right across Scotland. There is a wonderful opportunity here to light up someone’s day through the words of children and young people.
“Age Scotland does excellent work, and we hope the support of our shoppers will continue to help those most in need, especially those who are feeling particularly isolated this winter season.”
Festive Friends postcards will be available in all Scottish Aldi stores on Tuesday 7thNovember. For full T&Cs, visit: age.scot/aldi.