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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Age Scotland launches urgent fundraising appeal

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The charity has seen calls to its helpline soar during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Age Scotland is urgently appealing for funds amid an unprecedented demand for its helpline service since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The charity is asking for support to enable it to help more older people through the current crisis and beyond after receiving a record number of calls for help.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Age Scotland has seen a tenfold increase in the volume of calls from vulnerable older people and their families to its free Helpline, with numbers rising from an average of 70 calls a day to more than 700.

The charity expects to see that figure rise significantly in the coming weeks and months as the effects of the pandemic begin to deepen and older people become more secluded and lonely.

Older people are the most severely affected by the coronavirus measures, with all over-70s urged to stay at home. As a result, tens of thousands of older people in Scotland are growing more isolated and struggling to carry out everyday tasks such as shopping for food and picking up medication.

The surge in calls to Age Scotland’s Helpline has reflected this, with older people and family members who live far away seeking urgent advice and information to keep their loved ones safe and well.

Brian Sloan, the charity’s chief executive, said: "These are very difficult times for everyone, but we are seeing first hand that older people are particularly badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. From a lack of access to food and medication, getting the social care that they need, understanding how the latest news impacts them, or to have a friendly chat, older people have been relying on us to help.

“This is not a crisis that will be over in days or weeks. We are going to be battling the effects of this pandemic for many, many months. The longer it goes on the harder life is going to be for older people, particularly those who are alone and in danger of becoming chronically lonely. We need to be here for them.

"In the past two weeks our helpline has been transformed into a virtual call centre with teams working tirelessly at home to manage the surge in the number of calls we are receiving. We have been handling around 700 calls a day and fully expect that number to increase significantly in the coming weeks and months.

"Please, if you can, consider donating to Age Scotland. Your contribution will go directly to supporting our frontline service and help us deliver advice, information and friendship calls to even more older people at an extraordinarily challenging time.”

Donations can be made online via the Age Scotland website, or by texting AGESCOT to 70490 to donate £10. Texts cost £10 plus the price of one standard rate message.

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