Campaign bids to end isolation and loneliness
A Viral Kindness Scotland campaign is being relaunched to help Scots with loneliness and isolation as coronavirus restrictions return.
The initiative includes a free 24-hour helpline for people in Scotland who need help and those who want to volunteer to help others, including businesses.
This service is provided for free by Glasgow-based contact centre go-centric, which works with a range of organisations to provide lifeline services, including for housing associations.
Viral Kindness Scotland acts a community hub and information received by go-centric is then passed to the Sarwar Foundation charity to make local matches to provide support, including kindness calls to neighbours or assistance picking up prescriptions.
Other partners include retail chains Day-Today and USave, and creative agency Galactic Media Group.
The campaign was originally launched in March as lockdown was introduced, with more than 5,000 contacts made in the first few weeks and over 120 local businesses registering to help.
Contacts reduced significantly over summer, but the campaign is now gearing up to help more Scots as fresh restrictions are introduced.
Last week, a poll for the Campaign to End Loneliness found that 81 per cent of people in Scotland are concerned about people aged 65 or older being lonely.
David Harper, chairman of the go-centric contact centre, said: “Since the start of lockdown, our staff have worked incredibly hard to help those in need.
“The Viral Kindness Scotland campaign has helped to bring together thousands of volunteers and businesses with vulnerable people struggling during the pandemic.
“With restrictions now returning, there are concerns about increased levels of loneliness and isolation.
“So we’re going to continue the Viral Kindness Scotland campaign because there are still people who need help.
“We’ll keep the service going for as long as it’s needed during these difficult times.”
Viral Kindness Scotland can be contacted on freephone 0800 054 2282 or at www.viralkindndess.scot