Age Scotland launches fundraising challenge to help tackle loneliness

Age Scotland launches fundraising challenge to help tackle loneliness

Age Scotland is calling on people to help tackle the loneliness epidemic by taking on the ‘Age Squatland’ fundraising challenge in August.

By hitting a daily squat target, fundraisers will support Age Scotland’s growing Friendship Line which offers friendly chats to lonely and isolated older people across Scotland.

More than 100,000 older people in Scotland say they feel lonely all or most of the time and 200,000 will go at least half a week without hearing from or seeing anyone.

The national charity for older people’s ‘Age Squatland’ challenge runs throughout August, and is a fun way of getting fitter and raising vital funds to support older people across Scotland. A £10 donation will mean Age Scotland can make two vital friendship calls to older people who really need their support and a friendly chat. Challenges that raise £100 would cover 20 weekly calls.

Brian Sloan, Age Scotland’s chief executive said: “There is at least one older person on every street in Scotland who feels lonely all or most of the time, and the effects of the pandemic has caused more than half of over 50s to feel lonelier. Our free friendship line is growing and growing since it launched two years ago, and we want to make sure that we can be there for any older person who needs a friendly chat and support.

“This is a challenge that you can do anywhere at anytime, and will help to tackle loneliness and isolation. Pre-work squats, waiting for the kettle to boil squats, lunchtime squats or before you go to bed squats. You choose where and when.

“All you have to do is set a target - between 50 and 200 squats a day - and get friends, family or colleagues to sponsor you to feel the burn. The money raised will have a big impact to the lives of lonely older people.”

Fundraiser Gemma Couper, from Clackmannanshire, has signed up and is using the older people she visits as a member of the Specsavers Home Visit team as her inspiration.

She added: “I visit many older and lonely people every day. For the Age Squatland Challenge I am going to use my patients as inspiration and do squats equal to their age each day!

“As a Specsavers home visitor, often we are the only people our clients see that day, that week even. Sometimes longer! Age Scotland’s work can really make a difference to these people’s lives.

“I have met so many lonely and elderly people in my line of work. One lady in particular lost her husband early during COVID and spent such a long time then in total isolation during lockdown that she forgot how to speak.

“She is now slowly regaining the use of her voice - but visiting her earlier this year was both so heart warming, as she was just such a lovely lady, but heart wrenching too.
 The causes Age Scotland work to improve I see first hand every day.”

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