Our Labour candidate for Edinburgh Southern Daniel Johnson and I recently visited Age Scotland’s Headquarters to find out more about their work with older people in Edinburgh.
We were particularly impressed by Silver Line Scotland, a joint venture with Esther Rantzen which provides a helpline for older people to get information and advice, or much needed friendship. It was upsetting to hear that a huge number of calls received by Silver Line are from older people suffering from the pain of loneliness. Silver Line can be reached 24 hours a day on 0800 4 70 80 90.
Silver Line is run by a mixture of staff and volunteers, and we really enjoyed meeting one of the volunteers, Kate. She does vital work making ‘Friendship Calls,’ which are regular calls made to people who have contacted the helpline and indicated that they feel isolated and alone. I’m certain she is bringing smiles to many faces with her enthusiastic optimism.
It was also great to hear from Anne Gallacher, who runs Luminate, “Scotland’s creative ageing festival” which aims to celebrate the creativity of older people in Scotland, with participants and audiences of all ages. Last year’s festival had over 400 events, with everything from open mic evenings, dance classes and performances to craft and photography classes. This year’s Luminate promises to be bigger and better, and will take place in October. You can get more information here http://www.luminatescotland.org/.
Thanks to Chief Executive Brian Sloan and staff for taking the time to welcome us to their offices.