A charity has launched a sponsored silence to raise awareness of how older people can suffer from loneliness.
Age Scotland’s fundraising challenge invites people to choose an innovative way to “haud their wheesht”.
Participants can be sponsored to switch off their phones, stay away from social media, hold a silent disco or simply sit in silence.
Jo Cowan, one of Age Scotland’s community development officers in Lochaber, explained the poignant drive.
She said “The idea of a few hours of peace and quiet might sound like a welcome break for many of us.
“But think what it feels like when that silence is the reality for days at a time, without as much as a friendly phone call or knock at the door.
“Tens of thousands of older people across the north-east and Highlands regularly go half a week or more without speaking to someone.
“Sadly we believe this loneliness crisis has got even worse in recent months, with older people bearing the brunt of the pandemic and lockdown.
“This can have a profound impact on their physical and mental health, including greater risk of heart disease, high bloody pressure, depression and developing dementia.”
She added that there is also “inspiring work” going on across the regions – including the work of the Golspie Lunch Club, Fort William Tuesday Social Club and Nairn Men’s Shed.
Anyone who would like the take part in Age Scotland’s Big Wheesht can register online here.