The P&J’s campaign to help people at risk of suffering a lonely Christmas during the pandemic has been praised as “excellent” in the Scottish Parliament.
David Stewart, Labour MSP for the Highlands and Islands, highlighted our Connect at Christmas initiative during a debate on loneliness and social isolation.
The campaign aims to inspire our readers to pledge to do one thing to make someone less lonely this winter, and will also highlight the great work already being carried out by charities and volunteers across the north and north-east.
Earlier this week, the initiative won the backing of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, Scottish Labour’s Richard Leonard, Green co-leader Patrick Harvie and Willie Rennie of the Liberal Democrats.
Speaking in Holyrood yesterday, Mr Stewart said: “We all know that the available evidence shows that loneliness negatively effects both health, wellbeing and resilience.
“It puts people at higher risk of heart disease and stroke, higher levels of alcohol consumption, and substantially increases the chances of dementia among older people.
“And as the research from British Red Cross has shown, people who are lonely find it even more difficult to cope with the pandemic than those who are supported by friends and family.
“That is why it is so important that we do everything that we can do to raise awareness in our communities about what support is available.
“So that is why, presiding officer, I would like to highlight and praise The Press and Journal’s excellent campaign, Connect at Christmas, supported by all party leaders, to ensure as few people as possible suffer the harmful effects of loneliness this festive season.”