Letters, September 10 2021


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Please wear a mask when travelling on ferries

The Ferries Community Board (Clyde and Hebrides) is asking all passengers to wear their masks while travelling unless exempt from doing so.

At their meeting last Friday, the board was informed of the huge pressures services are under.

The number of staff having to self-isolate and vessels having to be deep cleaned has already hit services and the onboard offerings on some crossings.

This has coincided with a reported drop in the number of passengers wearing masks.

Please help protect our islands communities, your fellow passengers plus the staff and crew on our ferries network by taking the simple precaution of wearing a mask.

Further increases in incidents can only lead to fewer services in an already struggling ferry network hurting our islands and the health of those who live and work on them.

Angus Campbell, chair of Ferries Community Board (Clyde and Hebrides).

Age Scotland organises The Big Wheesht

Age Scotland’s September fundraising challenge asks participants to ‘haud their wheesht’ to tackle loneliness and isolation among older people across Scotland.

As the national charity for older people, we launched The Big Wheesht last Wednesday (September 1), aiming to highlight the unwelcome silence that so many older people live with on a daily basis.

Fundraisers can get involved at any point during the month and there are a number of ways to take part – from staying silent for a day to avoiding social media for 24 hours, organising a silent disco, or even nominating someone else to ‘haud their wheesht’.

Money raised through The Big Wheesht will go towards our national friendship line, which is here to listen, provide friendship and offer support to older people struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation.

We’re delighted to have support from Scottish actor James Cosmo and former STV children’s television presenter Glen Michael for  this year’s Big Wheesht, and we hope to see as many people as possible accepting their challenge to ‘haud yer wheesht’ for a good cause.

Loneliness and unwanted silence has a devastating impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of older people in Scotland on a daily basis.

In fact, our recent research revealed that 10 per cent of people over 50 – an estimated 218,000 in Scotland – feel lonely most or all of the time, with 53 per cent saying that lockdown had made them lonelier.

We’re truly grateful to James and Glen for speaking out and helping to raise awareness of how we can all play a part in tackling loneliness and isolation.

So, if you know someone who’s a real chatterbox or obsessed with social media – be it a family member, friend, colleague or even a teacher – why not nominate them to ‘haud their wheesht’ and support older people in Scotland.

Whether you choose to take part yourself, challenge someone else, or make it a group activity, we hope you’ll join us for The Big Wheesht this September.

To sign up or find more information, please visit www.age.scot/BigWheesht

Michelle Supple, director of charity services, Age Scotland.