Scottish political party leaders support campaign tackling loneliness

Political party leaders in Scotland have joined forces to support a campaign aimed at beating loneliness.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was joined at a photocall in Holyrood by Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, Conservative interim leader Jackson Carlaw, Green co-convener Patrick Harvie and former Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.

It comes after the Scottish Government’s first strategy focused on isolation and loneliness in society was announced in December.

Age Scotland has described loneliness as a “public health crisis” and say it has the same effect as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

Brian Sloan, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We’re delighted that Scotland’s political parties have come together to commit to beating loneliness.

“For this to be a national priority it is important that our political leaders recognise it as such and do everything they can to improve the lives of people in Scotland affected by it.

“Loneliness is a public health crisis that we can all play a significant role in eliminating.

“It doesn’t discriminate by age, but the older a person gets the more likely they are to be lonely.

“Age Scotland is committed to tackling loneliness and we do so through various initiatives such as our Community Connecting service, Good Day Calls and through the information, friendship and advice offered by our free helpline.”