People in Scotland are being encouraged to look out for their elderly neighbours, friends and relatives during the Christmas period.
Social Security Minister, Jeane Freeman, sent out a Christmas message asking everyone in Scotland to remember to include older people in their festive plans.
Ms Freeman met with more than 80 older people and 20 volunteers this morning, when she visited Nan McKay Hall in Pollokshields for their annual Christmas lunch.
Run in partnership with Age Scotland and Southside Housing Association, the lunch brings people together for food and companionship in the run up to Christmas.
Ms Freeman, who has portfolio responsibility for older people, said: “For most of us, Christmas is a time we look forward to – when we enjoy the company of our family and friends. Unfortunately for some people though, Christmas can be lonely.
“That is why I would urge people across the country to remember the older people in their neighbourhoods and communities and check in on them over the festive period and beyond.
“A simple action such as a having a quick cup of tea with an elderly neighbour can make a huge difference to alleviate loneliness and isolation experienced by people at this time of year.
“Events like this one are happening across the country throughout the year, not just over Christmas. We owe a huge thanks to the staff and volunteers who are providing this caring service for so many older people.”
Bill Lawns, Nan Mckay Community Hall Manager, said: “We bring people together at the hall 365 days a year, but at Christmas it is even more important to give older people a place to come togheter and enjoy company.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to raise awareness of the work we do, especially at this time of year. I would like to thank all our partners who make gatherings like this possible.”