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21 December 2015, 15:23
People in Scotland are being urged to think of elderly relatives, friends and neighbours over the festive period.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the call as she visited the offices of Age Scotland in Edinburgh to meet staff and volunteers at Silver Line Scotland.
The free 24-hour helpline, which provides information, friendship and advice to older people, often experiences an increase in calls over Christmas.
Ms Sturgeon said: "We know that the number of older people in Scotland is growing and for many of us, they are our relatives, neighbours and friends.
"It's important that we remember them throughout the year - even more so over the festive period. For many, it's a period of joy and family celebration, but for some it can be a time of loneliness.
"I would urge people in Scotland to have a think about the older people around them and check in on them over the festive period and beyond.
"It can be as simple as a having a quick cup of tea with an elderly neighbour, but to them it can make a huge difference.
"The Silver Line Scotland helpline provides a fantastic service throughout the year providing information about services and befriending, not just over Christmas, and we owe a huge thanks to the staff and volunteers who are that caring voice for many older people.''
Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said: "We're delighted to welcome the First Minister to Age Scotland and show her the great work that we do to ensure that no-one should have no-one at Christmas.
"With 100,000 older Scots saying they feel lonely most or all of the time, it's great that Nicola Sturgeon is helping to highlight how we can fight that loneliness with one call to Silver Line Scotland.''