Edinburgh veterans charity urges people to 'share a cup of kindness' during coronavirus lockdown

Burns theme for Covid-19 initiative
Veterans Housing Scotland has adopted a Burns theme for its campaignVeterans Housing Scotland has adopted a Burns theme for its campaign
Veterans Housing Scotland has adopted a Burns theme for its campaign

A VETERANS’ charity has launched a campaign calling on people to share “a cup of kindness” during the coronavirus crisis.

Edinburgh-based Veterans Housing Scotland has adopted the Auld Lang Syne theme to encourage veterans and others to connect with each other and pass on acts of kindness.

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It says the singing of Auld Lang Syne is not only an integral part of Scottish culture, but the song is also probably one of the most recognised anthems around the world.

And the charity hopes while people cannot meet together in person during the coronavirus lockdown with its social distancing rules, they will nonetheless share the essence of the song and Robert Burns’ words about friendship, parting and meeting again.

Kevin Gray, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Veterans Housing Scotland is proud of its Scottish history and identity and, in looking for ways to communicate with our tenants across Scotland during the Covid-19 crisis, we are asking them to ‘share a cup of kindness’, which speaks to the current situation facing not just Scotland but the world right now.

“The word ‘kindness’ is rightly being shared by many at the moment and we are seeing acts of kindness being carried out in various ways - our take on this is simply to reflect some of the sentiment of ‘Auld Lang Syne, and to do things that are as engaging and comforting as ‘having a cuppa’ with someone, even if this cannot be done literally right now.

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“The focus of Veterans Housing Scotland is ‘Building Lives: Building Communities’ and many of our veteran tenants are trying to rebuild their lives, having been medically discharged from the armed forces and coping with a range of disabilities.

“The #cupofkindness initiative is helping some of them connect with the communities in which they now live and to share in a common purpose with one another.”

The charity is also asking people to focus on another line of Auld Lang Syne, “Here’s a hand my trusted friend”, which it sees as not only speaking of a time when people will be able to meet and shake hands again but also highlighting the potential for them to help support one another beyond lockdown.

The #cupofkindness initiative has been endorsed by Veterans Minister Graeme Dey.

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He said: “This is a wonderful initiative by Veterans Housing Scotland, one which aims to combat social isolation during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

“As many veterans may be experiencing concerns, stress and isolation, it is heartening to know that goodwill and kind regard for neighbours and friends is very much at the heart of this campaign.”

Veterans Housing Scotland is one of the oldest charities of its kind, founded in 1915, and has the Queen as its patron.