Edinburgh Christmas: Pupils at James Gillespie's High School in Edinburgh make 250 Christmas cards for isolated older people

Elderly people in Edinburgh who are at risk of being lonely and isolated have been given a festive surprise thanks to a first year class at James Gillespie’s High School.

By Liam Smillie
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 4:45 pm
The religion and moral education class made and sent out more than 250 Christmas cards to older people living in the city as part of their Kindness Project.
The religion and moral education class made and sent out more than 250 Christmas cards to older people living in the city as part of their Kindness Project.

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The religion and moral education class made and sent out more than 250 Christmas cards to older people living in the city as part of their Kindness Project.

Teacher Kathleen Bladon, who came up with the idea for the students to take part, said: “I found out about the project about two weeks ago and thought it would be perfect as part of the first year’s ‘Kindness Project’ for RME.

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The religion and moral education class made and sent out more than 250 Christmas cards to older people living in the city as part of their Kindness Project.

“I signed up as a school and we were matched with 115 profiles of pensioners. All the kids got a few pensioners assigned and by the end of the week we had 250 cards ready to go.”

She added that the project helped bridge the gap between older and younger people, with the pupils having found things in common with the pensioners.

“The pupils got really into it,” she said.

“Every pensioner has a profile where you can find out about their interests, so the kids were finding common interests with these older people.”

The religion and moral education class made and sent out more than 250 Christmas cards to older people living in the city as part of their Kindness Project.

The campaign is run by Edinburgh charity Vintage Vibes, which for six years has helped older people combat loneliness and isolation over Christmas.

Vintage Vibes began as a partnership between LifeCare Edinburgh, a dementia support charity, and the Space & Broomhouse Hub, a community charity, in 2015.

It uses volunteers to offer one-to-one friendships with isolated older people, offering companionship and supporting older people to be more socially connected and active in their local community

The charity was founded after research from the TNS Loneliness found in 2014 that more than 80,000 people aged 65 or over living in Scotland said they always or often felt lonely.

The religion and moral education class made and sent out more than 250 Christmas cards to older people living in the city as part of their Kindness Project.

The research also found that 350,000 older people in Scotland say TV is their main form of company, and around one in six older people in Scotland are feeling cut off from society.

A BBC commissioned study in 2008 also found Edinburgh as Scotland’s loneliest city in the UK, making a more than reasonable case for the existence of Vintage Vibes.

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The religion and moral education class made and sent out more than 250 Christmas cards to older people living in the city as part of their Kindness Project.

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