“Research has shown that the majority of us would rather admit to an addiction or mental illness rather than to being lonely or isolated,”says Highlands & Islands MSP and (Scottish Labour) Spokesperson for Care, Rhoda Grant .
Speaking as she proposes her ‘Highlands & Islands Neighbourhood Care Scheme’ initiative (HINCS) Rhoda Grant said: “ I am asking all neighbours to think about doing one kind act per week for an elderly or infirm neighbour, or indeed any neighbour who appears isolated.
“If fit and healthy neighbours just made one contact with an elderly neighbour who lives alone once per week, that would make a huge difference to the elderly neighbour. I am asking people to engage in face to face contact, or to engage in a telephone conversation once per week.”
“Of course there are lots of individuals out there doing this already and there are voluntary groups and organisations doing lots of good work in this area. However, I am just trying to establish if we could get a policy or process in place, designed by interested parties and partners, whereby such good works were organised and went on in all parts of the Highlands & Islands.”
Rhoda Grant has made contact with the Yorkshire based Charity, The Casserole Club, to learn about their good work and if it would be possible to roll out such an initiative in the Highlands.
She continued: “I am keen to hear what other people think, what other organisations also think,including those that provide services for the elderly, so would ask anyone with an interest in the HINCS initiative to make contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org,or via my office at PO Box 5717,Inverness,IV11YT or call 01463 716299.”