Scottish government has announced nine initiatives that are set to share £1 million to help tackle loneliness and isolation as a result of the pandemic.

This comes as part of a £10 million commitment to support a new five-year social isolation and loneliness plan, a commitment for the first 100 days of the returning SNP Government.

The funding was announced by Minister for Equalities and Older People Christina McKelvie on a visit to meet members of the Glasgow Disability Alliance, which is receiving money for initiatives including one-to-one counselling and online courses designed to help disabled people stay connected.


Other organisations to benefit include Youthlink, which will receive funding to help young people, and Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, which will use the additional money for its Kindness Caller programme.

Steve Mulligan, our Four Nations Lead, said “ We welcome the commitment shown by the Scottish government to help address the loneliness, isolation and mental health inequalities which have particularly affected older people, disabled people, ethnic minority communities and young people during the pandemic.

“We’re particularly pleased to see the recognition of the life changing role of counselling as a vital element in supporting the nation’s recovery from Covid 19.

“This funding will provide a real lifeline to so many vulnerable people.”

Access to counselling

Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Equalities and Older People, said: “Research has shown that loneliness and social isolation have increased for some during the pandemic, and we know this has disproportionately affected young people, carers and those with disabilities.

“Whether by providing access to counselling, learning opportunities or just a friendly voice to talk to over the phone, this new funding will help ensure people can stay connected and get the support they need.

“Social isolation and loneliness can affect anyone and can have a harmful effect on people’s health and wellbeing. That’s why we’re developing a new five-year plan and we will invest £10 million across this parliament.”

The organisations to receive funding are:

  • Age Scotland
  • Befriending Networks
  • British Red Cross
  • Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
  • Glasgow Disability Alliance
  • Homestart
  • Intercultural Youth Scotland
  • Youthlink Scotland

Find out more about the fund and the social isolation and loneliness plan.