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One Million Words of Kindness

Tue 24 Nov 20

St Andrew’s Day 2020

The Scottish Government is asking people across the country to recognise the value of connecting with and helping others by reaching out to friends, family, neighbours and communities near and far in a bid to generate One Million Words of Kindness by Monday 30 November to mark St Andrew’s Day.

The campaign celebrates the community spirit and shared kindness displayed across the country in what has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging years Scotland has faced in decades.

A short film has been launched and portrays kind moments from 2020, from socially-distant dance parties in a typical Scottish street to generous food deliveries for those most in need, reminding us of the power of a kind word and showcasing the values that make us who we are.


How can you get involved?

The campaign is asking people across Scotland to share kind thoughts and words with family, friends, neighbours and communities near and far and spread a message of kindness and connection across the country.

A bespoke postcard has been designed by Edinburgh-based illustrator, Emily Hogarth. The postcard is available for you to pop in the post, email or send via text to send kind words across our country and beyond.

More than 100,000 free postcards which feature a matte laminate finish for COVID safety will be available in all 104 Lidl stores across Scotland from this week, for shoppers to pick up and send messages of thanks, hope or a simple hello to mark Scotland’s national day.

The card is also available to download and share online from the Scottish Government’s website.

Emily is a Scottish designer and illustrator living and working in Edinburgh. Through her motto ‘making the everyday magical’, Emily captures the magic of the Scottish landscape and its wildlife and combines it with recognisable flora and fauna.

The St Andrew’s Day 2020 postcard design encapsulates iconic moments of kindness shared since the coronavirus pandemic began and includes drawings of friends sharing a cuppa and chatter through a window; food parcels being left at neighbours' doorsteps and, of course, a Zoom screen to signify the virtual socialising that we have all experienced this year.

Bespoke postcard designed by illustrator Emily Hogarth

St Andrew’s Day is a powerful opportunity for us to show that kindness is part of what makes us who we are as a country. We are open, welcoming, friendly and inclusive with compassion and respect at our heart.

So, this 30 November, let’s all come together and continue to reach out and share kindness with those around us. Be part of these very special celebrations - share the film, send the card and join the conversation online using #WeAreScotland.

Scotland’s Winter Festivals

St Andrew’s Day is part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals; a Scottish Government initiative delivered in collaboration with VisitScotland, BEMIS Scotland, the Fair Saturday Foundation and the English Speaking Union Scotland and supported by a wide range of other partners.

The St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Festival (28 - 30 November) will include over 50 virtual online events. Fair Saturday is a global movement which celebrates the arts and builds support for social causes through the promotion of cultural events and performances.

The line-up includes a range of concerts, exhibitions, dance and community celebrations such as the Dundee Kindness, an homage to Dundonians who have supported each other this year; Intercultural Youth Scotland will host a series of performances online from local Edinburgh BAME singers, rappers and poets; and the Frontline Festival Scotland will host a virtual gig, supported by over 30 Scottish artists to be streamed over social media on St Andrew's Day and raise funds for four of Scotland’s frontline charities.

BEMIS Scotland, the national body for the Ethnic Minorities voluntary sector, is working with minority community groups across Scotland to instigate and deliver a series of special multicultural Acts of Kindness activities and online events between 28 and 30 November that aim to reflect collective community resilience and inclusive community spirit.

Organised in partnership with the English Speaking Union of Scotland, a schools’ debate will also be held on Monday 30 November, where young people from across Scotland and beyond will debate the impact of kindness and the importance of culture for a better future. Sixty students from 20 schools are signed up to participate.

A range of public and private partners across the country have already pledged to support the One Million Words of Kindness campaign including Young Scot, Education Scotland, Loganair, Scottish Care, Lidl, Scotland Loves Local, Diageo, CalMac, ScotRail and Age Scotland.

A huge number of older people have already spent most of this year much more isolated than ever before. At Age Scotland, we know that even before the pandemic 100,000 older people in Scotland felt lonely all or most of the time and 200,000 went half a week without a visit or call from anyone.

This St Andrew's Day we're asking everyone to contribute to the Scottish Government's aim of sharing One Million Words of Kindness and share a kind word with an older person. As the days grow shorter and the weather gets worse, the difference a small gesture can make to an older person who might be feeling lonely is incredible and we all have a part to play in ensuring no one feels they are going through this difficult time alone.

Age Scotland's free Friendship line is also available Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. Call us on 0800 12 44 222 if you’re in need of advice, support or just a friendly voice.

Brian Sloan, Chief Executive, Age Scotland


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