AT Independent Age, the older people’s charity, we’re always trying to help as many older people as possible.

Right now, we want to encourage older people in Scotland who may be feeling lonely to get in touch with us to find out about our Friendship services, which could help to reduce loneliness.

We have friendly, trained volunteers waiting to make regular calls to the people who need them to help make a difference to their lives, so we’re keen to hear from people who may have lost touch with close friends or family and would like to find someone friendly to talk to.

One in five older people in the UK are in contact with friends, family and neighbours less than once a week, while for one in 10, it’s less than once a month.

In addition to this, around 40% of older people say the television is their main form of company.

We want to help all those who need us, but we can only help the people who get in touch with us.

Receiving a regular call can be invaluable to someone who is lonely.

Having a volunteer for a regular telephone call can provide vital companionship for older people who are lonely, enabling them to feel more connected to their local community.

Many of the older people we help have told us that it can make a huge difference to their wellbeing if they have a call to look forward to each week or fortnight.

Chronic loneliness can be really damaging to a person’s health, so we hope to help make loneliness a thing of the past for Scottish residents.

Older people who would like to receive regular calls from a volunteer can sign up at or by calling 0800 319 6789.

Jeanette Bates, head of wellbeing at Independent Age

I WISH to comment upon this week’s resignation of Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.

Rather than being further marginalised as some sort of ‘bigot’ due to his view on gay marriage and bowing down to political correctness, Mr. Farron has instead chose God as his absolute, opposing the relativeness of modern-day secularism, which in reality has no respect for difference of belief, despite the banner under which it stands, sadly at the cost of his job.

Surely he, and all of us, can be allowed to tolerate yet not agree?

I champion the equal rights of the LGBT community, as I would any and all human beings, but must we trample upon millennia old institutions?

Marriage, as both a word in context and as an established tradition, has always meant the legal union of a man and a woman for the purpose of legitimate procreation.

Semantically the word may literally mean ‘a joining’ with no inference of gender, but in practice it has always meant a man and a woman and ultimately the precursor to their eventual offspring.

I do not necessarily oppose the legalised union of any two gender identities outside its original understanding, but can we retain the word ‘marriage’? Can we be allowed that, a word?

For example the word ‘gay’ used to mean ‘happy’. The word has since been hijacked (cf. LGBT)…

Unfortunately modern-day society panders to minority groups on every issue, without consideration for the majority, and the cherished multi-cultural and multi-faith concept of marriage has now been lost to political correctness.

Even the Episcopal Church in Scotland has now bowed down to the pressure of secularism and corrupted the religious meaning of marriage. Perhaps they haven’t read Leviticus 18:22…

Stuart Coleman, Dumbarton, via e-mail

IN this age of terrorism if it were ever a question that both Jews and Christians are under assault we only had to look last week at what happened inside the church of Notre Dame in Paris.

At least 600 people were blocked inside the iconic 12th century church, held hostage by the act of one man with radical views armed with kitchen knives and a hammer.

The photos with the masses seated within the church with arms raised signalling their submission to a single agent of evil should be an alarming wake-up call to all Christians, Jews and people of conscience.

German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) wrote about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazi's rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group.

Among those targets in what became known as "The Holocaust" were the Jews- God's own Chosen People. More than 6 million died...why? In great part because the army of Christians of that generation were silent.

Niemoller wrote: They came for the Socialists and I did not speak out- because I was not a Socialist:

Then they came for the Trade Unionists- and I did not speak out-because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews- and I did not speak out-because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me- and there was no one left to speak for me.

The same spiritual animosities warring against Israel are equally opposed to Christians and Jews and are bent on bringing persecution-and death-to both.

Now as never before we at PJTN cannot remain silent-please know your donation is vital to all we do.

Laurie Cardoza-Moore, PJTN

THIS month we mark Carer’s Week, a chance to recognise and celebrate unpaid carers right across the UK.

With an estimated 6.8 million carers known to be looking after a loved one in the UK alone, it’s likely that as you’re reading this letter, a carer is too.

The support carers provide for their loved ones is made of utter devotion.

Sadly, it’s also true that many carers live in hardship and with an estimated 1.4 million people providing over 50 hours of unpaid care per week, it’s unsurprising that many begin to feel the pressure.

Our own research found that over half of carers did not know how they would be able to cope if things continued the way they were.

Not surprising when you consider that more than 5 out of 10 had been caring for 10 years or more and 9 out of 10 carers are not able to access proper breaks away.

I work for Revitalise – an amazing national charity that provides respite holidays for disabled people and carers.

We see for ourselves the vital importance of respite in preventing carers from reaching breaking point - to enjoy time away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.

We recently launched our Spring Appeal to support disabled people and carers in financial hardship and in need of a break – with your generosity we can ensure we’re always there to lend a helping hand to disabled people and carers when they need it most. Please support our vital work.

To find out more about Revitalise, request a brochure or to support our appeal please visit: or call: 0303 303 0145.

Stephanie Stone, Revitalise.

VIDEO footage taken by a local animal rights group reveals what the racing industry would probably rather remained hidden behind screens – the final moments of a race horse named Tea In Transvaal (IRE) at Newton Abbot on 5 June.

Readers may think that such deaths are a rare occurrence, but, in fact, around 200 race horses are killed on British courses each year. The problem is that race horse deaths are rarely reported in the media.

This is why the footage taken by the Devon Animal Save group is so important.

It bears witness to the terrible suffering and fatalities caused by racing.

Only when people have such information will they be able to make up their minds about whether they want to finance racing with their betting money and attendance fees.

We urge the public to show compassion for all the horses hurt or killed on courses or in training, and boycott the races.

Visit Animal Aid’s website for more information about horse deaths, and Devon Animal Save’s Facebook page to witness the final moments of Tea In Transvaal.

Fiona Pereira, horse racing campaigner, Animal Aid

JUNE 23 will see dog owners up and down the country bring their furry friends into work for national Bring Your Dog to Work Day.

The day not only aims to raise lots of money for a great cause but it can have a number of other personal benefits as well, such as helping you de-stress and stay calm and boosting productivity.

Lintbells, manufacturers of premium natural pet supplements, is a big advocate for this day and its benefits, and operates an open door policy at its offices for staff to bring in pets all year round.

With this in mind they have put together a list of the top five reasons why you should introduce your pets to the 9 to 5.

Reduces stress: There have been a number of studies that have proven that having your pooch by your side at work can significantly help to decrease stress levels. The combination of seeing that familiar face looking up at you from underneath your desk, along with not having to worry about what they are getting up to at home can result in a much calmer workforce.

Boosts productivity: The reason why so many companies are already welcoming dogs through their doors is due to the positive affect it can have on employees. Having your furry friend by your side can not only increase job satisfaction but also help overall team morale, resulting in a sometimes much needed productivity boost.

Encourages time outside: Not only can your new work companion benefit your productivity and stress levels but it will also encourage you to move away from your desk and get outside. Your dog may need to take regular breaks outside, so whether it’s a quick five minutes so they can relieve themselves or a lengthier lunchtime stroll it can give you that time away from your screen that we are so often guilty of neglecting.

Social interaction: For anyone that has ever taken their dog on a walk through a busy park will know just how much of a conversation starter they can be, especially if you’re trying to get somewhere fast. This can be just the same at work as well, your four-legged friend can be a great ice breaker, sparking conversations with colleagues you may not normally chat to.

Makes us smile: If you still need more reasons to bring your pooch with you then remember, they will always make you smile! We all know how tough work can be sometimes with endless emails and calls, but dogs can never fail to make you laugh. Bringing a smile to your face and brightening up any day.

It’s clear that there are a whole host of ways your dog can help you not only at work but in everyday life, so why not give them something back to say thank you.

Suzi Crawford, via e-mail.