LOCAL youngsters are being encouraged to bring some "much-needed joy" to older people experiencing loneliness this winter.

It comes after Aldi and Age Scotland launched their new campaign - "Festive Friends".

As part of it, shoppers with young children will be asked to share their favourite poem or joke on a Festive Friends postcard and submit it through post-boxes which will be in all Scottish Aldi stores from Tuesday, November 7 until Sunday, November 19.

Following that, the postcards will then be distributed to 90 of Age Scotland's community groups hosting a Christmas event throughout late November and December.

The campaign has been launched following recent findings from the charity's Big Survey which indicated that almost two-thirds of older people don't feel valued for their contribution to society.

Stacey Kitzinger, head of fundraising and marketing at Age Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to team up with Aldi to help spread some festive cheer this winter and make a difference to the lives of older people in communities across Scotland.

“While many of us are looking forward to spending the festive season with family and friends, it is heartbreaking to think that the equivalent of one older person in every street in Scotland feels lonely all or most of the time.

“The festive period is an opportunity for communities and generations to come together.

"That’s why we’re encouraging younger shoppers and their families to add some sparkle to an older person’s day this winter and share their favourite poem or joke on Aldi’s Festive Friends postcard.

“Money is tight for many, but reaching out doesn’t have to cost anything and knowing someone is thinking of them could be the best gift an older person feeling lonely receives this winter.”

Richard Holloway, regional director at Aldi Scotland, added: “This is a fantastic partnership which should make a really positive difference to people living in communities right across Scotland.

"There is a wonderful opportunity here to light up someone’s day through the words of children and young people.

“Age Scotland does excellent work, and we hope the support of our shoppers will continue to help those most in need, especially those who are feeling particularly isolated this winter season.”

On top of the campaign, Aldi will also be donating £1,000 to Age Scotland to support 200 calls on its Friendship Line.