The charity, Age Scotland, has told us about a brother and sister from Lothianburn who have helped them with fundraising.
The pair of youngsters, who are aged 9 and 11, challenged each other to climb the equivalent of Everest during the Covid-19 lockdown, and have raised over £1200 so far.
Their fundraising goes on here on Just Giving, although they completed their challenge last week.
Since the pandemic began, Scotland’s national charity for older people says they have been ‘overwhelmed and inspired’ by the number of younger people coming forward to help. They have voiced concerns about the impact of coronavirus on those who are older, and have come up with innovative ways to raise awareness and funds.
Inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s fundraising efforts for the NHS, Murray (11) and Leah (9) wondered what they could do to make a difference during the coronavirus crisis.
They are lucky to have plenty of wide, open spaces nearby as they live very close to the Pentland Hills – so close that they have been able to climb Caerketton Hill as their daily exercise.
Beginning on 18 April, they committed to climb the 300m ascent every day until they had scaled the full height of Everest – 8848m. They estimated that the challenge would take around 30 days to complete, and successfully reached the ‘summit’ on 17 May 2020 – having walked over 150km in total.
Asked about their support for Age Scotland, Leah and Murray said: “Vulnerable older people really need extra support at the moment during the Covid-19 crisis.
“They can’t go out to their community activities, can’t have visitors right now, and might not have the technology to keep in touch.
“Age Scotland are supporting them and keeping in touch providing vital information and communication. We also want to ensure they have funding to continue their good work after this crisis is behind us.”
In recent weeks, there has been a surge in calls from older people to Age Scotland’s free Helpline. They have been seeking advice and information, including how to get essential food supplies and medical prescriptions.
Loneliness and isolation among older people is also an area of serious concern, with at least one third of the calls received coming from older people who just want someone to talk to.
Age Scotland’s Chief Executive, Brian Sloan, said: “The generosity, kindness and compassion shown by fundraisers like Leah and Murray has been amazing during what has undoubtedly been an incredibly difficult time for tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of older people who are feeling isolated and lonely.
“We’ve been particularly inspired by the number of younger people who are concerned about the impact of coronavirus on those who are older and are taking action to help in whatever way they feel they can.
“More young people than ever are reaching out to Age Scotland, looking for ways to get involved, volunteer and fundraise to help older people who may be feeling isolated and lonely as a result of the current lockdown and shielding measures.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to Leah and Murray, from all of us at Age Scotland – your efforts will help ensure we can provide information, advice and friendship to each older person who needs it. Congratulations on reaching the summit!”