A new campaign is pushing for “one million words of kindness” to be spread by St Andrew’s Day.
More than 100,000 specially commissioned postcards designed by Edinburgh-based artist Emily Hogarth will be available in Lidl stores across the country for Scots to pick up and write to each other during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is one of several initiatives to mark Scotland’s national day on November 30, including 50 online events such as concerts, exhibitions, dance and community celebrations at the St Andrew’s Fair Saturday Festival.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Our national day is an opportunity to recognise the resilience and shared kindness we have experienced this year and which has helped us get through these difficult times.
“We may not be able to get together physically to celebrate St Andrew’s Day but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to look out for each other and lift spirits by sharing words of kindness.
“We hope that by November 30 one million kind messages will have been passed around our country and beyond, bringing us together and making people smile.”
She added: “This year’s celebrations also include virtual concerts, exhibitions, dance and community celebrations, which are available for free online, and I encourage everyone to get involved and enjoy the events on offer.”
Age Scotland has pushed for messages to be sent to older people who may be struggling with loneliness during the pandemic.
The charity’s chief executive Brian Sloan said: “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.”