Liverpool FC star and Scotland captain Andy Robertson has given his backing to a charity supporting elderly people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The footballer said he wants people to know Age Scotland, which has experienced a tenfold increase in calls during the coronavirus outbreak, is there for them.
Age Scotland typically receives around 70 calls a week but this has spiked to more than 700.
Robertson said: “I’ve got older family members myself so I know what a worrying time this is for them.
“It can be hard to know where to get good information and advice, or even how to have a friendly chat if you are on your own.
“This is especially so if you are not online, like half a million over 60s in Scotland.”
He added: “I want people to know that Age Scotland is here for them.
“Their fantastic helpline is offering great support to older people and their families as we all adapt to a new way of life for a while.”
The charity is now operating a virtual call centre, with advisers working from home to handle the surge in the number of inquiries and ensure that older people across Scotland have access to all the support available.
Most of the charity’s staff have now been drafted in and trained to work in the helpline service.
Brian Sloan, Age Scotland’s chief executive, said: “We’re really grateful to Andy Robertson for helping to make sure older people know about Age Scotland’s free helpline and how they can access help and support.
“His support means a great deal to older people and to Age Scotland.”
He added: “Coronavirus is causing a great deal of anxiety among older people and their families.
“Many people don’t know where to turn for information, advice and how to access the range of services which are sprouting up across Scotland to support them.
“We are here to help.”
The vast majority of calls from older people and their families have been seeking advice or information about issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity said.