26 May 2020
One of Scotland’s oldest Veterans housing charities has called on all its tenants and others to ‘share a cup of kindness’ in a nod to the well-known and universally recognised Scottish anthem Auld Lang Syne.
The singing of Auld Lang Syne is an integral part of Scottish culture and originates from Scotland - yet is probably one of the most recognised anthems across the world. It is usually sung to mark the end of an occasion of people sharing time together and to offer one another the hand of friendship as they go on their way home, hoping that they might meet again. During the period of continued lockdown and necessary ongoing social distancing people cannot meet together in person but can nonetheless share the essence of this celebrated anthem.
Kevin Gray MM, Chief Executive of Veterans Housing Scotland says “Veterans Housing Scotland is proud of its Scottish history and identity and, in looking for ways to communicate with our tenants across Scotland (many of whom have served in front lines and risked their lives in active service) during the covid-19 crisis, we are asking them to ‘share a cup of kindness’, which speaks to the current situation facing not just Scotland but the world right now.
“The word ‘kindness’ is rightly being shared by many at the moment and we are seeing acts of kindness being carried out in various ways - our take on this is simply to reflect some of the sentiment of ‘Auld Lang Syne, and to do things that are as engaging and comforting as ‘having a cuppa’ with someone, even if this cannot be done literally right now.
“The focus of Veterans Housing Scotland is ‘Building Lives: Building Communities’ and many of our veteran tenants are trying to rebuild their lives, having been medically discharged from the armed forces and coping with a range of disabilities. The #cupofkindness initiative is helping some of them connect with the communities in which they now live and to share in a common purpose with one another.”
The other line of the anthem Veterans Housing Scotland is asking people to focus on is ‘here’s a hand my trusted friend’ . Social distancing prevents people from shaking hands with others but there will come a time when this can be done. That will form the basis of a range of community celebrations across the Veterans Housing Scotland family in being able to offer one another a hand of friendship and ongoing support. It is hoped this will be replicated throughout communities across Scotland and even across the world, given the words are so well known and recognised. ‘Here’s a hand…’ also goes beyond just shaking one anothers’ hands in friendship but recognises that there is potential to help support one another at various levels beyond lockdown and beyond the peak of the crisis.
The #cupofkindness initiative has been endorsed by Veterans Minister Graeme Dey who says:“This is a wonderful initiative by Veterans Housing Scotland, one which aims to combat social isolation during the current covid-19 pandemic. As many veterans may be experiencing concerns, stress and isolation, it is heartening to know that goodwill and kind regard for neighbours and friends is very much at the heart of this campaign.”