SOPA is currently planning the 2019 Assembly to take place in October this year.

Read the reports from our previous Assemblies below.

2018 Assembly

The 2018 Assembly took place on Monday 23 April 2018 at the Scottish Parliament.

SOPA Annual Report 2017/18 which includes a review of the Assembly.

The proceedings were streamed live. See https://www.facebook.com/scotopa/‚Äč

Keynote Speeches and Question Time

Jeane Freeman OBE MSP, Minister for Social Security, Clare Adamson MSP, Tom Berney Chair, Scottish Older People's Assembly









The 2016 Assembly took place on the 25th November in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament.

Click here for the programme

Watch the morning's proceedings on the recorded webcast

 See 2016 December Newsletter for more detail.

2015 Assembly

Feedback Session

Workshop Feedback Video - Click here

MSP Responses to feedback - Click here

Questions to MSPs from the floor -  Click here

MSP Panel - Rhoda Grant, Christian Allard and Dennis Robertson

BBC Scotland Radio Interview

Tom Berney and Val Bissland were interviewed briefly on the Kaye Adams Programme on BBC Radio Scotland before the Assembly. They highlighted the role of older people in creating a fairer society. Click here to listen.




2014 Assembly

The voice and experience of older people in Scotland

The 2014 Assembly was held on 31 October. It brought together politicians and invited guests to explore themes raised on the Campaign Trail around Scotland during the summer. Through workshops, SOPA’s recent activities were discussed and propositions were made as to what needs to be done to ensure older people’s concerns are taken seriously and changes set in motion. Recordings of proceedings in the Chamber and in the Committee Rooms are available online at the Parliament TV archive. 

The webcast and recordings of presentations and questions in the Debating Chamber are available online. Click here for morning session.  The afternoon workshop sessions are also available there.


2014 Assembly in the Debating Chamber.

Parliament Debating Chamber  11.30-12.45: Click to view

                     Elaine Smith MSP, Deputy Presiding Officer   

                     Tom Berney, SOPA Chair: SOPA Campaign Trail     

                     Kevin Stewart MSP, Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill

                     Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport,  

                     Equality and Pensioners’ Rights



2014 Assembly Workshops: Parliament TV: 31 October - Committee Rooms

Click on the links below to view workshops.

Communication and Information 

Community Empowerment

Community Safety and Housing

Health and Social Care

Pensions and Money Matters

Transport, Travel and Environment


SOPA 2014 Report Read about the year's activities and the Action points from the 2014 Assembly.

Watch the 2 minute clip on STV News: Committee members Donald Macleod, Betty Milton and Tim Puntis state what they believe to be important and SOPA chair Tom Berney talks about the recurring themes that have arisen in dialogue with older people around the country and his hopes for the Assembly.

Listen to the BBC Radio Scotland Interview with Tom Berney on Crossfire (with background film footage of the Assembly and Summer Campaign) 

Read the Scotsman Article on the Assembly. Shona Robison has vowed to fight for fairness for senior citizens. "In seeking to harness empower older people, we must do all we can to ensure their rights are fully protected, respected and realised."  

Read the Sunday Post article on the Mentoring project involving older adults. Tom Berney said: “It is vital that children throughout Scotland get this chance to benefit from older people’s skills and experience. It needs to be available to all pupils.

Read the action plan that emerged from the six workshops

Watch the feedback presented in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament from the Assembly workshops (Edited - 6 minutes approx.)

2013 Assembly

edinburgh international conference centre 5th december

Click below to watch highlights of the morning.

(Links open in a new window.)

Streaming of 2013 Assembly by Beyongolia. 

Welcome by Liz O’Neill, Vice Chair

 "Grandparents as Kinship Carers" introduced by SOPA Coordinator Glenda Watt. This film is on YouTube.

 "Money Matters". A film of people expressing their concerns at Age Scotland’s Regional Assemblies, introduced by Age Scotland CEO Brian Sloan. See YouTube link below.

"Productive Citizenship". People at the Age Scotland Regional Assemblies talk to camera about the value of social contact and community engagement. See YouTube link below.

li o'neill at the podium at the 2013 assembly. "Active, Engaged and ……. Visible!" Liz O’Neill presents a lively and entertaining view which challenges stereotypical views of later life and promotes active engagement. 

"I want to be a grey panther, a silver fox. I want to be heard and listened to." 

Click here to read Liz O'Neill's presentation.

Click here to read Shona Robison's speech and answers to written questions by SOPA Committee members.


'Money Matters' - People talking about their pensions. 

'Productive Citizenship' - People talking about engagement with the community.

The above were filmed at 'Age Scotland' Regional Assemblies in 2013, and shown at the SOPA Assembly.


2013 SOPA REPORT: Introduction by Chair Tom Berney. 

Actions and developments from SOPA 2012; events of the 5th Assembly in December 2013;  SOPA Seminars in January and February 2014; and delegates views on the impact of welfare reforms.

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The Scottish Government is currently SOPA's main sponsor.
Scottish Government
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