02 July 2018Unforgotten Forces project helps 2000 veterans

2nd July marks the project’s first full year of operating and, with it, the welcome news that almost 2,000 older veterans have received help and assistance in that period. The Unforgotten Forces project is a collaboration of 15 leading organisations including the Scottish Older People's Assembly. Click external link for details.

28 June 2018Meetings in Dingwall and Nairn

Photo Top left: Anne McDonald Coordinator, Dr Ian McNamara Chair, Tom Berney SOPA, Isla Cuthbert, Administrator HSCN

Photo Top right: Alan Spinks National Federation of Occupational Pensioners  - event funder and SOPA member 

Scottish Older People's Assembly & Highland Senior Citizens Network jointly invited older people in Dingwall to have their say on issues important  to them. Presentations by HSCN's Dr Ian McNamara, SOPA's Chair Tom Berney and the Community Planning Partnership, were followed by discussions which included the lack of Broadband, access to supermarkets, integrated transport, discrimination and lack of information about social security benefits.


Following a tasty lunch and a dash to Nairn, the SOPA team with the HSCN met 28 people to have a similar discussion about priority concerns. Jo Cowan presided  and presentations were given by local Community Planning Partnership. Chair, Chief Inspector Brian MacKay and Simon Noble provided information on local community transport developments.

Nairn’s priority concerns were no access to Broadband, low status of care workers, lack of information on care and opportunities, lack of suitable housing and the impact of austerity measures.

22 June 2018

22 June 2018Intergenerational Meeting on the 'Citizen's Income'

On June 22nd, SOPA supported by the Scottish Youth Parliament, welcomed 50 people to an intergenerational event on Universal Basic Income (UBI) in Glasgow City Chambers. Councillor Alan Gow opened proceedings and Annie Miller Citizen's Income Trust described what it is and could achieve. Gerry Quinn Poverty Leadership Panel Manager Glasgow City Council, outlined the pilot arrangements in Glasgow, with similar arrangements in Edinburgh, Fife and North Ayrshire. Tom Berney SOPA Chair and Scottish Youth Parliamentarian Kieran O'Neill MSYP provided a perspective on how UBI could impact on older and younger people. 

What is a Citizen’s Basic Income and how does it work? 
A Citizen’s Basic Income (CBI) is an unconditional, non-withdrawable income for every individual as a right of citizenship (Citizen’s Income Trust, (2018). Regular payments would be made by the state to every citizen regardless of background, income, employment or any other status. (Citizen’s Income Trust, 2018).  

18 June 2018Consumer Engagement Seminar - Monday 18 June

Following on from the Scottish Older People's Assembly workshop on Preventative Interventions,  Standards Scotland (TSS) and SOPA hosted this seminar in COSLA, Verity House, Edinburgh from 11:30am to 14:30pm. Laura Jamieson, Trading Standards Scotland led processings which were attended by around 18 SOPA members from Argyll and Bute, Scottish Borders, Edinburgh and East Kilbride. Presentations and discussions were held on a range of topics to identify ways to communicate with older people about care home contracts, tackling scams and using energy efficiency measures.

10 June 2018Holyrood Reception on 6th June - Older adults as consumers

Christine Grahame MSP hosted the event at the Scottish Parliament. 

Others speakers were Tom Berney Chair, SOPA;  Lucy Manson Community Action Manager, Citizens Advice Scotland; and Sheila Scobie Director, Scotland Competition and Markets Authority. They joined guests at the reception to discuss older people as consumers, understanding their needs, conflicts and challenges, and the role of MSPs in contributing to potential solutions. 
Lucy Manson highlighted a recent ‘Cost of Living’ report  which found huge price differences in local shops, with poorest  and rural areas hardest hit. See Dumfries & Galloway Citizens Advice Service Report.

Sheila Scobie reported the CMA has  launched a public consultation until 12 July 2018 on draft consumer law advice for care homes for elderly people. Many of the consumer protection issues covered in the draft advice were highlighted during the CMA’s year-long market study into how well the care homes sector was working. It identified concerns that some care homes may be treating residents unfairly and potentially infringing consumer law. Copies of the draft advice and consultation document can be found on the UK Government website.

Information Stalls: ACEIT Computer Training for Older Citizens, Action on Elder Abuse,  Citizens Advice Scotland, Generations Working Together, National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland, and Trading Standards Scotland. 


Top left: Alan Spinks National Federation of Occupational Pensioners. (SOPA sponsor)

Lower left: 2 Ruth Mendall and Emily Liddle, Citizens Advice Scotland

Right: John Docherty Trustee and Dolina Gorman, Manager of AceIT 

15 May 2018SOPA Reception at Holyrood in June

Wed 6th June from 6-8pm, Scottish Parliament

Christine Grahame MSP is delighted to host this event which will focus on older adults as consumers, understanding particular needs, conflicts and challenges, and MSPs' role  in contributing to potential solutions.

For further information, contact Glenda Watt on 0131 555 9112 or glenda@scotopa.org.uk

03 May 2018Scottish Veterans Commissioner's new report

The Scottish Veterans Commissioner has released a new report. It assesses the provision of health and wellbeing services for Scotland’s veterans and makes recommendations to the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland for improving the experience of ex-service personnel seeking support: bit.ly/SVCHealth 

Also watch this 2 minute film which brings to life some of the issues. Hear insights from veterans who have overcome significant physical and mental health challenges from their time in the Armed Forces: http://bit.ly/SVCHealthFilm 

24 April 2018A Successful Assembly yesterday at Holyrood

Jeane Freeman OBE MSP, Clare Adamson MSP and Tom Berney SOPA Chair, began proceedings yesterday in the Scottish Parliament to a packed Assembly Room of 130 people. After lunch themed workshops were held in the Committee Rooms followed by a plenary session which included a dialogue with members of the Scttish Youth Parliament  and Children's Parliament. The session was closed by Question Time with a panel of MSPs. More photos and information at  http://www.scotopa.org.uk/2018assembly.asp

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