06 June 2017Seminar Reception – Towards safer communities for older people

At the Scottish Parliament Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP hosted a seminar reception on behalf of Trading Standards Scotland and the Scottish Older People’s Assembly to highlight the importance of creating safer communities.

During this event Trading Standards Scotland (TSS) focused on doorstep crime and scams. SOPA representatives raised concerns about these and other harm towards older people. Outcomes from the event will be published in the June newsletter.

03 June 2017Voters don’t want soundbites


Tom Berney writes in Saturday's edition of The National - "This is a peculiar election campaign. Normally, we would expect the party of government defending its policies and the other parties to be attacking them and arguing for their own alternatives. Instead in Scotland we seem to be having an irrelevant re-run of the independence and Brexit referendums." Click here to read his article.

01 June 2017'Have Your Say', Aberdeen

 “Have Your Say” organised by the Scottish Older People’s Assembly, took place in  Aberdeen on 1st June. The central picture (L to R):  Tanita Addario (Grampian Regional Equality Council), Rob Snodgrass (SOPA), Tom Berney (SOPA), Avril Crosley (SOPA), Donald Bullock (SOPA), Baldeep McGarry (Aberdeen City Council Equalities team) and David Black (Grampian Regional Equality Council).


03 May 2017​SOPA attends Age-Friendly Academy Launch

6 members of SOPA attended the launch at Strathclyde University on 2nd May. Read more here.



Photo 1: Eileen Wallace and Diana Findley (front row); Alan Spinks (2nd row)






Photo 2: Q&A session

(Middle right -Tom Berney; lower left - John Parkhill) 











Photo 3: Helen Biggins

03 May 2017Tom Berney: Older voters must seek assurances from candidates on pension issues.

Read article here published in The National on 3rd May.

This article was penned just after Theresa May announced the general election in June.

26 April 2017Joint Cross Party Group Meeting

A joint meeting of two Cross Party Groups -  'Older People, Age and Ageing' and 'Mental Health' was held on 26th April at the Scottish Parliament with MSP Sandra White in the Chair. (Pictured left with Dr David Christmas. Picture right: Dr David Mitchell)

Speakers:  Angela Dias, Change Network Officer, Action in Mind: an overview of services for people  65+ not being of the same quantity and range as pre 65. Rosemary Carter and Dianna Manson spoke of their personal experiences of mental illness.

Dr David Christmas, Consultant Psychiatrist, Advanced Interventions Service, Dundee: 'Depression'

Dr John Mitchell, Principal Medical Officer and Psychiatric Adviser, Scottish Government: Strategy on mental health.

The questions for discussion were: How do the Strategy's vision, themes, ambitions and actions apply to older people? How can delivery improve services for older people? How can older people be appropriately represented? Report on the discussion to follow.


15 April 2017Support for older veterans

£4 million from the Aged Veterans Fund has been awarded to a consortium of organisations, which includes SOPA, to support older veterans and their families. Leading is Poppyscotland. Others involved are Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, Age Scotland, Care and Repair, Citizens Advice Scotland, Defence Medical Welfare Service, Erskine, Fares4Free, Legion Scotland, Luminate, Music in Hospitals Scotland, Scottish War Blinded and the University of West of Scotland. 
“The 2014 Poppyscotland Household Survey numbered Scotland’s Aged Veterans community at approximately 280,000, with almost two-thirds aged 65 or over. It highlighted the need to improve wellbeing in areas such as care, loneliness, social isolation and recreational activity, and to ensure access to advice to improve quality of life." Mark Bibbey, Chief Executive at Poppyscotland.

31 March 2017Tom Berney's article in the National

Click to read "Scottish Older People's Assembly Chair has been meeting The National’s columnists"

SOPA Coordinator Glenda Watt and Chair Tom Berney welcomed at the Scottish Youth Parliament event in Edinburgh recently. Left: Terri Smith, MSYP for Leith and North Edinburgh. Terri , the SYP Chair presided over her last Parliament.  Right: Rachael McCulley MSYP for East Kilbride. Below: Glenda and Tom with MSYPs from Dundee.

29 March 2017SOPA Reception at Holyrood

Christine Grahame MSP hosted a reception on behalf of the Scottish Older People’s Assembly to celebrate the contribution of older adults to Scotland's democracy. Around 75 constituents attended, with 15 organisations holding stalls providing information about their activities and concerns. Ceilidh music was played by the “HLI Ceilidh Band". Chair Tom Berney, other Committee members and politicians addressed the company. Tom covered SOPA recent activities, including recent campaign issues. Minister Jean Freeman spoke about the productive work the Government had been doing with SOPA which she hopes will continue. Sandra White MSP referred to SOPA's important Secretariat role for the Cross Party Group on Older People, Age and Ageing. (Next meeting - 26 April, 5.30 -7.30,  jointly with Cross Party Group on Mental Health.)  LGTBI spokesperson Tim Puntis mentioned that Scotland had been voted the best country for LGTBI people but there still was a way to go to remove barrieries to full acceptance and inclusion. 

Centre picture: 'Grey Matters' Helensburgh and Lomond, Rob Snodgrass and colleagues with Christine Grahame MSP. GM won the Age Scotland Award for Campaigning and Influencing.

Pictures clockwise from top left -

1 - National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, Alan Spinks and Learning in Later Life Association, Strathclyde University, John Parkhill and Diane Campbell.

2 - Soroptomists International, Christine Craig

3 - RNIB delegates, Gozie Joe Adigwa, Tony Young and Sandra Wilson

4 - Christine Grahame MSP welcoming constituents

5 - LGTBI Tim Puntis and Nicky Stones

6 - Sandra White MSP, convenor of the Cross Party Group on Older People, Age and Ageing addressing the company.  

7 - Age Scotland, Richard Baker and Toni Giugliano

8 - Out of the Box, Ann Connor and Christine Ryder


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