Older People's Champions
Age Scotland believes that every one of Scotland’s 32 local authorities should appoint a Councillor as an Older People’s Champion. We are working with the Scottish Older People’s Assembly (SOPA) on a joint campaign to make this happen.
With a growing older population, we think it is vital that local decision-making in Scotland meets the needs of older people and that councils have a role focusing on older people.
What is an Older People’s Champion?
An Older People’s Champion is an ambassadorial role, held by an elected Councillor. Their job is to be a link between the council and older people in the local area.
Older People’s Champions identify the issues impacting people locally. They are the face of the council for older people and amplify their voices within the council chamber.
You can find a full job description for the role by clicking here.
Why are they important?
Local authorities are responsible for providing and supporting services which many older people use frequently – such as public transport, social care provision, planning and community services.
With many local authority budgets under pressure and as we all attempt to cope with the rising cost of living, older people need someone specifically tasked with standing up for their interests and finding out what they need from local decision makers.
We believe the impact of COVID-19 and the rising cost of living on older people has only heightened the case for Older People’s Champions, who play a vital role in amplifying the voices of older people in their areas.
How many are there?
The following local authorities have an Older People's Champion/s (or equivalent position):
- Argyll & Bute
- Dumfries & Galloway
- Dundee City
- East Ayrshire
- East Dunbartonshire
- East Lothian
- North Ayrshire
- North Lanarkshire
- Perth & Kinross
- Scottish Borders
- South Ayrshire
- South Lanarkshire
- West Lothian
If you think we have missed your local authority from this list in error, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Older People's Champions campaign
Since our campaign began, more than half of councils now have an Older People's Champion in post or are in the process of appointing one - but there's much more to do and we need your help to get there.
We want to convince councils who do not yet have a Champion to establish the position - find out how you can help us to do this here.
We have also sought support for the role from the Scottish Government and COSLA (the national association of Scottish councils).
Want to get involved?
We need your help to spread the word about our campaign to help us convince every local authority to establish the role.
Older People's Champions Gatherings
As part of our campaign, Age Scotland and SOPA are developing a network of Older People's Champions which meets regularly. This group is a space for older people’s issues to be raised at both a local and national level and somewhere councillors can work together on shared challenges to collectively influence change. All Older People's Champions are invited to attend this network, and we eventually want to build up to have representation from every one of Scotland's 32 councils.
Are you a Councillor who is interested in becoming an Older People’s Champion?
If you represent one of the local authorities who do not yet have a Champion, we'd love to hear from you.
We can provide:
- A role description (and the option to be put in touch with another Older People's Champion for a discussion)
- More information about the campaign and why we believe the role is essential
- Invitiations to a network of Older People’s Champions from across Scotland
- Information and advice on issues affecting older people
- Access to Age Scotland's team of regionally based Community Development Officers
To find out more about the campaign or becoming a Champion, please contact email@example.com.