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, it is vital that local decision-making in Scotland meets the needs of older people.
Just as the Scottish Government has a dedicated Minister for Older People and Equalities, Councils should have a role focussing 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 many services which older people rely on – such as public transport, social care provision, planning and community services.
With many local authority budgets under pressure, 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 on older people has only heightened the case for Older People’s Champions, who will play a vital role in amplifying the voices of older people in their areas as we recover from the pandemic.
How many are there?
There are currently Older People’s Champions in 16 council areas:
- Dumfries & Galloway
- Dundee City
- East Ayrshire
- North Ayrshire
- North Lanarkshire
- Scottish Borders
- South Ayrshire
- South Lanarkshire
- West Lothian
- West Dunbartonshire
What needs to happen?
SOPA and Age Scotland want to develop a network of Older People's Champions, with representation from each of Scotland's 32 councils. This group will be 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.
We have asked councils who do not currently have a Champion to establish the position. We are also seeking support for the role from the Minister for Equalities and Older People 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.
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 have a Champion, we'd love your support with the campaign.
Age Scotland can offer:
- A role description
- Information and advice on issues affecting older people
- Access to our team of regionally based Community Development Officers
- Invitiations to a network of Older People’s Champions from across Scotland
To find out more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.