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 and to amplify the voices of older people within the council chamber.
Age Scotland and SOPA have produced a role description for the Older People's Champion role which you can find below, or download by clicking here.
Different councils might choose to modify this based on local needs (for instance by appointing more than one Champion if the local authority covers a large geographic area) and individual Champions may adapt how they carry out the role.
However, the role's core purpose of listening to older people and amplifying their voices should be the same across Scotland.
An Older People’s Champion is a Councillor within a local authority who is tasked with working to ensure that older people’s voices are heard.
Broadly, Older People’s Champions raise awareness of issues affecting local older people and work to seek solutions on their behalf. They act as a link between the council and older people in the local area, ensuring their needs are considered in the planning and delivery of policies and services.
Their responsibilities might include:
- ensuring older people’s perspectives are understood in every policy area
- collecting and feeding back on older people’s concerns to the council
- leading on council campaigns around older people’s issues
- helping to communicate council policy to older people and the wider community
- acting as the council’s spokesperson on issues relating to older people
- linking up with other council Champions where appropriate – e.g. the Veterans Champion
- participating in focus groups and other events
- attending relevant local and national meetings
- working with local organisations, community groups and other stakeholders
The role is apolitical, with a focus on representing the voices of older people from across the local area. We do not anticipate there to be any budgetary implications attached to the role.
Experience of the issues faced by older people would be beneficial but the ability to empathise and represent the views of others is more important. The Champion does not need to be an older person themselves.