Muckhart Village from Seamab

Age Concern Update

Dear Councillor Coyne,

 

As the national charity for older people, Age Scotland works to improve the lives of everyone over 50.

We wanted to get in touch to share the following updates about our current campaigns and some of our recent projects.

We hope you enjoy reading, and if you’d like any further information about any of the topics featured please get in touch at policy@agescotland.org.uk 

 

 

Check in, Cash out campaign

Across Scotland, 150,000 pensioners live in relative poverty. While there are a range of social security payments available to help older people, hundreds of millions of pounds are left unclaimed in Scotland every year.

That’s why we launched our social security uptake and awareness campaign, Check in, Cash out, earlier this year.

We’re encouraging older people to check in to see if they could be entitled to cash out by:

  • Contacting Age Scotland’s free and confidential 0800 12 44 222 helpline for a benefits entitlement check
  • Using our free benefits information guides
  • Or attending a free training session about social security for older people above State Pension age

Our current campaign focus is energy and help with bills. We’ve been sharing tips about keeping warm this winter from our Warm and Well guide and encouraging people to call our helpline for energy advice and an entitlement check.

We’re grateful to partners and colleagues who have supported the campaign, and we’d be very pleased if you could continue to share it with your older constituents. You can find draft newsletter copy in our campaign pack and suggested social media copy in our social media toolkit.

 

Find out more about our campaign

 

 

 

Sign up to one of our social security workshops

Thanks to funding from the Yorkshire Building Society, Age Scotland has developed two online workshops about social security for people over State Pension age.

We wanted to share this opportunity with you as it may be of relevance in your efforts to support your older constituents.

The sessions are free to attend, and provide useful information for older people and anyone who supports them.

Our 2-hour general workshop gives an overview of means tested and non-means tested social security (and looks at what is changing). We have also developed a 1-hour session providing advice on completing the Attendance Allowance application form.

You can book your place at one of our upcoming sessions at www.age.scot/benefitsworkshop

Please share the training with anyone you feel would be interested – colleagues, partners or your older constituents.

 

Book your place at one of our workshops

 

 

The Big Survey – have you read it?

Earlier this year, Age Scotland surveyed 3,562 people over 50 from across Scotland with our research partners Scotinform. The findings provide a snapshot of what it is like to be an older person living in Scotland today.

 

Key Findings:

  • 53% of respondents feel lonelier due to the pandemic
  • One third said their mental health has deteriorated over the last few years
  • Two thirds were less active over the last year, and around 50% felt worried about a loss of strength and mobility
  • One third thought older people were made to feel a burden to society, and only 9% felt positive about the future
  • 26% felt financially squeezed by their bills – energy and Council Tax bills were the biggest financial concerns cited
  • 67% reported increased energy bills as a result of staying at home more since March 2020 – 38% had struggled to pay increased bills and 4% were now in arrears

 

The Big Survey (PDF)

 

The Big Survey ‘snapshot report’ (PDF)

 

Older People’s Champions campaign

Along with the Scottish Older People’s Assembly, we have been calling for every local authority in Scotland to appoint a Councillor as an Older People’s Champion. We’re delighted to report that 19 local authorities now have an Older People’s Champion(s), or equivalent role, including Clackmannanshire.

An Older People’s Champion is a Councillor who is tasked with working to ensure older people’s voices are heard by their local authority.

In partnership with our campaign supporters, SOPA and Age Scotland are continuing to engage with those local authorities without an Older People’s Champion, and we hope to build up to representation from every council in due course.

 

Read more about the campaign

 

 

Other news and updates 

 

 

Thanks for reading our latest update!

If you’d like more information on any of the topics featured, please do get in touch.

Best wishes,

Age Scotland Policy Team
Policy@agescotland.org.uk

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Age Scotland Policy and Communications Team
Age Scotland is keen to work with Scotland’s political representatives in order to raise awareness and take action on issues of concern to older people, their families and those who care for them.Our Policy and Communications team can be contacted on policycomms@agescotland.org.uk and are available to help with issues that affect Scotland’s older people.The Charity provides a seven day a week response to media enquiries through a dedicated press telephone line – 07801 500 663 – and email address, communications@agescotland.org.uk.  This service is available from 8am – 8pm on weekdays and 9am to 5pm at weekends.  You can also contact our switchboard on 0333 323 2400 and ask to speak to a press officer.

About Age Scotland 
Age Scotland, part of the UK-wide Age Network, is an independent charity dedicated to ensuring that older people in Scotland get the support and opportunities they need to be able to enjoy a better later life.

Website: www.agescotland.org.uk    Switchboard: 0333 323 2400
Email:  info@agescotland.org.uk

Age Scotland is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in Scotland.  Reg No: 153343, Charity No: SC010100.  Registered Office: Causewayside House, 160 Causewayside, Edinburgh EH9 1PR.

 

 

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