Age Scotland Awards honour Scotland’s champions of older people

This year’s Age Scotland Awards were held on UK Older People’s Day at a reception at the Scottish Parliament. The awards celebrate the tireless efforts of groups and individuals across Scotland who work to make a difference in their communities.

Brian Sloan, Age Scotland Chief Executive

Brian Sloan, Age Scotland Chief Executive, described choosing the winners as “a humbling experience.” He added “It is wonderful to see the amazing work going on around the country – both in support of our older population but also, often, being carried out by older people. I think our winners demonstrate the breadth of activity going on in communities across the country, which Age Scotland exists to champion and support.”

This year’s Volunteer of the Year was Andrew MacDowall, 82, who dedicates countless hours each week to driving, gardening and providing other help for older people in Argyll. Although he suffers from profound hearing loss and is waiting for a hip operation, this has not stopped his commitment to groups including Oban in Bloom, the local “Soup Group” and the Frail Walking Group.

Andy MacDowall, 82, wins Volunteer of the Year Award

Andy MacDowall, 82, wins Volunteer of the Year Award

Age Scotland Awards 2014

Andy accepting his reward

This year’s Services for Older People Award winner was the multicultural Milan Day Support Service, Edinburgh, which tackles isolation by providing information and social activities to vulnerable older people in their own languages.

Milan Ltd means ‘rendezvous’ or ‘friendly meeting place’, in the four languages of the community that the organisation caters to.

“Milan” means ‘rendezvous’ or ‘friendly meeting place’, in the four languages of the community that the organisation caters to.

A partnership between the Citadel Arts Group and Midlothian-based Community Links Dementia was recognised for improving the health and wellbeing of people with dementia. The groups’ Living Memory Project, which resulted in a play performed by local primary schoolchildren, helped it win the Patrick Brooks Award for Best Working Partnership.

Citadel Arts Group and Midlothian-based Community Links Dementia

Citadel Arts Group and Midlothian-based Community Links Dementia accepting their award.

Clackmannanshire Older Adults Forum was presented with the Jess Barrow Award for Campaigning and Influencing for its successful effort to preserve bus services to nearby hospitals and bring some healthcare services closer to the community.

Clackmannanshire Older Adults Forum

Clackmannanshire Older Adults Forum with their award.

NHS Lanarkshire, the Older People’s Employer of the Year Award 2014, is leading the way in actively supporting and training older people in the workforce, and helping employees prepare for retirement. Its pre-retirement seminars, run with Age Scotland, help people with financial planning, health and wellbeing issues and finding volunteering opportunities.

NHS Lanarkshire won our newest award - the Older Person's Employer of the Year

NHS Lanarkshire won our newest award – the Older People’s Employer of the Year

Merkinch Community Centre’s Singing for Pleasure group was named the best Member Group. With around 40 members, the singers perform regularly at theatres, churches and nursing homes, and featured on BBC One’s talent show, Last Choir Standing.

Singing for Pleasure

Singing for Pleasure win the Member Group of the Year Award

Singing for Pleasure treated guests to two songs on the night.

Singing for Pleasure treated guests to two songs on the night.

It was a wonderful night showcasing the fantastic services and projects happening all over Scotland that benefit older people.

Thank you to all those who entered, and congratulations to our winners from all at the Age Scotland team!

The awards are sponsored by Specsavers, Solicitors for Older People Scotland, David Urquhart Travel, and McCarthy and Stone.

Introducing the Age Scotland Employer of the Year Award

Do you know someone who is making a difference to the lives of older people in Scotland. Well tell us about them! The Age Scotland Awards are now open for nominations, says Katrina Coutts, Age Scotland’s Communications and Marketing Manager.

The Age Scotland Awards celebrate the groups and individuals that have made a significant contribution to the lives of older people.

Age Scotland Awards

Last year we were bowled over with the nominations we received and the winners, announced at a ceremony at the Scottish Parliament, were an inspiration and showed just how vital a part older people play in our communities. You can find out more about last years inspirational winners on our Awards pages.

This year, reflecting the fact that the number of older people in the workplace is rising – a combination of the scrapping of the mandatory retirement age and the ever-rising pension age – we’ve added a new category. Through the Employer of the Year Award we’re wanting to hear about those workplaces which are championing their older employees through good practice.

Earlier this year I took part in a discussion on BBC Radio Scotland’s Morning Call show on the back of a survey of more than 2,000 UK workers aged over 40. Of those surveyed, one in seven had seen younger staff promoted ahead of them and one in eight had been passed over for other opportunities at work.

More than one in 10 had been asked when they will retire and the same number reported having jokes made about their age, while one in seven have had someone ask them their age in a job interview.

The results suggest that, on average, 54 is when people believe their age really starts to negatively impact their career. 54! At that age you’re very likely to have a good chunk of your career ahead of you, so it’s a long time to be treading water or feeling out of place.

So please tell us you know of places where you’re not shunted into a corner once you pass 50, you are given opportunities to still develop your career, and your employer understands and responds to the other things going on in your life – particularly given the fact that people at this age have a higher likelihood of caring responsibilities, both for ageing relatives and also young grandchildren.

Whether it be through ensuring staff get pre-retirement training and in-depth pension support and advice, to providing flexible working or after work fitness clubs, our judges are looking for any innovative ways that companies are helping their older workforce.

full list of categories:

  • The Jess Barrow Award for Campaigning and Influencing – sponsored by McCarthy & Stone
  • The Patrick Brookes Partnership Award – sponsored by Specsavers
  • Service for Older People Award
  • Member Group of the Year Award – sponsored by David Urquhart Travel
  • Volunteer of the Year Award – sponsored by Solicitors for Older People Scotland
  • Employer of the Year Award

So get nominating. More information and the form can be found at

Nomination forms must be received no later than Friday 29 August. Further details of the actual Awards event, which will be held in October to mark international Older People’s Day, will be published shortly.

Age Scotland Awards 2012 – the Winners!

Once all the formalities were over at yesterday’s AGM, Edinburgh’s Depute Lord Provost, Elaine Aitken presented the Age Scotland awards to some very worthy winners.

Age Scotland Awards 2012

Age Scotland Awards 2012

The day had started well in very grand rooms at Edinburgh City Chambers with a huge pile of sandwiches, entertaining chat and art browsing courtesy of Art In Healthcare  who recently received an Age Scotland grant. They create stimulating environments that positively affects one’s mental wellbeing and contributes to an effective healing process and brought some of their paintings along.

Now we were getting to the most exciting part of the day .. the Awards Ceremony!! Our CEO Brian Sloan introduced them, telling us more about Jess Barrow and Patrick Brooks who the Awards have been named for.

The quality of the applications we had for the Awards this year was extremely high  and as a result we decided to share both the Jess Barrow and Patrick Brooks awards across two applicants.

Winners of the Jess Barrow award for campaigning

Woodlands Senior Club

Averil Clayton, Woodlands Senior Citizen’s Club

Members of the Woodlands Senior Citizen’s Club worked with and lobbied local councillors to keep to Woodlands Centre open. The Centre has 180 members and is open Monday to Friday every week and has various activities available to improve the health and well-being of older people in the local community.

The consequence is that they can improve the facilities for the benefit of all older people in the community and the current services they provide such as keep fit, craft, bowling, bingo, dancing and crochet classes.

Mrs I J Miller

After 4 years of suffering from Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) Scotland and Giant Cell

Jean Miller, PMR-GCA

Jean Miller, PMR-GCA

Arteritis (GCA) and searching unsuccessfully on the web and elsewhere for help, support and information, Mrs Miller set up Tayside PMR and GCA Support (now PMR-GCA Scotland) with charity status and funding from Awards for All.  With this she opened an office, developed a website and set up a Dundee Support Group.

She has provided support to sufferers across the UK and even further afield, through a Telephone Help Line, information packs, regular newsletters and a website. With the creation of a sister charity in England and Wales, which Mrs Miller helped set up, this charity is now able to focus solely on Scottish needs and already supports more than 250 people.

Winners of the Patrick Brooks award for Partnership Working

North Coast Connection and Transport for Tongue

Mary Martin and Sarah Beveridge, North Coast Connection and Transport for Tongue

North Coast Connection has three part time staff run a lunch club for older people. When the Highland council decided to withdraw the transport service the groups established a partnership process which created an affordable, accessible and sustainable transport service to allow access to a local day care centre for all those who wished to attend.

The lunch club is almost full the three days a week it is open. Most clients use Transport for Tongue to get to the centre and in September they benefitted from 197 volunteer hours and travelled 882 miles to take clients to the centre.

Angus Care and Repair
Angus Care and Repairassist older and disabled people live safely and independently at

Judith Leslie, Angus Care and Repair

Judith Leslie, Angus Care and Repair

home principally through the fitting of aids and adaptation but they have entered into a number of different partnerships to help older people live in their home. These include

  • With Tayside Police  to promote safe and security in the home
  • With Tayside Fire and Rescue  to help avoid fires in the home
  • With Trading Standards and Neighbourhood Watch to reduce doorstep crime and cold calling
  • With the NHS to highlight the danger of falls in the home and take action to prevent them. In particular they created a theatrical production to highlight falls awareness and home safety and arranged for it to be staged in a local theatre, where 200 people attended.

Keep your eyes and ears open for next year’s nominees – if you know of an exceptional person or organisation, let us know about them when the Age Scotland Awards for 2013 are announced next Spring. You can see more photos from the event here.

You can also take a look at our Annual Review or snapshot..