Learning the fun way

The Saltire Awards have been designed recognise the commitment and contribution of youth volunteering to voluntary organisations.

Brandon, a fantastic volunteer in our Dumfries shop is taking part, and the awards are helping him to record the skills, experience and learning he has gained.

Find out more about the Saltire Awards

Brandon, Age Scotland Volunteer

I started volunteering with Age Scotland in Dumfries after I left school and I didn’t want to sit about doing nothing. It has helped me gain skills which will be useful in a paid job. This includes working as a member of a team, taking instruction from managers and customer service amongst many others. I have learned that being reliable is important. I really enjoy coming into the shop because I get on well with everyone and I like the atmosphere. This is why I am happy to have done 500 hours volunteering.

Claire, Manager of Age Scotland, Dumfries

Since Brandon started with us in September he has really come out of his shell and gained a lot of new skills. He has become a key member of the team – he can be relied upon and work unsupervised. I’m really proud to see the development of his skills in such a short space of time and it’s great to see his contribution recognised by the 500 hour Saltire Award.

We enjoy having him in the shop as he has a great sense of humour and his cheeky character amused staff, volunteers and customers alike!

Interested in volunteering? Locate your nearest Age Scotland Shop
Follow the activities of the Dumfries shop on Facebook
Find out more about the Saltire Awards

Tackling the taboo

As the saying goes you cannot get pregnant when talking about sex and equally you will not die from making a will. Colin Darcy, Age Scotland Enterprise’s Insurance Manager reports.

The friendly Afore Ye Go team,

The friendly ‘Afore Ye Go’ team in Newton Stewart on 4th September

Death and dying are topics we naturally shy away from but it is something we all need to face up to, as like taxes, it is inevitable. At Age Scotland Enterprises we speak to lots of people every year who do exactly that and are helping people to tackle this taboo by running a number of events called ‘Afore Ye Go’, which tackles some of these issues. There have been three events with seventy attendees so far in Hawick, Stranraer and Newton Stewart and all have received very positive feedback.

Mrs D who attended an Afore Ye Go event in Glasgow said: “I had always put off thinking about such things – it seemed morbid. But going along to the event was great. It wasn’t downbeat; it gave me really practical advice. I went away and took some of that advice by making some decisions and plans that actually lifted a weight off my shoulders.”

Solicitors for Older People Scotland, one of Age Scotland’s Affinity partners, will deliver a short presentation covering topics such as Wills, Power of Attorney, Advanced Directives, which might sound a bit daunting but are effectively documents which will help clarify people’s wishes and instructions when they either lose capacity or are no longer around. Other topics discussed are pre-paid Funeral Plans which can help freeze funeral prices at today’s prices, no matter when the plan is required. An easy way to save yourself money but also to help your family out at a time when they need it most, when you aren’t here!

Age Scotland Helpline will also talk about the services they can provide across a wide range of topics ranging from what benefits you can claim to how you can get a handyman.
Interested in attending these free seminars, the remain ones for the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway are:

We’re holding Forward Planning Open weeks at our offices in October:

The will also be events in the Scottish Borders

  • Peebles, 19th November
  • Galashiels, 13th February
  • Coldstream, 10th April

For more details contact Ian Howie on 01557 331346.

Find out about Age Scotland Enterprises Products 
Find out more about the Age Scotland Helpline

Margaret’s not waiting any more

Last winter Margaret, who lives in Dumfries, became one of our case studies for our Still Waiting campaign for a better bus pass and to help end isolation for older people. .

Although living close to a main road with regular buses, she was unable to make use of them as she can hardly walk and, with severe osteoarthritis, can’t use a wheelchair.

She told us: “My bus pass is of virtually no use; I’ve spent most of 2012 sitting at home waiting to die.”

After we published the case study Dumfries and Galloway Council got in touch with us. They felt Margaret’s story painted local bus services in too poor a light. So Morag Halliday, our local Development Officer, took Margaret to meet them and, following this, the local Stagecoach manager visited her and found a solution to getting her mobility scooter on the bus. As you can see from the video – this is not easy, so we also arranged for a befriending scheme to provide a volunteer buddy for some journeys; previously she had had to spend a lot of money to have a professional care worker accompany her.

We are really pleased that Margaret’s story shows how we’re linking national campaigns to action in communities to improve the lives of older people.

Take action now and sign the Still Waiting petition for a better bus pass.