Motion ref. S6M-06933
Age Scotland's Keeping The Doors Open Report
Submitted by: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats.
Date lodged: Thursday, November 24, 2022
Supported by: Karen Adam, Clare Adamson, Jackie Baillie, Jeremy Balfour, Miles Briggs, Alexander Burnett, Donald Cameron, Finlay Carson, Maggie Chapman, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Graeme Dey, Bob Doris, Sharon Dowey, Pam Duncan-Glancy, Annabelle Ewing, Meghan Gallacher, Pam Gosal, Bill Kidd, Douglas Lumsden, Fulton MacGregor, Stuart McMillan, Emma Roddick, Douglas Ross, Mark Ruskell, Colin Smyth, Paul Sweeney, David Torrance, Brian Whittle
That the Parliament welcomes the publication of Age Scotland's new report, Keeping The Doors Open, which, it understands, reveals the pressures facing older people’s groups across Scotland following the COVID-19 pandemic; notes that the report outlines responses from Age Scotland's community member groups to a survey in June 2022 on a range of topics, including attendance levels, delivery of services and current challenges; understands that the report reveals the impact on confidence and mobility amongst older people due to the pandemic and ongoing challenges to attract new volunteers, but also the resilience of many services during incredibly tough circumstances; recognises what it sees as the importance of older people's groups, such as men's sheds, lunch clubs, sporting clubs and service providers in improving wellbeing and mental health, tackling loneliness, malnutrition and poverty, and building social connections in communities across Scotland; regrets that according to the report, more than 30 older people's community groups in the membership of Age Scotland have closed since the start of the pandemic with many more struggling to remain open due to rising costs for venues and energy; understands that the report provides a number of recommendations for the Scottish Government, local authorities and funders, including greater investment for older people's community groups, recognising loneliness as a key public health issue and establishing a national fund to support older people’s community groups to help its members through the cost of living crisis; encourages MSPs across the parties to do all that they can to support efforts to make sure Scotland is a better place to grow older and to continue to support the work of older people's groups in the communities that they represent, and thanks Age Scotland for what it sees as its invaluable work to support and raise awareness of the needs of older people in Scotland.