UNISON Scotland
Scotland's public service union
  Retired Members Information & Resources 

Staying Active in UNISON

Back to Retired Members Index

Back to Information & Resources Index

Useful Links




Provided by Mae Stewart, Editor UNISON Retired members Newsletter, Dundee, Perth and Angus. Please note that this is not definitive information about benefits but will provide a signpost as to where to get up to date information. Please check the sources first. UNISON Scotland can take no responsibility for information that may be outdated or inaccurate.

Issue 5 July 2003

top | Information & Resources Index

Are You Over 50?

A new Scottish version of a practical guide for the over 50s has been produced by the Department for Work and Pensions in conjunction with the Scottish Executive.

‘Are You Over 50? - Scotland' is a practical guide to advice, support and services across government on a number of issues such as work, money, healthy living, learning and training.

For a copy telephone: 0845 6 022 260 [local rate] please ask for the Scottish version of ‘Are You Over 50?'

A service for textphone users is also available on; 0845 6 055 560.

The guide is also available on the internet at: www.over50.gov.uk/Scotland

Look out too for the ‘Pensioners' Guide - Scotland' which gives more detailed information about extra money in retirement.

It also gives information about leisure opportunities, housing and home improvements, transport, legal services, and dealing with crime.

Telephone: 0845 6 065 065 [local rate] for a copy or visit the website at: www.info4pensioners.gov.uk/index_sc.htm

top | Information & Resources Index

Over 60 and Travel By Bus?

Men aged 60 - 64 can now get the same concessionary travel benefits previously offered to men over 65 and over, and women over 60.

For information on how to obtain a concessionary travel card and details of the scheme operating in your area, please contact your local authority or travel off

top | Information & Resources Index

Accident Prevention RoSPA - Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

Our homes may feel like the safest place to be but they can often contain hidden dangers. Home accidents account for 40% of all fatal accidents, in fact the account for around 300 deaths in Scotland each year.

It is also estimated that around 1000 people every day will seek medical attention for an injury they have received in the so-called safety of their own homes

Some older people can be at increased risk, however everyone can benefit from making their home a safer place to live in.

Almost all accidents are preventable through following some practical and affordable measures.

For further information visit the RoSPA website at www.rospa.co.uk

Or contact: The Home Safety Department

RoSPA Scotland
Slateford House
53 Lanark Road
Edinburgh - EH14 1TL

top | Information & Resources Index

Housing Associations Reach out to Black and Ethnic Older people

Actor Saeed Jaffrey, OBE, recently joined with the Hanover, Bield and Kirk Care Housing Associations to develop and launch a 30 minute video, designed to ensure the inclusion of older people from the black and minority ethnic [MBE] communities in accessing sheltered housing. The event was supported by the Commission for Racial Equality.

Rohini Sharma [Housing, Equal Opportunities Officer. Hanover, Kirk Care, and Bield Housing Associations] commented;

‘With the cultural emphasis on the importance of family and the considerable respect given to older people in the BME communities, there can be a stigma of moving into sheltered housing. The video will go a long way to addressing these stigmas and ensure older people in Scotland's BME communities are not excluded from a housing resource which could offer them independence, security, companionship and dignity in their old age.

For further information contact Rohini Sharma on 0131 225 7246 [national rate] or

e-mail at: rsharma@kirkcare.co.uk

top | Information & Resources Index

Direct Payments Scotland

Do you know that if you suffer from a disability and require community care services you can ask your local authority for direct payments and arrange the services yourself?

Using direct payments can give you more choice, control, and flexibility over the way you receive every day services and help you increase your independence.

A direct payment is money paid by a local authority directly to a person whom it has assessed as needing community care services. The person then uses the payment to purchase the agreed services. This could mean contracting with an agency or employing your own personal assistant.

2003 is a ‘big' year for direct payments. From 1st June 2003 local authorities in Scotland will no longer be able to chose whether or not to make direct payments available, instead, they will be required to offer them to all eligible people.

Furthermore in 2004 they will become more widely available when anyone who requires community care services, not only disabled people, will become eligible to be considered for direct payments. This means that people who need services because they are frail or are recovering from an accident or If you would like more information about direct payments you should contact your local social work office. Alternatively, Direct Payments Scotland has been set up by the Scottish Executive to help promote direct payments and can offer help.

Telephone: 0131 558 3450 [national rate]

Website: www.dpscotland.org.uk

top | Information & Resources Index


The University of the Third Age [U3A] will be celebrating its 21st anniversary this year.

There are now 15 U3As in Scotland, from Nairn to Dumfries. The term university is somewhat misleading in that U3A is not an institution but a self-help voluntary educational co-operative committed to lifelong learning. Members [not students] tutor and help each other in a wide range of subjects at a low cost. It uses the term ‘university' in its ancient meaning as a ‘community of scholars'.

U3A defines the ‘third age' as coming after the ‘first age' of youthful growth and education and the ‘second age' of maturity and career and/or home-making. For many members, the ‘third age' comes with retirement, but for others it is the end of full time employment.

A typical U3A will offer study groups on languages, art, local history, books, creative writing, and so on. The list is limited only by the resources and imagination of the membership. While expertise is needed for some subjects, for others the learning is a shared experience with members taking responsibility for researching and presenting the subject.

Each U3A is an independent unit, but is overseen by the Third Age Trust which provides, through a nationally represented board, support services, including resources, conferences and summer schools.

For information contact U3A's Scottish representative Karen Cannon on: 01738 840606 [national rate] or visit the website at: www.u3a.org.uk

top | Information & Resources Index

Age Concern Scotland

Changes in to Pensions Payments Methods

Age Concern Scotland have prepared an information leaflet on the changes to pensions payment to older people. This is available from Age Concern Scotland by calling; 0131 220 3345 [national rate].

You can also get a copy by contacting your local Age Concern Group [address in telephone book] or from Age Concern website at; www.ageconcernscotland.org.uk

Mae Stewart

top | Information & Resources Index