Older People - a bonus not a burden

A campaign working with the Scottish Older Peoples Assembly.

July 22, 2020

The Scottish Older People's Assembly exists to give a strong voice to older people about their experience of life in Scotland, their challenges and concerns, and to celebrate the positive contribution that older people make to society.

We were approached by SOPA to help launch a new campaign that aimed to counter negative stereotypes of older people in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. We set out to film a series of doorstep interviews with older people who wanted to make their voices heard and show the vital role they play in society. These were created under the tagline ‘Older People - a bonus not a burden’.

Working in lockdown brings its challenges, especially when it’s with more vulnerable people. We set out with strict guidelines to keep ourselves and our interviewees safe at all times throughout filming. This involved using the standard procedures such as hand sanitizing and wearing masks when in closer proximity. We also had to adapt the way we filmed the interviews and used longer focal length lenses and boom mics. 

Meeting the older people- who were still in shielding, was a great experience. We were always welcomed with warmth and friendliness. Each participant had their own points of view but they all came with huge enthusiasm to get their message across and share their experience during lockdown. We always kept the best question to last which was ‘What are you looking forward to most after lockdown?’. This was always met with the most animated answer of seeing family members and getting back to an active lifestyle. 

We met 87 year old retired lady, Barbara Reid, who really summed up the message of the campaign for us. As a widowed woman who was also blind and deaf, she showed that nothing could hold her back from having a fully active life with a strong presence in her community. She speaks of her experience before and during 'lockdown' and how she can’t wait to get back to her Scottish dancing routine. Her resilience really put life into perspective for us. What a woman!

Overall this was a really rewarding project for us and we certainly have a new outlook on how valuable our older people are. If you would like to find out more about SOPA you can visit their website here and follow along with their campaign on their social channels. 

Behind the scenes

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