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Borders campaigner Diana Findlay wins Age Scotland national award

Diana Findlay

23 October 2023

A tireless campaigner from the Borders has won Age Scotland’s national award for campaigning and influencing.

Diana Findley, 83, won the Jess Barrow Award for Campaigning and Influencing for the tremendous work she has done to improve the lives of older people over the past 23 years.

Diana is well known in the Borders, where she is based, as a tour de force, working to ensure that older voices are heard at all levels of decision making.

Diana got her start as a campaigner when she began carrying out promotional work for the newly established Age Scotland, served as a board member for three years, and is now a valued ambassador for the charity.

But her ambassadorship is far from the only role Diana holds. She currently sits on the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum and the Scottish Borders Council’s Borders Older People’s Planning Partnership, which works to ensure that older people’s needs and concerns are taken into consideration by the local authority.

Diana has been a member and trustee of the Scottish Older People’s Assembly since its inception, and in 2018 took over as chairwoman. She has turned the organisation around, increased its membership and encouraged mutually beneficial working partnerships, including the drive to appoint local authority Older People’s Champions across Scotland.

She co-founded the Borders Older People’s Forum, giving older people an opportunity to network and share information about services, rights and entitlements. This desire to make sure older people are represented and informed is at the heart of Diana’s activism. She also believes it is crucial in allowing older people to live longer, happier and healthier lives.

Her previous roles include chairwoman of the Scottish Better Government for Older People organisation and running Elder Voice in the Scottish Borders for 14 years – a post which involved sharing information, support and events for older people and producing a very popular newsletter keeping older people informed about their rights.

More recently, Diana has been volunteering at a local group for people living with dementia and their carers where she encourages social interaction, helps families find the support they need and makes an excellent cup of tea.

Ahead of the presentation of her award, Diana said:

“I was surprised, shocked and very delighted. It’s like winning a prize when you’re at school and it makes you feel you should re-double your efforts to perhaps repeat that lovely feeling.”

Katherine Crawford, chief executive officer at Age Scotland, said:

“Diana’s drive and energy have done so much to improve the lives of older people in the Borders and beyond. She is tireless in her determination to ensure that older people’s voices are heard and their opinions included in decision making at local and national level.

“Over more than two decades, Diana has made life better for older people and we’re delighted that, at 83, she shows no signs of slowing down. It is a true honour to present Diana with the Jess Barrow Award for Campaigning and Influencing in recognition of her inspirational work.”