Arran Banner letters – week 25, 2021


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Come together this Diabetes Week


There are 4.9 million people living with diabetes in the UK, and 13.6 million people at risk of developing type two diabetes.

It is a serious, relentless condition which, regardless of type, can bring with it many challenges.

Everyone experiences diabetes differently and this Diabetes Week (June 14 to 20) we’ll be telling people’s #DiabetesStories from all corners of the UK.

We’ll be looking back on an extraordinary year and looking forward to what’s to come. And, above all, we’ll be celebrating the incredible diabetes community.

There are lots of ways people can get involved during the week itself, from designing posters to organising community events. There will also be plenty of activity on Diabetes UK’s social media channels – including a film telling the story of the last year for the diabetes community, by the community. You’ll find more information about our plans for the week, and how you can get involved at

So, let’s come together this Diabetes Week and tell our #DiabetesStories – to help raise awareness of what life with diabetes is really like, and show other people living with diabetes that they’re not alone.

If you have any questions regarding your diabetes, or need extra support, you can call our Helpline on 0345 123 2399 or email us at


Angela Mitchell,

National director Scotland,

Diabetes UK.


Pension Credit push


The number of pensioners in poverty has now passed the two million mark across the UK, with 150,000 in Scotland living in relative poverty and thousands more on the cusp.

Pension Credit, a benefit that tops up low pensioner incomes, is one of the most underclaimed means of social security support for older people.

In many cases, claiming Pension Credit can also ‘passport’ older people to other sources of financial support which can make an even bigger difference – such as housing benefit, council tax Reduction, cold weather payments, a free TV licence for those over 75, and help with health costs.

Levels of pensioner poverty in Scotland have begun to rise again in recent years. For example, the proportion of pensioners in persistent poverty has risen from eight per cent to 12 per cent since 2010.

Despite these rising figures, it is estimated that 40 per cent of eligible pensioners on low incomes are still missing out on Pension Credit.

That means £332m of financial support is going unclaimed by 123,000 older households in Scotland.

With 14 per cent of pensioners (150,000) living in relative poverty and 12 per cent (120,000) in persistent poverty, Age Scotland says there must be a concerted effort to reduce pensioner poverty and that encouraging social security uptake has a huge part to play in this process.

We know that more than 120,000 pensioners aren’t claiming the social security support, such as Pension Credit, that they are entitled to.

The support currently going unclaimed could make a real difference to older people’s quality of life and it’s so important that we find out what is standing in the way of people claiming and work to break down these barriers to help boost incomes.

Through our free social security workshops, we have found that the majority of people are not aware of how much they could be entitled to through Pension Credit and this lack of awareness is clearly one of many barriers to take-up.

If everyone eligible for Pension Credit knew about it and claimed it, it stands to reason that pensioner poverty in Scotland would drop dramatically.

That’s why we want as many people as possible to get in touch to ensure they are claiming all the support they are entitled to. Please don’t hesitate to call 0800 12 44 222 for a free entitlement check.


Brian Sloan,

Chief executive,

Age Scotland.