Was delighted to accept an invitation to be guest Chair at the Milan AGM today. Founded in 1991 as a welfare organisation serving the older members of the local Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Mauritian communities they are now very well established and important partners in delivering social welfare services. The AGM was very well attended (women outnumbering men by about 5 to 1) and the business conducted briskly but thoroughly, including elections to the board and allowing for occasional translation as we went. Also included an excellent and hard hitting presentation on how the Welfare Reform changes may impact on the BME community with advice services perhaps even more important to people of ethnic origin who don't understand our rather complex systems, never mind the changes. It was all rounded off with a rather fine curry. My very generous hosts insisted I should have seconds, and it would have been rude to decline ! By the way, Milan is an Urdu word for friendly gathering or meeting.
Then managed to pop in to the Assembly Rooms where we were hosting an event called Living Well in Later Life, a public exhibition / drop in event where numerous health and social care related organisations who deliver all sorts of services to older people were on hand to offer advice and answer questions. It had a real buzz while I was there with members of the public taking advantage of having so much expertise available in one place and professionals taking advantage of the opportunity to network with colleagues in this specialist sector. Now we need to think about making this a more regular event and taking it out into some of Edinburgh's communities.