OPAL changes its name to reflect inclusion and respect

19 April 2024
Group photo at OPAL service

OPAL works with people aged 60+, promoting active and fulfilling lives, creating and enriching communities which empower all to remain independent, living at home and socially connected. 

The service, which has successfully operated from its base in West Lothian since 2013, is changing its name from 'Older People Active Lives' (OPAL) to 'OPportunities for Active Lives'.

The acronym OPAL remains as it's widely recognised by stakeholders, service users and volunteers but in the spirit of inclusion, and using language the people the service engages with are more comfortable with, the decision was taken to remove “Older People” from the descriptor.  

The name change will be rolled out across the service's social media, in reporting documentation, publicity materials and on its Bathgate high street shop front in the coming weeks. 

Senior Service Coordinator, Lorna Bryson, says:

"We are changing the name to reflect feedback from those using the service, many of our service users do not feel ‘old’ and say it can put them off accessing services.  Our service is all about creating opportunities within the community to improve wellbeing, build confidence and make connections and using the word ‘opportunities’ in our tagline captures this."

OPAL supports over 20 community groups throughout West Lothian open to anyone 60 and above.  These groups are designed to bring people together, foster friendships, have fun and to get people involved in their local community.  It is known that social connections are essential for health and well-being at all ages and may be especially important for promoting health in later life. 

The service is funded through a collaboration with West Lothian Council, West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, and NHS Lothian. 

Click here to find out more about the service