More than 200 Nottinghamshire businesses have made their shops and buildings more age-friendly as part of Nottinghamshire County Council’s take-a-seat initiative, less than six months after the launch of the campaign. There’s a shortage of West Bridgford business taking part.
The Pud’s childrenswear stores in Mansfield and Newark – owned by 2016 BBC Apprentice finalist, Frances Bishop – have become the 200th and 201st premises to register with the scheme, which aims to tackle loneliness and social isolation by reassuring older people that shops provide a welcoming environment for older people.
Businesses displaying the ‘We are Age Friendly’ sticker are making a commitment older people and people with a disability or chronic illness that they will be offered a seat when they go inside, should they need to rest. Many will also offer a drink and, if accessible, use of their toilet facilities.
The scheme, first launched in Beeston in May this year, is now supported by businesses in town centres the length and breadth of Nottinghamshire, including in Edwinstowe, Southwell, Ruddington, Arnold, Eastwood, Stapleford, Newark and Mansfield.
A third of older people are identified as lonely. Loneliness can also lead to depression and mental decline. And sadly, many become isolated and lose independence because they find it increasingly difficult to walk from their homes to local shops and community venues. The biggest problems come when there is no seating for them to rest.
Councillor John Handley, Vice-Chairman of Communities and Place Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: We are passionate about helping older people stay independent and connected to their communities and encourage more shops and businesses to sign up to promote their great service for older customers.
“Initiatives like this really make a difference to people’s lives and help reduce loneliness. Not only that, they can improve the vibrancy and vitality of our high street by making town centres more accessible to older people by allaying their concerns.”
Further information for businesses about signing up to the scheme is available by calling 0115 977 4438. Signing up is free.
Frances Bishop, owner of Pud’s, urged other businesses to take part. She said: “We’ve signed up for the Take a Seat scheme, simply because it’s such a brilliant initiative that all retail shops should be part of. A little bit of kindness goes a long way and it does have such a positive impact on our community, high streets and in-store shopping experience.”
For further information about the Take a Seat campaign, including which businesses are taking part in each district of the county, visit the website www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/takeaseat