More than 130 businesses and other organisations have now made a commitment to make their shops and buildings more age-friendly as part of Nottinghamshire County Council’s take-a-seat campaign.
A third of older people are identified as lonely. 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. Loneliness can also lead to depression and mental decline.
By displaying the ‘We are Age Friendly’ sticker, businesses are providing reassurance to 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, is now supported by businesses in ten town centres across Nottinghamshire, including Newark and Mansfield.
The latest town centre to take part is Stapleford, where 20 premises are already signed-up and displaying the age-friendly sticker in their windows (download image from the launch)
The driving force behind the scheme in Stapleford has been Richard MacRae, a local resident and Town Councillor who saw publicity of the Take a Seat scheme launch in Beeston and contacted the Age Friendly Nottinghamshire Facebook page to ask how the scheme could be introduced in his area.
Richard has championed the campaign in Stapleford and, using his social media following and local contacts, helped recruit many businesses to the scheme. As a thank you for his support, Richard was presented with a ‘Age Friendly Community Ambassador’ certificate by Rob Bryant from the County Council’s Age-Friendly team (download image of the presentation).
Councillor Gordon Wheeler, Vice-Chairman of Communities and Place Committee and Age Friendly Ambassador at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Initiatives like take a seat really make a difference to people’s lives and helps reduce loneliness. 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.
“I would like to thank Richard MacRae and the many other local volunteers like him who are helping to make Nottinghamshire a place where as many people as possible are healthy and happy as they grow older.
“The Age Friendly Nottinghamshire project is inviting other residents with contacts and a passion to improve their communities to get in touch as we love to work in partnership to help make a difference at a local level. Either call 0115 977 4438 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.”
For further information about the Take a Seat campaign, including which businesses are taking part and how they can sign up for free, visit the website www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/takeaseat
Stapleford Community Group
0774 034 4427