Take a seat in Arnold

07 January 2019

AgeFriendlyTakeASeat.jpg Arnold take a seat launch.jpg Older and disabled shoppers in Arnold can be sure of a resting place after retailers in the town centre became the latest to sign up to Nottinghamshire County Council's take-a-seat campaign.

Around 300 businesses and other organisations across the county have now made a commitment to make their shops and buildings more age-friendly, with 20 shops in Arnold now joining the scheme.

The concept is a simple one. 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 shops will also offer a drink and, if accessible, use of their toilet facilities. 

A third of older people are identified as lonely, with many losing independence because they find it increasingly difficult to walk from their home to local shops and community venues without the reassurance that there will be somewhere warm and comfortable for them to rest.

Loneliness can also lead to depression and mental decline. 

The take-a-seat scheme was first launched in Beeston in May 2018, and is now supported by businesses in town centres across Nottinghamshire, including Ruddington, Newark, Sutton-in-Ashfield and Mansfield.

The Arnold scheme was launched at the Lighthouse Charity Shop in Front Street (download image from launch).

Councillor John Handley, Vice-Chairman of Communities and Place Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Simple initiatives like the take a seat scheme can really make a difference to people’s lives by helping them to be more socially active and less susceptible to feelings of loneliness and depression.

"We are passionate about helping older people stay independent and connected to their communities and we encourage more shops and businesses to sign up to promote their great service for older customers. Signing up is free of charge for businesses - all we ask is that they take measures to make their premises more age-friendly, including providing seating for older or disabled people, regardless of whether they are customers or not."

Lesley Kennedy, Area Manager for Lighthouse Charity Shops, said: "Take-a-seat is a way of making shops even more inclusive and welcoming to everybody - it's really important that our high streets bring people back to them. We want to make our shop has enough space for somebody if they are a bit wary and need to sit down.

"As well as providing seating all the time, we also have a monthly coffee morning at Arnold Lighthouse which is a chance for people of all ages to get together and have a chat over a cuppa and some cake."

Being an age friendly business makes commercial sense for retailers. Studies have shown that:

  • 60% of older people are concerned by the lack of seating in shopping areas
  • 33% of older people would feel ashamed to ask for a seat in a public place
  • Annual high street losses of £4.5bn are predicted by 2030 if retailers fail to attract and retain older customers

Take a Seat is free to sign up to for Nottinghamshire businesses. If you would like to find out more or own a business that would like to sign up to the scheme please call 0115 977 4438 or visit the website: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/takeaseat



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