Older Mansfield shoppers are urged to take a seat

Councillor Gordon Wheeler (back row, second right) joined Debenhams staff and customers to launch the Take a Seat campaign in Mansfield town centre.
Councillor Gordon Wheeler (back row, second right) joined Debenhams staff and customers to launch the Take a Seat campaign in Mansfield town centre.

Stores are being encouraged to “take a seat” to make Mansfield town centre more accessible for elderly shoppers.

The new scheme aims to have more seats available in shops and businesses in the town, in case an older person needs to catch their breath and rest while out shopping.

The Age Friendly Nottinghamshire scheme aims to raise awareness of how older people sometimes struggle to access their local area because there “isn’t enough seating available for them to rest”.

It comes after a survey showed 60 per cent of older people are “concerned” by a lack of seating in shopping areas.

Debenhams in Mansfield’s Four Seasons Shopping Centre, Mansfield, is the first shop in the district to sign up to the new campaign.

Councillor Gordon Wheeler, Nottinghamshire County Council communities and place committee vice-chairman and county Age-Friendly ambassador, said: “Simple initiatives like this can make a difference to people’s lives.

“We are passionate about helping older people and people with disabilities stay independent and connected to their communities.

“The Take a Seat initiative will help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation by ensuring older people can still get out and about.

“We have had a promising response from businesses so far and I encourage more shops to take this simple step to provide great service for older customers.”

A survey also revealed 33 per cent older people would feel ashamed to ask for a seat in a public place, although UK high street retailers are estimated to lose £4,5 billion by 2030 if they fail to attract and retain older customers.

A ‘We are Age Friendly’ sticker will be displayed in all shops and premises taking part – reassuring older shoppers that they will be given a warm welcome and offered a chair.

To find out more, see nottinghamshire.gov.uk/takeaseat