Age Friendly Nottingham is extending its campaign to get more seats for older people in their local communities.

The ‘Take a Seat’ campaign aims for more shops and businesses to have a seat available in case an older person needs to catch their breath and rest. The scheme has already started in Clifton and will be launched in Bilborough in December.

‘Take A seat’ is about raising awareness of how older people sometimes struggle to get out and about because there is not enough seating available for them to rest. In order to encourage more older people to venture out to their local shops, Age Friendly Nottingham is helping local businesses to understand the importance of offering a seat to an older person should they need it.

Older people know that a venue is taking part because they have a ‘We are Age Friendly’ sticker displayed in their window. People can also find out who is signed up by taking a look at the ‘Take a Seat’ webpage

Councillor Alex Norris, Portfolio Holder for Adults, Health and Community Sector, said: “It’s vital that we help older people stay independent and get out into their local communities.  Loneliness and isolation are both significant and pressing problems for our ageing population. It can have a damaging effect on physical health so it’s important that business and shops get on board with this scheme.”

A third of older people are identified as lonely. Sadly, many become isolated because they find it increasingly difficult to walk from their homes to local shops and libraries. The biggest problems come when there is no seating from them to rest. Loneliness can also lead to depression and mental decline.

In October 2014, Nottingham City Council launched the Older Citizens’ Charter, which sets out the city’s aims to improve the quality of life and promote the independence of older residents – ‘Take a Seat’ is just one part of this. Age Friendly Nottingham is for partners and older people from across the city to come forward and implement the Charter.

Wendy Smith, Councillor for Bilborough said: “It’s great that the Take a Seat’ campaign is in the area, as it makes a real difference to the lives of people in my community. Our local shops already offer this service but the window stickers will let everyone know that they are age-friendly. Bilborough has one of the highest numbers of elderly residents in the City and we’re keen to make life as easy as possible for them.”

Wigman Ladies Club will help launch the scheme in Bilbrough. Chairwoman Jean Welsh, 78, said, “We were delighted to be asked to take part in this event which will help to keep our older residents independent.”