An initiative that aims to get more seats for older people in local communities has launched in Leen Valley.

The Age Friendly Nottingham ‘Take A Seat’ initiative wants more shops and businesses to have a seat available in case an older person needs to catch their breath and rest.

More than 120 businesses and community venues across the city are already showing their support for the drive, and it’s now in Leen Valley as businesses on Aspley Lane Shops sign up to the initiative.

‘Take A Seat’ is about raising awareness of how older people sometimes struggle to get out and about because there isn’t 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

The Lord Mayor of Nottingham and Leen Valley ward Councillor Mohammed Saghir launched the scheme in the area, alongside fellow Ward Councillor Glyn Jenkins and Nottingham’s Older Citizens’ Champion, Eunice Campbell on Tuesday 19 July.

Age friendlyCouncillor Eunice Campbell, Nottingham’s Older Citizens’ Champion at Nottingham City Council, said: “It’s vital that we help older people stay independent and get out into their local communities. I think it’s great that so many businesses want to be a part of this campaign and I want to thank them as this really does make a difference to the lives of people and helps to reduce loneliness.”

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 for 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.

Take A Seat was introduced by Age Friendly Nottingham in September 2015 in Clifton and is now in 21 area’s across the city, most recently in the Dales. The initiative will be rolled out to other areas of the city over the next year.