Retail and Consumer
Age-related campaign aims to help make high streets open for all
As high streets feel their way back to life a charity working to champion the older generations has launched a campaign to help remove a little more of the anxiety around visiting our town centres.
Age Concern hopes its drive is will benefit everyone – businesses with more customers and helping make their lives easier, and the elderly by making them feel more comfortable while the pandemic continues.
Rob Fountain, chief executive of Age UK Gloucestershire, said the initiative was about creating what the charity called an “age-friendly” environment and was not just about helping older citizens.
“What makes a difference to those who are older will also make a positive difference to others in our communities who will also feel safer, more supported and more confident in a return from lockdown,” said Mr Fountain.
“Supporting older people to return safely to shops and high streets is also not about charity. It is about creating the environment that enables them to remain independent, economically active contributors to our communities.
“We hope this guide is a prompt to retailers to consider how a few minor adjustments can help restore confidence to those of all ages who are keen to get back out on the high street.”
Its check-list for businesses is simple, and no doubt covered off by many already - but the charity is well aware this is a time when there is already plenty to think about.
It ranges from making queueing as comfortable as possible (perhaps by providing shelter, seating or an umbrella for some), allowing customers to use cash if they have no other means, providing toilets and signposting them clearly, accommodating somewhere for people to sit and rest, clear communication - something harder for everyone when masks are obligatory, offering time for those considered vulnerable to visit the business during quieter hours, and understanding that many will not be comfortable with shopping online or managing money on line.