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What role do mobility retailers have in tackling loneliness?

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Many mobility dealers have picked up on the benefits of making themselves more than just a showroom and offer elderly people a place to congregate with others.

Retailers of all types and size in the market host coffee mornings and put on events so that their stores double up as a community hub where elderly customers can chat and make friends.

The by-product of course is an increased awareness of the business and an expanded customer base.    

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Now, a £20m fund has been introduced by the government to support groups that tackle loneliness among isolated people.

The funding will go to support and expand programmes that bring people together and it begs the question, could mobility firms make a case for having their own initiatives supported?

Theresa May’s announcement includes a new £11m ‘Building Connections Fund’ that will be distributed to successful applicants that can help bring communities together.

It is designed to help make the most of local spaces, opening them up for community use, as well as help businesses and local services combat isolation.

It will support groups to understand the impact of their work and share best practice about how to prevent loneliness.

In addition to this new fund, People’s Postcode Lottery has committed £5m of players’ money to top up existing grants it has given to charities that combat loneliness. The Health Lottery will give out £4 million to charities that work to improve social links in disadvantaged areas across England.

Mrs May said: “Feeling lonely or isolated can have a profound and devastating impact on people’s lives – it can affect anyone of any age and from any background. But just as loneliness can affect any of us, so any of us can help to overcome it.

“The new funding set out today will make a big difference, helping more people to establish and maintain connections. This will build on work already going on, including through the second Great Get Together this weekend, which will see people up and down the country celebrating the strength of their communities.”

Funding applications for the Building Connections Fund will open from next month with grants available until the end of December 2020.

Tags : building connections fundcoffee morningcommunity hubgreat get togethermobility retail
Joe Peskett

The author Joe Peskett

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