Age-friendly case study: Take a seat campaign
Nottingham’s Take a seat campaign aims to tackle issues of social isolation one seat at a time.
Inspired by projects in New York and Manchester, the campaign has over 300 premises signed up to provide a warm welcome and the offer of a seat.
Take a seat aims to tackle issues of social isolation, to motivate older people to feel confident about leaving their homes and play an active part in their local communities. It does this by encouraging local businesses and community premises to join the campaign and offer people a chance to take a seat and ‘catch their breath’.
What is Take a seat?
Participating members receive ‘We are age-friendly’ window stickers, a branded fold-up chair, and ‘Take a seat’ tote shopping bags to help them promote the scheme – all funded by Nottingham City Council. They’re also encouraged to go a step further by making toilet facilities available and offering tea, coffee or a glass of water. When an older person sees the sticker displayed, they can be sure of a warm welcome and the offer of a seat. There are no strings attached and no pressure for them to make a purchase.
Over 300 premises have signed up to Take a seat across 28 local areas in Nottingham since the campaign began in 2015. Local signatories include shops, department stores, building societies, cafés, pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, travel agents and more. This is a real-world example of what an age-friendly community looks like.
The Take a seat campaign is part of the Nottingham City Council Older Citizen’s Charter and was inspired by similar projects in New York and Greater Manchester.
History of Take a seat
Good for customers
Fiona, a retired university lecturer, was first made aware of Take a seat having seen it in the media and across a number of shops. With Nottingham being hilly in areas, she doesn't always find it easy to get out and about. She describes the initiative and having the opportunity to sit down when needed as 'tremendous', making her life much easier.
It's just having more confidence that there will be somewhere to sit down when you're out and about. People are being made more aware that it's a significant issue.
What Take a seat does for businesses
It shows that we are a caring business and that we do all we can to help our customers and think about them. Take a seat makes people feel comfortable, it makes them stay longer in the store.