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Wigan businesses sign up to be age friendly

Businesses in Wigan town centre have pledged to support older people in the community.

The Galleries and Grand Arcade shopping centres are the latest to sign up to the age-friendly businesses initiative which is part of the council’s work to create age-friendly neighbourhoods.

To become age-friendly a business must be able to offer an older person:

• A place to sit and rest, without pressure to buy
• A glass of water or a cup of tea or coffee
• An emergency phone call if needed
• Patience and assistance for customers who may be confused or forgetful
• Toilet facilities, where possible

Wigan Council is working with Age UK and the local Ambition for Ageing team on the project, called Take a Seat, which encourages businesses to think about what they can offer an older person.

Earlier this year Atherton, Leigh, Pemberton and Shevington were recognised by Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester’s Mayor, as being age-friendly neighbourhoods.

Businesses on Standish high street are also signing up to become age-friendly.

An age-friendly neighbourhood is a place where residents are committed to looking out for each other, older people feel they can have a say in what’s going on in their local area, and there are spaces where people can get together. 

Robert Downes, FSB Development Manager in Greater Manchester, said: “This is a great concept, and it’s quite simple: look after your customers, and your customers will look after you.

“It’s good to see retail businesses opening up to the communities they serve in this way. If our high streets are to make their way in the modern day, and face down the problems so many currently face, the need to be destinations of choice, easily accessible to everyone, and offer a warm and welcoming shopping experience. This is one piece of the jigsaw, while Wigan Council have offered another in the form of free weekend parking which I would like to see more local authorities do. 

“It’s great to see such progressive thinking in Wigan.”

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, deputy leader of Wigan Council and Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, said: “It is fantastic to see more businesses signing up to this initiative. Making sure the borough is equipped to help our elderly residents grow old and live the best life possible is vital to ensuring our communities continue to thrive.”

To find out more or if you’re a business based in Wigan and would like to sign up please contact their Public Health team on public.health@wigan.gov.uk