Croydon Council is piloting a new shopping bus service for older people in Thornton Heath to support their health and wellbeing and tackle isolation and loneliness among this age group.
The Croydon BME Forum will manage the door-to-door shopping service that begins on Monday 11 March.
For £3 per trip, residents over 60 in the area who need help with their shopping can be picked up from their home and receive return transport to Sainsbury’s supermarket in Purley Way. Volunteers will be on-hand to accompany them around the shop, if this is requested.
People will also have the opportunity to sit down for a chat over a cup of tea or coffee and be informed about other local activities they can participate in.
The shopping bus is currently being run in Thornton Heath with the hope of extending the service if it proves to be popular.
The BME Forum is also seeking more friendly and reliable volunteers to support the shopping bus trips to assist older people on the bus and with their shopping, and to socialise with them.
Croydon has the third largest older population in London and the council is working with its partners to reduce the number of people who are at greater risk of feeling isolated or alone. This can adversely impact on a person’s mental and physical health and increase hospital admissions.
“We are pleased to be working with the BME Forum to deliver this vital shopping service in Thornton Heath. Health and social care services such as these can be a lifeline to many, particularly older residents and those prone to loneliness. This adds to the work of the One Croydon Alliance which helps people remain in their homes with wraparound services to support them. It is important for everyone to feel included in their community and not feel isolated due to a health issue that can restrict their mobility or prevent them from getting out of their home. We hope the shopping bus is a widely used service.”
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care
Advance bookings are required for a seat on the shopping bus as places are limited. To reserve a space, contact Anna D’Agostino, at Croydon BME Forum – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone, 020 8684 3719.