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MELKSHAM Seniors is celebrating the success of its new scheme, ‘Socialisation n’ Shop’.
Over 300 people and 27 local businesses have joined the scheme that aims to combat loneliness and isolation in the older community and help support small local businesses in the town centre.
The scheme issues an ID card to members of the community over the age of 55. Local businesses participating in the scheme, then offer a discount on their products or services to anyone who has the Seniors ID card.
On behalf of Melksham Seniors, Martin Pain told Melksham News, “Our pilot project was aimed at enrolling 50 individuals and 10 participating businesses, but just one month into the pilot, we have issued over 300 membership cards and signed up 27 business, with more in the queue for processing. It proves that our ‘roadshow’ outreach method of organising meetings in the parishes to publicise the programme does work, especially when combined with the enthusiasm of our dedicated team of five roadshow volunteers.
“Of course the Melksham & District Forum 55+ roadshow team had to reach out across the volunteer landscape in order to achieve what seemed a monumental task, but with valuable assistance and advice from organisations such as Young Melksham and other local groups, and very active encouragement and invaluable assistance from the volunteer arms of the local faith groups such as Queensway Chapel, without them, none of this would have been possible. We must also thank our donor partners without whom we would have been unable to meet the financial burden of this project.
“And while thanking the 300-plus individuals who have signed up, we must express our deepest gratitude to those local businesses who have agreed to take part in this ‘Socialisation n’ Shop’ programme, hardworking often struggling businesses who have declared their continuing faith in our town.
“But this is no time to sit on our laurels; this is just the beginning of a long and interesting road whose destination is an end to isolation and sustaining our community. Phase 2 of this project will examine the provision of more inter parish/town transportation, with the focus on those with special mobility needs and more inter-generational events.
“This programme proves that direct citizen action not only works, but is essential if we are to remain a sustainable, vibrant and all-inclusive community. Thank you Melksham.”