ACS finds local stores can help combat loneliness

Shops play a vital role in alleviating loneliness in communities across the UK, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is highlighting.

This week, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched its new loneliness campaign as part of the “Better Health – Every Mind Matters” policy.

The campaign will run until 13 March and includes advice and tips on how people can help themselves or others who may be experiencing loneliness.

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Findings from the ACS Community Barometer report 2021 found consumers believe convenience stores, alongside pubs and coffee shops, help to alleviate loneliness through their role as a social hub.

The ACS is a member of the government’s Employers’ Leadership Group and Tackling Loneliness Hub, as well as being a founding signatory to the Tackling Loneliness Champions Pledge.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Local shops operate at the heart of communities across the UK and this means that they are well placed to help alleviate loneliness and support their customers.

“We are encouraging retailers to engage with their colleagues and customers and build on the fantastic work they are already doing to tackle loneliness in their communities.”

The news comes as the ACS is calling on the government to take action ahead of the Spring budget to overhaul energy support and keep UK stores open throughout 2023.



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