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    ACS joins new Call to Action on tackling loneliness

    Photo: iStock

    The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has signed up to a call to action alongside over 100 organisations, urging the next government to take action to tackle loneliness.

    The Call to Action on tackling loneliness and building community has been signed by 14 leading organisations, including the British Red Cross, Campaign to End Loneliness, Jo Cox Foundation, Age UK, Nesta, Carers UK, The Cares Family, Sense, LGBT Foundation, Marmalade Trust, Royal Voluntary Service, UK Youth, Mind and Astra Foundation and over 100 organisations have contributed to the new guidance.

    These organisations have come together to call on the government for a renewed commitment to tackling loneliness through a series of measures, including:

    • Appointment of a dedicated minister for loneliness by the next government, supported by a cross-government team
    • A refreshed strategy, with clear objectives and dedicated funding
    • Guidance for schools and employers to tackle loneliness
    • Reform of social care and support so disabled people, older people and people with long-term conditions and unpaid carers can build and maintain relationships and connections

    “Local shops play an active role in reducing loneliness in the communities that they serve, acting as a social hub for customers who may be more vulnerable or isolated,” James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said.

    “The nature of a convenience store means that our colleagues are well placed to recognise the needs of the people coming into their stores and we are encouraging retailers to build on the fantastic work that they are already doing to alleviate loneliness in their communities.”

    Findings from ACS’ 2023 Local Shop Report show that 36 per cent of customers know the people running and working in their local shop very well or quite well.

    ACS is a member of the government’s Employers’ Leadership Group and Tackling Loneliness Hub. ACS is also a founding signatory to the Tackling Loneliness Champions Pledge.

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