Call to ensure older people feel safe and welcome in town


“Its about hospitality, thoughtfulness, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes – be friendly”

The Age Friendly Banbury Partnership is appealing to us all to help inspire confidence amongst older residents using the Town Centre.   In particular they are asking us to observe guidelines on social distancing and wearing masks in shops.

Bee Myson, Age Friendly Banbury Co-ordinator, told Banbury FM some of the fears older residents may have.   Bee said, “The perception is that no matter what precautions they might take about their safeguarding when they go into town and about their business, if other people are not being considerate – they’re not wearing masks and not keeping their distance – that’s going to put older people (and anybody) at risk of infection.

“We’re trying to encourage people to be considerate, to wear masks and to give people enough space to get about without feeling they’re putting themselves in danger of infection.   Then if people feel confident about going out and about they will once more start using Banbury town centre and help to make it a thriving place to shop, live and work and enjoy.

In addition to any fear of how others might not follow the rules, for some people a nervousness of leaving their home for the first time in a while may play a part.   Bee said, “People who have been shielding and who have not been going out will have an increased resistance to engage because they’ve got out of the habit of going out.   That is something we can all help with by encouraging our neighbours and by giving them support to re-engage with their community”.

The wearing of face masks in shops and on public transport became mandatory from today (Friday).   Within Banbury town centre the town and district councils and Banbury BID have been working alongside business owners to make Banbury a safe place to visit.

Bee said, “Be aware that people you are shopping nearby, or communicating with, or helping in a shop or on transport may be struggling.   People may have hearing impairments which are exacerbated by folk wearing masks”.

Bee’s advice, “Its about hospitality, thoughtfulness, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and be friendly”.

Some of the Age Friendly Banbury partners met in Banbury Market Square on Monday to encourage local older residents to feel confident in returning to the town.   Pictured are Graham Holtom from Home Instead Care agency, Bee Myson, Sir Tony Baldry – High Steward of Banbury, Anita Higham representing NOXNET patients’ participants’ groups, Suzanne Hamman representing Banbury RVS Cornhill Centre, Ros Jones of BYHP, and Pat Coomber-Wood from of Citizen’s Advice.

You can listen to our interview with Bee Myson, Age Friendly Banbury Co-ordinator, here:

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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