As part of Sainsbury’s 150th birthday, the supermarket is bringing customers and colleagues together up and down the country to strengthen ties in local communities and improve people’s quality of life, including a day to remember for the older generation in Marske-by-the-Sea.
The party included special guest appearances from Strictly Come Dancing stars Ola Jordan and Abbey Clancy. The pair got guests up on the dance-floor as well as teaching a group of local Sainsbury’s colleagues and regular customers a high-octane dance number which they performed on the night.
The event was inspired by the latest Sainsbury’s Living Well Index results revealing a decline in social connections amongst over 65’s, and was put forward by Markse-by-the-Sea Store Manager Andrew Lyth, who wanted to bring the older community together and give them a night they’d never forget whilst meeting new friends in the local area.
Since 2017, the number of people over 65 speaking to their neighbours daily has halved to just 14%, with those speaking to them daily or a few times a week dropping from 70% to just 42%.
Chatting to neighbours ranks as one of the most important factors in whether someone feels like they are living well or not, alongside satisfaction with their sex life, sleep quality and the health of their relatives.
The number of over 65’s who saw friends, family or colleagues once a month or less grew from 34% in 2017 to 48% in just two years. While the number of over 65’s stating that they didn’t feel they were truly accepted for who they were has doubled from 14% to 28% over the same period.
The research points to a need to instil a stronger sense of connection to communities of friends, family and within local groups in towns and cities in order to enhance the national sense of wellbeing.
Simon Roberts, Retail and Operations Director at Sainsbury’s said:
“Our Living Well Index shows that the older generation continue to see a decrease in their sense of wellbeing due to the lack of social connections and community ties. We hope the residents of Marske-by-the-Sea had a great time, whilst meeting some new faces in the local community.
“This is just one example of the amazing work our colleagues are doing across the UK, to celebrate our 150th birthday, which has seen thousands of Sainsbury’s colleagues taking part in over 2,000 individual community projects to date. The initiative aims to bring back a sense of community for our customers and colleagues and positively impact our national sense of wellbeing.”
Andrew Lyth, Store Manager at Sainsbury’s said:
“When I heard about our 150 Days of Community scheme, I thought it was the perfect time to do something special for our older customers who we see every day in store. Many do not have the opportunity to speak to anyone but our colleagues day-to-day, and so we wanted to use this opportunity to bring them together to meet other locals and have some fun. We hope that the party sparked some new friendships and many happy memories.”
As part of its birthday celebrations Sainsbury’s is giving all of its colleagues a day to help in their local communities under its 150 Days of Community initiative, which will see Sainsbury’s staff members from across the business volunteer their time for causes in their local communities.