The Hildreds Shopping Centre in Skegness is taking an innovative and proactive approach to tackle the ever increasing issue of loneliness and isolation experienced by the older community by unveiling their Banter Bench on Tuesday 26th June.

Centre manager, Steve Andrews, is a constant champion of the local community and is working closely with T.E.D. – Ageing Better in East Lindsey to tackle the issue. The ‘Banter Bench’ in the Hildreds Centre, will be manned with ‘Banter Buddies’ who will be on hand to have a chat with anyone who is stopping by.

“T.E.D., Ageing Better in East Lindsey, is thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Hildreds.”, “Many local people may feel isolated or be experiencing loneliness and the Banter Bench will, hopefully, allow them to make new connections and find out what is on offer in their area. Being able to work with prominent local businesses, like Hildreds, on this innovative approach will help T.E.D. to offer support to as many people as it possibly can.” said Guy Dewsbury, T.E.D.’s Programme Manager.

The ‘Banter Bench’ will be located in the mall. At selected times throughout the day, a ‘Banter Buddy’ will sit on it, with a badge identifying them as someone who is available for a chat about anything. All of the ‘Banter Buddies’ are DBS checked and will be, of course, good listeners. The ‘Banter Buddies’ will be able to offer advice and suggestions on clubs, societies, activities and events in the town that may be of interest to someone who would like more opportunities to socialise.

For more information on the Hildreds Shopping Centre call 01754 764899 or visit