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Village Diary

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Friday 12th April 2024


When you just need a place to rest, SIT STOP has the solution!

By Sarah Clarke, SIT STOP Volunteer

Does this sound familiar? You’re out on a trip to the shops. Suddenly you feel the need to sit down. Maybe you’ve walked a bit too far with your packages. Perhaps you’re recovering from an injury or illness and somewhere to sit is just what the doctor ordered. It might have been a really long day and tired feet and an aching back are simply asking for a break. I’m sure we can all relate as, regardless of age or ability, there are a myriad reasons why someone might need to take a seat for a few minutes.

Strange then that despite calls for our towns and cities to be more sustainable, liveable and people friendly, seats are often in short supply; “I would walk to town if I could take a rest half way, I just can’t make it that far” one explanation… “I’d love to go to more shops but it’s not easy for me as I need to take regular breaks…”. With the cost of living crisis, there’s also the feeling that you might not be welcome if you’re not in a shop to spend money. Those lucky enough to find a seat will notice that often it’s not particularly inviting, out in the open or in the corner of a park, not on the High Street.

Founded in 2005 by a small group of local volunteers, SIT STOP has the solution. The concept is simple; let’s support members of the community and make their life a little easier by providing places to sit in shops, businesses and public places around our towns and cities. It doesn’t matter what drives the need; if someone goes into a shop or business that is displaying the SIT STOP logo then it’s OK to ask for a seat or use one that’s available; they don’t have to be customers of the store or use the services provided there.

That’s it. It’s that simple! “We’re an independent group who just want to make life a little better for those using the neighbourhoods of the Borough of Richmond” explains Chairperson Wendy Tansey “It doesn’t cost businesses anything to be part of the scheme. There’s no membership fee. They just have to display our logo and be willing to provide a seat for someone who asks for it.”

SIT STOP has more than 100 participating locations in and around the Borough, mostly in shops, but also in council buildings and NHS premises. “As we approach 20 years since the founding of SIT STOP, we’re looking for people to volunteer to help us spread the word about the SIT STOP scheme within Richmond Borough and to support the adoption of the scheme
elsewhere. We’d love people to let us know about businesses who they think would make great SIT STOP partners.”

Does your favourite shop carry the SIT STOP logo? If not, do you think it would make a great SIT STOP location? Let SIT STOP know its details and help SIT STOP to make our neighbourhoods more people friendly!

SIT STOP relies on donations and a dedicated team of volunteers give their time for free to help run the group. If you would like to find out more about SIT STOP, volunteer with SIT
STOP, become a SIT STOP partner, or have social media skills to raise awareness about SIT STOP, please contact SIT STOP Chairperson Wendy Tansey on 07789 438246