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Age UK shop customers pay with pledges to tackle loneliness

Age UK shop customers pay with pledges to tackle loneliness

Customers visiting an Age UK shop in Ely, Cambridgeshire, earlier this month were invited to pay for items with pledges instead of cash, in a bid to raise awareness of loneliness among older people and help tackle it.

The activity, run with agency VCCP on Saturday 19 October, was the latest instalment in the Cadbury’s Donate Your Words campaign, which is in support of Age UK. The campaign has been raising awareness of the UK’s loneliness epidemic, which, according to the charity, sees 1.4 million older people struggle with loneliness and 225,000 often going a whole week without speaking to anyone.



Cadbury’s purchased the stock in the shop, meaning customers could choose any item they wanted in exchange for a pledge to reach out or talk to a lonely older person. Customers took their chosen items to the till and paid with a pledge to carry out the action on the tag, such as saying quick hello to an older person at the bus stop, having a chat with an older neighbour, or making a phone call to an older relative.



The campaign has also seen Cadbury remove the words from its purple bars of Dairy Milk chocolate, donating 30p from every sale to Age UK, release a TV spot, ‘Fence’, and put Sue Perkins in isolation for 30 hours to raise awareness.



Bethany Wenn, Brand Executive at Cadbury, said:

“We’re really proud that we were able to work with Age UK’s shop in Ely as a physical location for people to make a pledge to help us fight loneliness in the UK. The event was a huge success and we hope it goes some way in making a difference to the community.”

Laurie Boult, Fundraising Director at Age UK, said:

“Loneliness is a huge problem, which can make many older people feel invisible and forgotten. We have been overwhelmed with the public’s response to the campaign so far and thanks to the generosity of Cadbury Dairy Milk and the support of these shop customers we will be able to make a difference to the lives of many older people.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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