A new shopping bus service for people over 60 in Thornton Heath aimed at tackling loneliness and supporting health and wellbeing will be piloted next month.

The Croydon BME Forum will manage the door-to-door shopping service, beginning on Monday March 11.

For £3 per trip, elderly residents who need help with their shopping can be picked up from their home and taken to Sainsbury's on Purley Way.

Volunteers will be on-hand to accompany them around the shop, if requested. They will also be invited to sit down for a chat over a cup of tea and coffee, when they can hear about other local activities available to the elderly.

Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care: “We are pleased to be working with the BME Forum to deliver this vital shopping service in Thornton Heath.

"Health and social care services such as these can be a lifeline to many, particularly older residents and those prone to loneliness.

"This adds to the work of the One Croydon Alliance which helps people remain in their homes with wraparound services to support them.

"It is important for everyone to feel included in their community and not feel isolated due to a health issue that can restrict their mobility or prevent them from getting out of their home.

"We hope the shopping bus is a widely used service.”

The shopping bus will be trialled in Thornton Heath, with the hope of extending the service if it proves to be popular.

The BME Forum is seeking friendly and reliable volunteers to support the new scheme.

Croydon has the third largest older population in London and the council is working with its partners to reduce the number of people who are at greater risk of feeling isolated or alone.

Advance bookings are required for a seat on the shopping bus as places are limited.

To reserve a space, contact Anna D'Agostino at Croydon BME Forum - Email: anna@bmeforum.org and telephone, 020 8684 3719.