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Cadbury 'Donate Your Words' shop barters with promises of elderly companionship

Cadbury 'Donate Your Words' shop

A Cadbury pop-up charity shop in Cambridge has reimagined the retail experience to raise money for a good cause. Items were traded for promises to talk to an elderly person, all part of the ‘Donate Your Words’ campaign.

The drive has been intent on tackling loneliness in the elderly, culminating in a heart-warming spot called 'Fences' from VCCP earlier this year. The charity shop in Ely, Cambridgeshire, exchanged products for promises of a conversation with an elderly person, all part of a partnership with Age UK.

On Saturday, customers took chosen items to the till and ‘pay’ with a pledge to carry out the action on the tag, be it a ‘hello’ to an older person at the bus stop, a chat with a neighbour, or a phone call to a relative.

The campaign is based upon the insight that 1.4 million older people struggle with loneliness. 225,000 often go a whole week without speaking to anyone.

Bethany Wenn, brand executive at Cadbury, said: “We’re really proud that we were able to work with the 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.”

Dan Colley, executive creative director at VCCP Retail, added: “Loneliness in older people is something that can be prevented simply by taking a moment to talk to the people we see every day, but don’t necessarily speak to. This retail activation has helped to trigger those conversations by giving people the items they want in exchange for a pledge or promise of a chat. It feels good to have done some good with a wonderful charity and a brand with generosity at its heart.”

Laurie Boult, fundraising director at Age UK, said she has been “overwhelmed with the public’s response to the campaign so far".

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