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Uppingham to tackle Amazon in push to help elderly and its high street

A campaign is to be launched in Uppingham to help its elderly and others cope with a cashless society.

Uppingham Rotary is launching ‘Uppshop’, which will see some people learning about online shopping, but local businesses will also be urged to benefit from it.

Rotary president Ron Simpson says the move follows three things.

Ron Simpson
Ron Simpson

First, Uppingham lost its last bank early this year, Rotary hopes to make more use of its hopper bus, and it wants to help local businesses and the elderly.

Ron, who is 73, said older people are often seen as ‘not good’ at using smartphones, but as someone who has learnt to use them himself, he believes ‘this is rubbish’.

Local schools, he said, would supply younger people to help the elderly learn how to use such devices, so they can order shopping online.

Volunteers will be recruited after Christmas, with training due to start in February.

Town businesses, including market stalls, will also be urged to accept online orders.An ‘electronic map’ of shopping opportunities will also be created.

That way, he said, the fish stall could receive an order, which would be then delivered to an older person using Rotary’s hopper bus.

“We aim to create an Uppingham version of Amazon. We call it Uppshop.”

Rotary, he said, would give a fund towards buying smartphones, with it also receiving support from the town’s Co-op and Barclays Bank, who closed its Uppingham branch in April.

Other partners include Uppingham First, Uppingham Neighbourhood Forum, Uppingham Community College and IT company ClockedIn.

Ron continued: “We think it could be a pilot for many small towns.

“We will support greater access to cash (ATM) machines but it is also important for all of us to get the basics electronically.

He added: “Why shouldn’t our high street businesses benefit rather than distant businesses?”

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