Distinct-Darlington-Advent-CalendarOn Thursday 14 July, businesses and organisations from throughout Darlington will converge on the Market Square to hand out free information and advice to pensioners on everything from banking to neighbourhood safety to mobile technology and even hearing loss.

The OAP VIP event, which is now in its third year, is another initiative from Distinct Darlington, which was formed to collectively promote businesses in the town centre through a variety of projects and make the town centre safer and more welcoming for visitors.

Its aim is to help the town’s senior citizens access the information they need in a friendly and informal setting and make their visit to the town centre as pleasant as possible.

Among those taking part will be Specsavers, Amplifon, Newcastle Building Society and Darlington Fire and Rescue, while experts from mobility firm Eden Mobility and Age UK will be joined by staff from Darlington Association on Disability and Neighbourhood Watch to answer visitors’ questions.

“Darlington’s businesses offer a huge amount of advice, support and services to older residents and visitors and this event is aimed at helping elderly people access it,” said manager of Distinct Darlington, Alex Hirst.

“We know that some elderly people are simply unable to queue for long periods in banks and shops, while others have problems accessing information online or over the phone.

“It can be quite daunting when you’re unsure who to approach for answers to your questions so we’ve brought as many businesses as possible to one place, to make it a little easier.”

Distinct Darlington’s OAP VIP day is free of charge and will take place between 10am and 2pm at Darlington’s Market Square. Further information can be obtained by emailingrangers@distinctdarlington.co.uk .