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June 4, 2014

Closer to their customer

Around Scotland there are approximately 30 community owned shops – typically general stores which operate in some of most remote parts of the country and as a consequence, in very challenging trading environments.  Often the reason they become community run is because although they might operate on slim financial margins, they generate massive social benefits to the wider community. As a result, they tend to be highly sensitised to the changing needs of their customer base – as the Bigton shop in Shetland demonstrates.



Bigton Community Newsletter

In September 2012 Annie Pollock, Director of Landscape Design and Architecture at the University of Stirling was visiting Shetland and was informed that we were trying to create a dementia friendly shop at Bigton and had begun by delivering training to the staff. Annie visited with Alan Murdoch, and took photographs, audited the premises and made suggestions as to how we could progress this aim.

This is why we now have:

• Safety flooring that is a similar colour to outside.

• The door mat looks like a mat and is a similar colour to the floor covering

• Signage to indicate what is grouped with a picture or graphic e.g tea, pasta ,jam

Dementia is an umbrella term for a number of conditions which affects the brain. Short term memory loss, disorientation and loss of concentration are common symptoms. It is important that we try and dispel the stigma of dementia and support our family, friends and neighbours with a diagnosis of dementia to maintain their community connections.


Look out for the handrails being painted and the step nosings to the shop being made clearer.