Working in residential areas means tradesmen often have their ear to the ground.
So they are well-placed to know that elderly people can be suffering from loneliness.
Which is why TrustATrader, the online directory of trusted and approved local traders, has teamed up with the Friends of the Elderly charity.
Research from the charity – which runs the Sherwood House care home in Linby, near Hucknall – shows that more than five million older people are affected by loneliness – something that TrustATrader members see evidence of on a daily basis.
The directory is supporting the charity’s Be A Friend campaign, which aims to combat loneliness and isolation.
TrustATrader member Curtis Bethell, 26, of Bethell Plumbing & Heating, said he always makes sure he makes time for his older customers.
Curtis, who has been in the trade for 10 years and is based in Netherfield, said: “I always try to make my older clients feel comfortable. They like the company, and a chat.”
Yvonne Martin, Friends of the Elderly’s corporate and trust fundraising manager, joined representatives from TrustaTrader at Nottingham Racecourse, for a fundraising day.
The directory also sponsored a race as part of their support for the cause.
Ms Martin said: “Our research also predicts that demographic change alone will drive up the number of lonely older people in the UK by 40 per cent over the next 15 years, if we don’t do anything about it.
“The campaign is calling on people to have very simple every day interactions with older friends, family members and neighbours.
“A lot of older people don’t speak to anyone day in, day out. If you take time to say hello over the garden fence, or stop and have a chat with someone on a bus, we can stop this feeling of loneliness that could be sweeping the nation.”
She added that TrustATrader got involved because they have lots of traders going into older people’s homes and a goal is to work with traders to get them to understand the issues around older people and loneliness.
Around £400 was raised towards the campaign at the races, which will go towards the charity’s befriending service and general work to combat loneliness.
Gary McEwen, managing director of TrustATrader, said: “At TrustATrader we value the honesty and reliability of our trusted professionals.
“We go into the homes of older people every day and want people to get quality jobs done for a fair price. We’ve teamed up with Friends of the Elderly to support the charity’s Be a Friend campaign, which encourages people to simply look out for their older family, friends and neighbours where they can. It’s a great cause.”