'UK's Last Video Store' Delivering Tapes For Free To Elderly In Lockdown
VideOdyssey in Liverpool has been taking the packs to homes across the city and is now ready to extend the service across the north west of the country.
Each pack is comprised of 10 classic tapes, a VCR and all the necessary scart leads, as well as a selection of 'retro snacks'.
The store's owner Andy Johnson decided to offer up the free service after seeing first hand the positive impact that nostalgic pleasures can have - especially for older people.
Speaking to LADbible, the 40-year-old said: "I often have conversations with people about the healing power of nostalgia.
"We even had a tape collector visit us from Canada and he bought a membership card, because he said having a video store card in his wallet made him feel good. He likes the feeling of holding his fave films on VHS and putting them in the machine.
"It's a link back to the past for sure. Bringing back memories of loved ones and happier days. It also helps us look forward to the future and believe things will get better, like they were before."
He continued: "When we were open [pre-lockdown], I was always taking calls from people about their elderly relatives who had some old family footage on VHS but didn't have a player and they wanted to see what was on there; before lockdown, I'd tell them to come and have a cuppa and watch it on one of our combi units.
"I remember reading how the over 70s were going to have to spend at least four months being 'shielded' from society at home. So I just thought we should make use of the mountain of VCRs we have."
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The way it works is very simple: people get in touch and let the store know five of their favourite actors or TV shows and the store selects 10 tapes from their collection of 10,000+ and delivers them to the door for a free four-week rental.
Andy said: "So far Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen and Audrey Hepburn have proved popular movie star wise, as well as old TV shows like Dad's Army, Steptoe and Son, Fawlty Towers and Hancock's Half Hour."
With support from the council, the project is up and running and has been well-received thus far.
Andy said: "The reaction has been great. People seem very taken with the idea and I think we all understand the mental health benefits of nostalgia more these days.
"The council have been very supportive in helping us shape the method of delivery and helping us promote and reach groups of elderly people who are in isolation. They immediately saw the potential in the idea, particularly for over 70s who don't have access to the internet. They've been great.
"Nostalgia is a powerful medicine. In times of distress, it's good to take solace in what always seems like the simpler days of the past."
If you want a pack but are under the age of 70 you can also order one for yourself, with prices starting at £24 ($29.48) including delivery.
Let's all bring some positivity, support and fun to anyone who might find themselves in isolation as a result of the coronavirus spread. Need some entertainment? Join Isolation Nation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/coronasupport/
Featured Image Credit: Andy Johnson
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