Independents’ Day UK: Let’s give our city centres a feel-good real revival

1st March 2023

Like most my moral compass and core values have been challenged somewhat in Lockdown. I have gone from instagramming my surprise ‘charity shop finds’ to fast fashion that is delivered in the post. I have gone from a love of discovering plant-based food (often at bargain shops or past its sell-by-date grub). To being at home, shopping on Amazon when I needed everything from groceries to cleaning products.

And ironically whilst it appeared initially cheaper at first, the accidental subscriptions and the long-term impact of my not-so eco-friendly foot print will be long-lasting and those instance hit of dopamine in Lockdown challenges from the mind-dulling nature of social media escapism to the quick hits of desperate next-day deliveries… and who would blame us for resorting to hedonistic ways when we are facing huge challenges in life, it is by human nature that we can and need to go into survival mode. Granted in our modern life of excess means that this so-called ‘survival mode’ is sometimes panic over possessions and clutter rather than the threat of being killed by a tiger… but we can still experience feelings of constant trauma from work stresses relative to some of my own personal experiences of more acute situations but I understand it’s all relative and often how we perceive situations levels our response. Either way, we experience trauma or fight-or-flight feelings and no longer always have the communities and warrior rituals to shake and heal it off. We have natural instincts but without the natural coping mechanisms often our bodies need.

And as I felt my soul dwindle, and started to get on a new track I am determined to be more eco-friendly, less cluttered, busy and most of all, to focus on supporting issues close to my heart such as soulful enterprise, independents and community spirit which combines a lot of my passion.

Ironically as a child growing up in a beautiful community, there were just three places that brought some of the community together which I attended such as the church hall for dancing and fundraising, the local charity in the park and a new shopping centre!

Now I live in Wakefield the shopping centre I frequent has a much broader offering than just groceries, less supermarket style and more community based and accessible. The Ridings Centre is my favourite place connecting the community with independent stores, coffee shops, entertainment and arts! More on them below.

Where do you like to shop?

And if you need a friendly reminder to shop local and independent now most places are opening back up, that this Independents’ Day UK which is a campaign that exists to support and promote independent retail businesses which take place these 3rd-4th July Independents account for 65% of the approximately 290,000 retail outlets in the UK.

If you’re a retailer or looking for an independent don’t forget to follow us and tag us @SparkleUpNorth on social media!

Have you got a special offer or offering for Independents’ Day? Let us know below….

And here’s more about The Ridings from me, Sophie Mei Lan at and a special offer to get people making the most of their array of retailers celebrating the best makers, creative talents and produce locally…

Opening Hours

9:00 am – 5:30 pm
9:00 am – 5:30 pm
9:00 am – 5:30 pm
9:00 am – 5:30 pm
9:00 am – 5:30 pm
9:00 am – 5:30 pm
10:30 am – 4:30 pm

Morrisons open 7am - 8pm Monday - Saturday
Reel Cinema open until 10pm daily
Some store opening times vary, please check stores website / facebook page for up to date times before travelling
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