Chatty Bus comes to Brighton to combat loneliness and isolation

Brighton and Hove Buses was encouraging people to talk to others and connect with people on its ‘Chatty Bus’ at Churchill Square yesterday (January 30).

Wednesday, 30th January 2019, 9:43 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:46 pm
Chatty Bus (Photograph: James Pike)

The company has partnered with Brighton community group Impetus to connect more people and help reduce loneliness as part of the Campaign to End Loneliness.

Impetus volunteer Sean said: “This scheme is important for the elderly and the young as well, for some people they can go to the shops and come back without having talked to anyone at all.”

Chatty Bus ambassadors distributed ‘happy to chat’ badges, talked about their Neighbourhood Care Scheme, and about how buses can help reduce social isolation.

Impetus CEO Jo Crease said: “We are delighted to partner with Brighton and Hove Buses to support the Campaign to End Loneliness. We believe no-one should be isolated in a city as active, vibrant and positive as ours, and we’re inviting everyone to join our efforts to connect people to reduce isolation and improve health and well-being in Brighton and Hove.”

Volunteers are hoping to help social isolation through befriending, advocacy, and social prescribing, where they link people to community services and groups to improve health and wellbeing.

Martin Harris, Brighton and Hove Buses managing director, said: “There are so many situations where people may experience loneliness, whether that’s losing a loved one, becoming unemployed or starting university. Loneliness doesn’t discriminate.

“Catching a bus and having a conversation can help ease that feeling just a little bit, as well as linking people with their friends and family. Groups like Impetus do really valuable work in the community and we’re pleased to have them on board.”

The Chatty Bus event in Brighton is the start of the Go-Ahead Chatty Bus Campaign, and events will take place in Hull, Horsham, Newcastle, Plymouth, Oxford and Eastleigh.