Age Friendly Island and Southern Vectis joined forces to put on a special event as part of the Celebrating Age Festival. They launched a commitment to help reduce loneliness and isolation among local people with a Chatty Bus initiative in Newport.
Susan Cullan from Southern Vectis said: “With one in 10 people going at least one day a week without speaking to anyone, and a third of Britons admitting they deliberately catch the bus to have some human contact, we wanted to help break the ice and get people talking.
“Our Chatty Bus was positioned next to Costa Coffee in the town and our team busied themselves talking to anyone and everyone. The initiative is all about engaging in conversation with our passengers and helping to remove the stigma of talking to strangers.”
Peter and Judy Blanchard from Whippingham came across the bus and agreed that talking to each other is hugely beneficial even if it’s a quick ‘hello’. It could make all the difference for someone who is lonely.
Peter said: “Sadly people don’t talk as much as they used to. It’s all about checking your phone these days. I think there is a feeling that you shouldn’t speak to others around you because you don’t know them, which is a shame. We had a great time. In fact, the bus was positioned right next to where my wife and I first met, under the archway, many years ago. I think this is a wonderful initiative.”