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East Yorkshire teams up with Age UK Hull and KCOM to fight loneliness with “Chatty Bus”



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Local Hull-based bus company, East Yorkshire, is bringing back its “Chatty Bus”, a project that aims to raise awareness of loneliness and social isolation in society during Loneliness Awareness Week next week.

This month, East Yorkshire will be partnering with Age UK Hull and KCOM, bringing a team of chatty ambassadors who are keen to talk to anyone and everyone. Age UK Hull volunteers will also be recruiting new people for its befriender scheme, and KCOM volunteers will be around to have a chat with passers-by.

On Tuesday 14 June, the Chatty Bus will be parked in Hull’s Queen Victoria Square from 8:30am to 3:30pm, and everyone is invited to come along, have a chat, and find out more about how they can help fight loneliness in the region.

Those who are feeling isolated themselves can come along for a natter and find out more about resources that can support them, and those who aren’t lonely, but want to help, can find out more about Age UK Hull’s volunteer befriending scheme.

The event follows the company’s popular Chatty Bus events over previous years when buses parked across the region and became “chatty buses” for the day.

East Yorkshire’s Area Director, Ben Gilligan, says that he’s glad that the Chatty Bus event is back:

“Our Chatty Bus events always prove to be popular with our colleagues and passengers, so we wanted to bring it back to help those in Hull who experience loneliness, so that people can come and have a chat, and learn more about some of Age UK’s befriender service,” he said.

Cheryl Beal, Services Manager for Age UK Hull, said older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation, and it can have a serious impact on health. “As a result of the pandemic, we’ve seen a significant increase in referrals to our befriending service,” she said. “We’re keen to recruit more befriending volunteers to enable us to meet demand and support as many older people as we can.”

Louise Babych, CSR and Community Business Partner at KCOM said: “We’re delighted to be taking part in the fantastic Chatty Bus initiative this year and our volunteers will be ready with a cheery hello and a nice warm cuppa. At KCOM we’re all about connecting people to the things that matter most to them and helping to end social exclusion and loneliness – both online and in the real world. So, if you fancy coming along for a chat we’re looking forward to having a good old natter.”

For more information about East Yorkshire and Chatty Bus, or to find resources which can help those who suffer from loneliness and social isolation, visit eastyorkshirebuses.co.uk or follow its social channels: @EYBuses.

To find out more about Age UK Hull’s befriender service, visit AgeUK.org.uk/Hull or call 014820 324644.

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