Local bus company East Yorkshire is continuing its efforts in the fight against loneliness and social isolation by bringing back “chatty bus”, a project encouraging passengers to talk to someone new on the bus.
On so-called “Blue Monday” 20 January – which has been labelled the most depressing day of the year – the company will be sending out 50 chatty bus ambassadors on the buses to chat to people, distribute ‘happy to chat’ badges, and raise awareness of the problem of loneliness.
On the day, the chatty bus ambassadors will be out for most of the morning covering routes to and from Hull, Hessle, Cottingham, Willerby, Longhill and Anlaby.
There will also be information on the company’s website and social media which will signpost people to more information on loneliness, including local organisations who can help people become more involved in the community.
The Blue Monday event follows the successful inaugural Chatty Bus day last year, when 50 buses across the region became ‘chatty buses’.
East Yorkshire’s Area Director, Ben Gilligan, said that the decision to repeat the event was down to the overwhelmingly positive reaction from the public.
“We were delighted with the response to last year’s Chatty Bus, with our volunteers bringing back some really heart-warming and heart-breaking stories of people they’d spoken to on the bus, some of whom otherwise wouldn’t have spoken to anyone all day,” he said.
“We thought Blue Monday would be a good day to repeat the project, as what better way to face the bleakest Monday of the year than by having a friendly and uplifting chat with someone on the bus? If we can help improve the life of even one person who’s living with loneliness, it will be worth it.”
For more information about East Yorkshire and Chatty Bus, or to find resources which can help people who suffer from loneliness and social isolation, visit: www.eastyorkshirebuses.co.uk or follow its social channels: twitter.com/EYBuses and facebook.com/EYBuses.
[Claire Robinson – East Yorkshire]