Chatty bus returns to East Yorks
East Yorkshire Buses has restarted its Chatty Bus project, with a static bus stationed at Beverly to not only provide a listening ear but to recruit more ‘befrienders.’
The scheme was brought to a close by social distancing but, as restrictions ease, has restarted. Partner in the project, Age UK Hull, reports a huge increase in the number of people reporting loneliness.
“We spoke to Age UK late last year and they said ‘Please don’t cancel the scheme’ and that they faced record demand” – East Yorkshire’s Marketing Manager, Claire Robinson
East Yorkshire’s Marketing Manager, Claire Robinson, says that the Chatty Bus scheme in 2019 sent out 50 befrienders on the buses, and they brought back stories of people who rode the bus to speak to other people: “We spoke to Age UK late last year and they said ‘Please don’t cancel the scheme’ and that they faced record demand.”
Claire says that East Yorkshire will expand the static bus scheme if it gets a good response and, ultimately, would love to reinstate the on-bus befrienders scheme.