On board the Beverley bus being used to tackle isolation

A charity is running a 'chatty bus' service that will tour the region to tackle loneliness and social isolation.

Age UK Hull has partnered with local bus company East Yorkshire, to bring conversation and friendship to people's doorsteps.

The initiative has also been set up to help the charity to recruit new people for its befriender scheme. 

Those who are feeling isolated can climb aboard the bus for a conversation with a voulenteer and to find out about resources that can support them.

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. 

"Since Covid it's a lot worse, people aren't going out as much so with the chatty bus it is an ideal time for people to either come on the bus and have a chat or even to try and find some new volunteers."

"We’re keen to recruit more befriending volunteers to enable us to meet demand and support as many older people as we can."

East Yorkshire’s area director, Ben Gilligan, said: "We don’t feel people would be comfortable chatting to strangers on the bus at the moment, so we decided to bring Chatty Bus to a specific town to allow people to come and see us, chat outside and learn more about some of Age UK’s fantastic projects.

"If it’s successful, we’re hoping we can visit more towns in the coming months."