Date: 10th February 2020

Let’s face the facts, January is tough. Dark days, cold nights and Christmas blues. That’s why Stagecoach South west has partnered with local charity Westbank Community Health and Care to launch a Chatty Bus this January, to get their passengers chatting.

The worrying fact of the matter is that on some days Stagecoach bus drivers can be the only person that a passenger communicates with throughout the course of the day. Stagecoach wants to go one step further and encourage their passengers to have more conversations on their buses.

Aisha O’connor, Marketing Coordinator of Stagecoach South West said: “With loneliness becoming a wide spread issue in society, we are delighted to be able to get involved with our local community. We’re really looking forward to launching our very own Chatty Bus to encourage our passengers to have a chat and spread some happiness."

If you want to get involved come along to the launch event in Princesshay’s Bedford Square on Saturday 18th January between 10am and 2pm for a cuppa and a chat. You’ll be able to find out more about the upcoming Chatty Tuesdays, Local support and bus advise.

The Chatty Tuesdays will take-off from 21st January until 25th February, 10am to 2pm. Chatty Tuesdays will take place on route 57 serving Exeter, Topsham, Exmouth and Brixington. The team of local volunteers will be climbing on board the 57 double-deckers and simply have a chat, whether you’re a young mum or recently retired the Chatty Bus has something for everyone. 

Nina Parnell from Westbank said ‘As a local charity we witness on a daily basis the often devastating impact of loneliness on individuals. A simple 5 minute conversation can and does make all the difference to a lonely person’s day.  

The Chatty Bus service will provide a brilliant opportunity for our volunteers to have a friendly chat with people on route and also to provide information to link them into community groups and services which can help to reduce loneliness and isolation’

Share your Chatty Bus stories with Stagecoach on Twitter by tweeting @stagecoachSW or using the hashtag #SWChattyBus.

If you are interested in becoming a Chatty Bus Volunteer, please contact Sarah Forde via email at [email protected] or phone t: 01395 446896.

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