This Thursday, 10th October 2019, Go North West will be launching its first ‘Chatty Bus’ campaign, in response to the Governments’ loneliness strategy.
Research shows that 83% of young people admit they are affected by loneliness, and 47% of students admit to loneliness during their time at university. We want to help encourage students to get out and about and talk to people around them.
To try and help to reduce loneliness in Manchester’s student population, on the 10th October 2019, between 10.30am and 3.00pm, Go North West’s service 95 bus will have volunteers from GNW and mental health charity, Mind in Salford, on-board, ready to start conversations with fellow passengers who would like to chat.
We will provide ‘Happy to Chat’ badges for those who want to be involved and join the conversation, and we won’t disturb passengers who would prefer not to take part.
Go North West has also teamed up with local healthy-eating establishment, Nutri Gains Kitchen, to provide a safe and comfortable environment, where more of our ‘Happy to Chat’ volunteers will be on-hand – from 10.30am – 3.00pm – for anyone that would like to carry on the conversation.
Jon Croxford, Commercial & Operations Director of Go North West, said: “Loneliness is a big issue amongst students; one that often goes under the radar, and research has shown just how vital buses are when it comes to helping people engage and have some human contact. The launch of GNW’s first involvement in Go-Ahead’s ‘Chatty Bus’ campaign is the first step we’re taking to encourage students to reach out to those around them, and we hope our volunteers on the day can help everyone to feel happier as a result of being on the bus.”
Naomi Evans, Campaigns and Communications Officer of Mind in Salford, said: “Mind in Salford are happy to support the Chatty Bus initiative, aimed at tackling loneliness in the local community. Feelings of loneliness can have a very negative effect on both our mental and physical wellbeing, and affect many people in our society, in particular, groups such as the elderly and students. This is why we’re getting involved as part of World Mental Health Day, to help local people feel part of a community and able to start conversations that can make a huge difference to their wellbeing.”
Ashley Hamer, Owner and Director of Nutri Gains Kitchen added: “We’re really excited to be involved in such a brilliant campaign. Loneliness is an issue in Manchester, and indeed beyond. We’re happy to do anything we can to try and reduce the impact it has on the local student population. To do our bit on the day, we’ll be offering all students wearing a ‘Happy to Chat’ badge a free meal on the 10th Oct in the hope that helping to encourage a healthy body, whilst providing a place to socialise, can help to inspire those people taking part to build relationships and have healthy minds as well.”