Making Brighton & Hove Britain’s first Talking City 

9 months ago Wed 23rd Oct 2019

Brighton & Hove Buses is working with local community group Table Talk to get people talking in cafes and on buses.  

It’s a simple idea. Cafes have a table marked with a Table Talk Brighton stand, where customers can sit if they are happy to talk to other people. Around 45 local cafes are already taking part and Brighton & Hove Buses has produced a map showing which buses serve each café. 

The bus company also carries the Table Talk vinyl signs on the top deck of its 30 new route 5 buses, as well as its route 12 Coaster buses, all of which have tables.  

The project is the bright idea of Brighton & Hove resident Sue Epps and a few friends from One Church, who came up with the idea after hearing people say they sometimes went days without speaking to anyone. 

Now they’re aiming to make Brighton & Hove Britain’s first Talking City.  

Sue said: “It’s an absolutely fabulous way to meet new people while helping to reduce the amount of people feeling isolated and lonely. Table Talk is a small thing you can do to slow down, spend time with people and create a warmer community.” 

She said psychological studies had discovered people were surprised at how much they enjoyed interacting with people they didn’t know. 

"We are thrilled to partner with Brighton & Hove Buses,” said Sue. “It's a very important connection as buses are the best way to get around the city and ensure all of our Table Talk cafes are accessible.” 

Brighton & Hove Buses’ Accessibility and Communities Manager Victoria Garcia said: "With loneliness in the UK now at epidemic proportions, being part of something that actively encourages and enables people to talk to each other is a great idea. Buses are already a way of connecting people - like Table Talk does - so it was the perfect project for us to get involved with. 

“We’re really pleased to provide our customers with information on how to get to participating cafes and also the opportunity to chat on board one of our own Table Talk buses.”  

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