'Get chatty!': Uni students urged to get talking

From left to right: John Charley, Davina Langley, Caroline Jarrolds (Sheriff of Norwich), Lord Mayor and Tracey Drake.

Pictured from left to right: John Charley, Davina Langley, Caroline Jarrolds (Sheriff of Norwich), Lord Mayor and Tracey Drake. - Credit: Supplied

Uni students have been encouraged to get "chatty" as part of a Norwich bus company's mental health drive.

Students studying at the University of East Anglia (UEA) were invited aboard Chatty Bus on Tuesday (January 25) to listen to guest speakers discussing mental health.

Organised by Konectbus and The Norwich Together Alliance, support was offered to students who may be struggling and advice was offered to help tackle feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Davina Langley, marketing manager for Konectbus, said she hopes the initiative will spark students to become "chatty bus champions".

Support and advice has been offered to help students tackle feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Support and advice has been offered to help students tackle feelings of loneliness and isolation. - Credit: Supplied

“We are delighted to host some amazing guest speakers on board the Chatty Bus ready to discuss mental health,” she said.

"Research has shown that many students at some time will suffer with feelings of loneliness and isolation during their time spent at university, so it is important for us to all come together and share the breadth of wellbeing services available off campus, accessible by bus.

"We also hope to bring back our travelling chatty bus once restrictions are lifted, encouraging students to become chatty bus champions and helping to brighten someone’s day by simply starting a conversation.”

Most Read

The event brought together representatives from MIND, NHS Wellbeing, Break, One Norwich NHS, SOS Bus, Norwich City Football Club, Konectbus/Chatty Bus, Health Watch Norwich, The Shoebox Community Hub, MAP, Age UK Norwich, Your Own Place and The Feed.

UEA student Ayane Hilda

UEA student Ayane Hilda - Credit: Supplied

UEA student Ayane Hilda said: "Covid has made it very difficult for me. I’m an international student from Japan so I found it very overwhelming and I couldn’t go home due to Covid.

"It made me feel lonely so these types of events are great to help students understand what’s available to them."

Among those in attendance included former Norwich City star Jeremy Goss and the Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Norwich.

Tracey Drake, development lead for business in the community, added: "We need to stand together and collectively support and create connected communities.

"The feeling of loneliness and being unconnected isn’t going away but bringing people together and hosting events such as this one, makes us one step closer to connecting people."