Chit-chat is a new social enterprise that provides a platform for people to have meaningful conversations and interact with others, officially launches across the UK. The new dial-in phone line encourages individuals who fancy a natter to get in touch.
Launched by Lewis Alexander Baxter, during the peak of the government’s lockdown, chit-chat strives to tackle this epidemic of loneliness and keep the nation connected through the power of everyday conversation.
Research by the Mental Health Foundation reveals that loneliness has doubled due to the lockdown, particularly amongst young people: 44 per cent of those aged 18-24 have experienced loneliness. In South Tyneside, it is estimated that over 23,000 people are lonely or isolated.
Unlike other charity phone lines, chit-chat is an innovative phone line with no need for labels. To ‘chit-chatters’ (phone volunteers), your gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, race, religion, or mental health struggle are not at the forefront of conversation like they can be with other chatline services.
chit-chat simply aims to give people the chance to have an everyday conversation, which we have lost touch with as a result of as a result of the lockdown. Anyone over 18 is welcome to pick up the phone and have a chit-chat with their volunteers, discussing topics that matter to them and their interests.
In the first 5-weeks of operation, chit-chat has connected with over 82,000 people on social media, answered over 250 calls from people wanting a chat and secured strategic partnerships with the National Lottery and Mental Health First Aid England.
Founder and CEO of chit-chat, Lewis Alexander Baxter, stated: “chit-chat is a real feel-good project in what are extremely challenging times, bringing people together and allowing callers to chat about their interests.”
Whilst they are not a mental health helpline, medical organisation or counselling service, chit-chat can provide a friendly chat with anyone who reaches out. They have a full internal safeguarding policy and train all volunteers, creating a safe space for everyone who uses their service.
Baxter added, “As a student at Durham University, I see first-hand how social isolation and loneliness doesn’t discriminate and can affect all ages. We are an inviting and inclusive organisation, and we’d welcome anyone from the North East to give us a call, have a chat or talk about any positive news to share.”
This organisation aims to fill a gap in need in the UK and is here to stay, building a sustainable non-profit fit for the future, providing people from all backgrounds with a place for human connections and interactions.
Grab a brew, your favourite snacks, get comfortable and have a chit-chat by calling 0333 002 0333
The chit-chat LINE is open 9am-9pm, seven days a week.
Stay connected through via chit-chat HUB by following @chitchatbritain on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for positive news or visit their website for more information