Join the Connectors Army to reduce loneliness

Published: 09 Oct 2018


People in Letchworth are being urged to join a new local army helping to make the town a friendlier place.

The Connectors Army has been set up by Hertfordshire County Council to spread the word about the many activities and groups taking place in Letchworth.

Café and shop workers, hairdressers and newsagents are just some of the people who have already signed up to the army, and now the search is on to recruit more people who regularly speak to local residents through their job.

The scheme has been launched by the council as part of its Connecting Lives campaign, which aims to reduce loneliness and its ill-effects.

Councillor Colette Wyatt-Lowe, cabinet member for Adult Care and Health, said: “We are looking for people who have existing, regular contact with people through their work, such as waitresses, hairdressers and taxi drivers, and are able to link their customers to the activities and opportunities available in Letchworth.

“We’re not asking people to add another job to their busy day, but through the contacts they already have every day, they are in a unique and perfect position to signpost people to becoming more involved in community life.”

Research shows that 45% of UK adults sometimes experience loneliness, and that lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression. Just a short chat with somebody from the Connectors Army could make all the difference.

Anyone who signs up as a Connector will be given hints and tips on how to share information about the benefits of being more connected to activities in Letchworth. They will also be given leaflets to hand out.

Rebecca Owen, manager of Talents Hair, Beauty and Nails in Eastcheap, has already joined the Connectors Army and believes the new project will help bring the Letchworth community even closer.

She said:  “I come into contact with so many people during the course of the day and think the Connectors Army will be a great way of encouraging people to get involved in some of the local activities already available in Letchworth. I’d encourage lots of people to get involved and make Letchworth an even better and friendlier place to live than it is already!”

The army forms just part of the council’s Connecting Lives campaign, which will also introduce chatter tables in some local cafes, and also enable people to set up their own activity groups.

The project is being launched in Letchworth this autumn. If you are interested in signing up as a community connector, or just want to find out more, please email connectinglives@hertfordshire.gov.uk