Express & Star

Lifeline club for lonely and isolated saved after successful campaign driven by people power

People power has saved a club that has helped tackle loneliness and isolation at West Bromwich Bus Station.

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Mayor of Sandwell Councillor Bill Gavan at the Let's Chat Hub in West Bromwich

The Lets Chat Hub has been open for eight months but was set to close this month after funding was withdrawn from Transport for West Midlands.

The devastating news about the pilot scheme closing inspired a campaign from staff, members, politicians and passengers to keep the lifeline service open.

Manager Louise Colledge set up a Change.Org petition which attracted hundreds of signatures and supporters on social media began besieging Transport for West Midlands to do a U-turn.

This week TfWM confirmed extra funding for the club, which provides free refreshments to anyone who attends, has been found until March next year.

Louise said: "We have now received more funding so our Let's Chat Hub is staying open.

"Since its inception, our Let's Chat Hub has become a vital lifeline for many individuals who desperately needed a safe space to connect with others. We have provided emotional support, companionship, and practical assistance to those who felt forgotten or neglected by society."