Chatterbox - A Toolkit to End Loneliness

2020 - what a year. With increasing restrictions in place to curb the spread of Coronavirus it can feel like we're more isolated than ever.

Even before the pandemic, loneliness has been identified as a pressing issue with 23% of Britons report feeling often or always lonely. Loneliness is an issue that affects the young as well as the old, with 40% of 16 to 24 year olds reporting feeling often or very often lonely.

Research suggests that small, meaningful, low intensity social interactions, for example with a shopkeeper or a stranger at the bus stop, can increase our sense of belonging in a community and improve our mood. Unfortunately, these small interactions have become less frequent over the past year which led us to develop Chatterbox.

A photograph of a brown cardboard box with a blue band around one end. The band has a speech bubble shaped logo reading Chatterbox. The box is sitting on a yellow background.

Chatterbox is a mail order toolkit designed to initiate these small interactions between strangers. It comprises the box itself with a custom manufactured insert, a window sign, an explanatory gatepost sign and an information booklet.

A photograph of a bright blue speech bubble shaped sign in a transom window above a front door. The text in the speech bubble reads Fancy a Chat?

By hanging a Chatterbox sign in their window or on their door, participants in the project would indicate that they are happy to chat with others in their community, taking up the battle against loneliness and social isolation.

A photograph of the cardboard box, open, on a yellow background. Inside the box is a bright blue insert which holds a bright blue speech bubble shaped sign.

The Chatterbox was designed to be a tactile experience and a custom engineered insert was designed to protect the contents during postage, as well as to enhance the unboxing experience.

The window sign works in conjunction with an explanatory sign to be placed by the pavement, explaining the project and how to identify when a participant is free for a chat, or when they are 'All talked out'.

A bright blue sign with the heading HIYA is attached to a gatepost. There is further text explaining the Chatterbox project. In the background, a blue speech bubble shaped sign can be seen hanging in the transom window above the front door.

The final element of the Chatterbox is the information booklet, containing a brief overview of the research and the project, instructions for the use of the Chatterbox and some safeguarding information.

The inner spread of a small A6 booklet against a yellow background.

The branding itself employs bright colour and bold typography, reinforcing the playful, gregarious tone of voice that fits the aim of the project so well.

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