A NEW scheme has launched encouraging people to come together and get talking in a bid to tackle isolation and loneliness.

So far, 11 cafes have signed up to Colchester Council's Happy To Share Mr Table project, which is part of the authority's Better Colchester campaign.

At each, cards saying "Happy To Share My Table" are available for those who would like to be joined by others to display.

Mike Lilley, councillor responsible for communities, wellbeing and public safety, said: "I’m really pleased that we’re working with cafes across Colchester to launch the Happy To Share My Table project, which complements our Colchester and Friends Events (CAFE) campaign, which launched in May 2019.

“The table card is a simple idea to create a space for people to talk; whether it is for five minutes or an hour of good conversation.

"I know from experience that a quick chat a with someone else can really brighten your day, so I hope it gets everyone talking.”

Further venues are being encouraged to sign up to the scheme.

For more information, visit colchester.gov.uk/sharemytable.