Sue Epps, a Big Issue Changemaker and founder of community building initiative Table Talk Brighton has had “an amazing few weeks” since being featured in The Big Issue and is carrying forward that momentum to make a success of her upcoming Table Talk Week.
Epps, a retired teacher, wants to make Brighton the UK’s first ‘talking city’. She had already recruited more than 40 cafes across the city to host their own Table Talks – where tables are marked as the place to sit if you’re happy to talk to other customers – aimed at reducing loneliness and bringing communities closer together. It’s a scheme so simple it took off through word of mouth and with no resources, and it all started after a chat with a Big Issue vendor.
But since appearing in the magazine as one of our Changemakers, another four cafes have joined the scheme – one business even got involved after the manager’s girlfriend’s mother in Buckingham read Epps’ story in The Big Issue.
“It’s been an amazing few weeks but I’m still drowning in things to do and need more volunteers,” the Table Talk founder said.
Epps has also been contacted by people in Exeter, Plymouth and London who want to start Table Talk initiatives in their area. “We have limited resources, so need to work out how to enable other towns to run their own schemes,” she said
Even local transport companies have got involved. Brighton Buses is going to introduce Table Talk tables on all 35 new vehicles joining the fleet.