Lockdowns during the pandemic left countless people across the world isolated, bringing awareness to just how important personal connections are in our everyday lives.
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That’s why, when restrictions began to ease up, Jake Williams and Charlotte Sinclair wanted to find a way for the people of London to meet up, get to know each other, and have fun!
Although the couple has been in London for the past 11 years, they temporarily lived in Australia during much of the pandemic and couldn’t help but notice how especially kind the people there were.
“People are just really friendly, like really up for helping you out,” Charlotte said. “And we wanted to bring that back to London.”
Since they were very much missing the sense of community they felt in Australia, Jake and Charlotte decided to use the website Meetup to create fun, free gatherings for anyone who wanted to join. What would they be doing exactly? Taking walks around London where they could explore new places, meet new people, and most importantly, have fun.
They titled their community “Talk The Walk” and scheduled the first event on September 25, 2021. They were hopeful that the outing would gain some traction, but they didn’t know what to expect.
“We thought, let’s just see what happens,” Charlotte said.
The end result blew them away! At their very first meetup, they had 150 RSVPs. At their second, they had nearly 300!
What’s so special about these walks? For one thing, they’re so much more than that. In addition to strolling around London, everyone is encouraged to talk to as many people as possible, something Jake and Charlotte try to make easier by having fun icebreaker games they set up with introverts in mind. Oh, and there’s chocolate – because everything is better with chocolate.
“The mix between genders is really surprising. Pretty much split 50/50,” Jake said. “Majority of people probably in the age range of 20-45. And then maybe 15 percent are 45 to 60.”
Charlotte added, “You see older people talking to young people, and everyone getting on and having great chats.”
Some of these chats have gone so well that smaller friend groups that spend time together outside of Talk The Walk have formed. There have even been a few romantic connections made!
With new variants of COVID-19 and the frigid U.K. weather taking over, their walks are being put on pause for now. But as soon as the weather warms up again, we’re sure this 2,000+ member group will be eager to reconnect in person once more.
“I’ve done some crazy things in my time working from home to stop loneliness, like dog sitting for people and joining gyms just so I can have more conversations with people. I think that it’s hugely impactful for people who have been affected by Covid, by being forced to work from home and having that isolation,” Jake said. “Our focus is to end loneliness and to bring communities back together.”
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