A NEW project which gives people a chance to have a chat and keep each other company has launched in the district.

Meet Up Mondays was originally started in Suffolk by the Rural Coffee Caravan and Suffolk Good Neighbour Network.

Its aim is to recruit venues where members of the public can meet to combat loneliness.

Now Maldon District Council, Moat Foundation and Maldon and District Community Voluntary Service (CVS) are working together to urge venues to sign up to the scheme.

The council’s community services committee chairman, Sue White, said: “There is no more positive start to someone’s week, particularly if they are isolated by the rural nature of where they live due to poor transport links or access to facilities, than to be able to meet up and make friends over a free cup of tea or coffee in a welcoming environment.”

The venues so far are Bradwell Community Shop from 10am to noon, the Red Lion in Latchingdon from 1pm to 3pm, and the Chequers pub in Goldhanger from 10am to noon. More venues will be listed on the website as they join up.

To become a host venue, call the CVS on 01621 851891. For more details, visit meetupmondays.org.uk.