Chatty duo want to help build community with conversation

Cherie and Joy

Cherie and Joy sit in Welwyn Garden City centre every other Saturday and offer friendly conversation to anyone who walks by - Credit: Dave Barber

Over the past few weeks you may have noticed two laughing ladies in the centre of Welwyn Garden City with a small group of people surrounding them.

Cherie Button and Joy Chance have been keeping dozens of people entertained every other Saturday with their cheery conversation.

The duo sit down in the middle of Howardsgate and simply say hello to anybody who walks by, with the hope that a conversation will help brighten their day.

"Some people walk past two or three times because they want to see if we're selling anything or just to see what we're doing. Some people will chat straight away," said Cherie.

"I wanted to do something that wasn't political but was putting people back at the heart of our community, because we live in a great town and we've got some great residents."

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Cherie had an 'epiphany' at 3am earlier this year, after realising on her daily walks when she would try to say hello to people that people had got out of the habit of talking to each other over the past year.

So she rang up her friend Joy,  who Cherie describes as 'very similar' to herself, with the idea of sitting in the town centre and saying hello to people as they walk by.

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Cherie added: "It's just been great, it been therapeutic for people. It's been great medicine for us because we've been laughing so much.

"The PCSOs came over last week and said 'are you Joy and Cherie?' and we were like 'yeah', and they said 'Last week you weren't here and people were asking and we didn't know who you were'."

They now bring fishing chairs so a few more people can sit down on Saturday morning from 10am to 1pm, every other weekend.

Cherie said: "From a little silly idea, it's been lovely because we care about people and we just want people to know it's  been a topsy-turvy year and we're all struggling but together we can get through it."

They have their own Facebook page where they also share photos of the people they have spoken to. To find out more visit: Cherie & Joy - We Grow Community.

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