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Snip­pets from read­ers’ emails, Face­book and Twit­ter

✦ “I used to vol­un­teer in a char­ity shop and it soon be­came ap­par­ent that a lot of peo­ple vis­ited the shop not merely to look around but be­cause they just wanted some­one to chat to. I al­ways made an ef­fort to have a chat and a laugh with the cus­tomers and of­ten ended up lis­ten­ing to their woes. One lady told me that I was the first per­son she had spo­ken to that day. It made me re­alise that

there are a lot of peo­ple out there who don’t get much so­cial in­ter­ac­tion, es­pe­cially some older peo­ple who might be feel­ing quite iso­lated. Now, if some­one starts chat­ting to me, whether it’s at the bus stop, or in a shop, I al­ways take the time to chat to them be­cause for all I know, I might be the only per­son they speak to that day.” Ali­son

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