A man at the helm of a campaign to combat the negative effects of technology on people’s social skills has launched his initiative in Weymouth.

Shoppers in the town centre are being urged to ‘Give it a Go’ and try and spend more time looking up, rather than down, and talking to each other.

The campaign kicked off on Saturday when Joe Diomede, who is leading the movement, rallied a group together to promote the idea. He handed out badges and cards sporting the ‘Give it a Go’ logo in the hopes that it would get members of the public talking.

Joe has been working with action group WeyPROGRESS to launch the campaign in Weymouth, which came as part of the group’s fourth ‘town tidy up’ at the weekend.

Joe said on the day: “This started as an idea which blossomed in my mind. There needs to be some sort of awareness that people spend too much time with their heads bent over.

"We're not trying to say get off your phones, we just want to make people aware there's a problem.

“The younger people are missing out on it. They are going to grow up and not know what it means to smile at a stranger."

And Frank Williams, who has lived in Weymouth for 50 years, agrees.

He said: "I think technology can be very useful but it has almost taken the place of conversation."

Frank has got on board with the Give it a Go campaign after noticing an increase in the number of people walking around the town looking at their phones. He added: "I'm surprised there's not more accidents with people walking into lampposts.

"It's sad to think that we just text our friends now, rather than actually going out and seeing them."

WeyPROGRESS members wore the badges as they headed out to spruce up various areas of Weymouth on Saturday, including the harbour, train station and an area of St Alban Street. Volunteers for the group have braved all weathers in recent months to clean up the town centre in aims to make it ‘feel more loved.’

Joe, a New Yorker who now lives in France but frequently visits Dorset, said he hopes the Give it a Go movement will spark members of the public to ask questions and then spread the word. He plans to visit Budmouth college today (MON) to speak to students about the issue of how technology use can affect young people.

Joe is also a long-time cycling friend of comedian John Bishop who has supported the campaign.

Badges and cards can be collected from 'Cobblekeys 'n' Tees Gift Shop in St Thomas Street, which is taking donations towards production costs.