Chatty Cafes Helping to Reduce Loneliness

Chatty Cafes: Helping to Reduce Loneliness

Sam Harris is a deep thinker.  His Waking Up podcast has become a regular go-to place for me when I’m doing a long drive.  And it was there I listened to Johann Hari talking about his new book, Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions.  The title says it all.  When people feel connected, their depression often eases and mental health improves.

This got me thinking and I started noticing how many coffee shop tables had just one occupant.  Yes, many of these people are pretty much hot desking, using the wifi to work. But many people aren’t. Mums with small babies, older people reading.

Loneliness knows no boundaries. We all assume these people are happy with their solitude but, what if they’re not? What if they’re simply seeking the company of others to help them through their day?

Which led me to a thought.  What if there were designated tables where people would sit if they were up for a chat?  So I started the research and quickly discovered that there’s already a movement for this exact thing.

Chatty Cafes Helping Reduce Loneliness
Meet Alexandra Hoskyn. Back in 2017, she noticed exactly the same, decided to do something about it and launched the Chatty Cafe scheme. A simple idea. Alex asked cafes to pop a sign on a table saying “The seats on this table are for anyone happy to chat to other customers”.And that’s all it took. Independent cafes started signing up.  It's a total win/win.  Encouraging more customers and providing a valuable service.

And the big chains like the idea too, with Sainsbury’s launching “Talking Tables” and Costa with “Chatter and Natter” tables.

For a membership of just £10 a year, cafes receive a very lovingly put together box which contains an a4 plastic table sign, poster insert, leaflets, door/window sticker and an A4 and A3 poster.  The venue is listed on the Chatty Cafe website and publicised on social media.

So, why not suggest your favourite cafe becomes part of the scheme?  It's easy to do, it benefits everyone.  I can't find a single reason for not doing it.

________________________

Connect with Chatty Cafe:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Alex is Founder of the Chatty Cafe Scheme which supports cafes to designate a 'Chatter & Natter' table where customers can sit if they are happy to talk to other customers. Alex took a simple idea and ran with it.  The scheme has spread beyond small coffee shops with Costa […]
Featured in Charity & Civil Society
Sign Up for Updates
SIGN UP
You Might Also Like
Charity & Civil SocietyCharity & Civil Society
inspirationinspiration
Every year, the world faces the scourge of human trafficking which traumatizes the existence of man and threatens global development. US State Department data reveals that more than 800,000 women and children are trafficked annually across the world. Similarly, United Nations (UN) statistics indicate that 4 million human beings are […]
Charity & Civil SocietyCharity & Civil Society
projectsprojects
Describe Wawa Laptop WAWA Laptop, the first laptop developed in Peru, made from recycled material and powered by a portable solar panel, is aimed at democratising access to technology and education for children and youth in Peru, the region and the world. We are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals […]
Charity & Civil SocietyCharity & Civil Society
newsnews
Welcome to #TRVSTLOVES. We curate news, ideas and inspiration from across the world which demonstrate how real action can accomplish positive social impact. There’s no denying the utter tragedy of the coronavirus and number of lives lost. It’s difficult to fathom the impact it has had on individual families as […]
Charity & Civil SocietyCharity & Civil Society
projectsprojects
“I’d like to give back” is something people often say.  Giving makes you feel good; it’s very simple. Meet Matt Callanan.  When Matt won £20 on a scratch card, he decided to share his good fortune and buy a Big Issue seller some food.  And so began the #WeMakeGoodHappen & #Tenner4Good movement. […]
Charity & Civil SocietyCharity & Civil Society
projectsprojects
It’s been ten months since Hurricane Maria put Puerto Rico’s crumbling infrastructure in the international news. As life returns to normal for the locals, the headlines fade but the hard work of preventing another catastrophe has not yet begun. Humanitarian organizations were quick to focus on water, shelter, food and […]
Charity & Civil SocietyCharity & Civil Society
inspirationinspiration
In this article, the team from Startup Societies explore how to quickstart communities by providing the means for a place to start developing new ideas and approaches to governance and government. 
Charity & Civil SocietyCharity & Civil Society
newsnews
Welcome to #TRVSTLOVES. We curate news, ideas and inspiration from across the world which demonstrate how real action can accomplish positive social impact. In this edition we're looking at the importance of building local communities and what they can collectively achieve.
Charity & Civil SocietyCharity & Civil Society
inspirationinspiration
Those of us working for change, in charities and in growing social enterprises, need to be rediscovering purpose: what we are here to do; and who or what we are doing it for. That’s become a mantra for “purpose led” global businesses like Unilever and Coca-Cola. It should come easily […]