Horsham District Council’s Community Services Officers, together with Horsham District Older Persons Forum and West Sussex Brighton and Hove Age UK, are working together to promote a scheme which they hope will get people talking again.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on people’s mental health and has shown us all how important simply talking with other people is, and how it enables us to feel connected with others.
The Chatty Café scheme was founded in Manchester and now has over 900 cafés and pubs across the UK registered as Chatty Café venues. The scheme is very simple: a ‘This is a Chatter and Natter table’ card is placed on a designated table in the venue which makes it clear that anyone sitting there is happy to engage in conversation. The aim is also simple: to get people of all ages back socialising, chatting, and to reduce loneliness and isolation.
The Council’s Community Services team has sent out a letter to the District’s cafes looking to encourage as many as possible to sign up to the scheme. There is a small registration fee of £20, for which venues will be included on the chatty café website under the searchable list of venues and will also be sent signs to put on the tables, posters, window stickers and promotional leaflets.
Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Community Matters and Wellbeing Cllr Claire Vickers said:
The challenges the pandemic has created in terms of creating loneliness in communities is something that this group aims to tackle.
I am delighted that we have launched this scheme which has been successful in several parts of the country already, and look forward to seeing many outlets taking part in the scheme.
Cabinet Member for Community Matters and Wellbeing, Cllr Claire Vickers
If any café has not received a letter and would like to find out more, please contact Claire.Shepherd@horsham.gov.uk.