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Chatty Cafe Scheme

Lead service provider/commissioner


Chatty Cafe Scheme

Type of knowledge

Type of knowledge:

Project description only

Prevention service description

The scheme was created by Alex Hoskyn on a wet and windy day when she was in a supermarket cafe with her four month old son. He wasn’t great company at that age and Alex was feeling fed up. Alex says that she looked round the cafe and saw a woman sitting alone, who looked just as down as her and a young guy with learning support needs sitting with his support worker in silence. She started to think about the positive impact we could all have on each other if we could all have a chat. Alex says that she knows from experience that when you are feeling lonely, a short interaction with another human can really brighten your day.

From that germ of an idea, Alex has managed to set up a simple scheme and now has over a thousand cafes on board across the UK. A further 25 cafes participate in Gibraltar, two in Australia and one in Florida – these numbers are growing. Some of the organisations supporting the scheme include Sainsbury's, Costa Coffee, Beefeater, Age UK, Mind, Campaign to End Loneliness, Whitebread, and Oldham Council.

Intervention/service type:

Befriending, mentoring and peer support; Community services

Target client group(s):

Older people; Adults with long-term health conditions; Adults with learning disabilities; Adults with mental health problems; Carers; Adults with physical disabilities; Vulnerable adults

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