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Appeal for Lincolnshire Volunteers to Tackle Loneliness

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The Chatty Café Scheme seeks volunteers to expand its reach in Lincolnshire

A national charity is looking for volunteers in Lincolnshire to help tackle the increased problem of loneliness.

 

Loneliness is an issue that affects individuals across all ages and backgrounds. In an effort to combat this problem, the Chatty Café Scheme, a national charity dedicated to tackling loneliness, has been organizing regular community get-togethers in cafes, pubs, libraries, and community centres.

With over 800 events already in operation across the country, the scheme aims to provide a welcoming space for people to connect and engage with one another.

Under the Chatty Café Scheme, participating venues agree to set aside a few tables for several hours on a regular basis, creating a safe and inclusive environment for individuals to come together.

Volunteers play a crucial role in welcoming people and facilitating conversations, ensuring that everyone feels heard and valued.

Sadly, there are thousands of people in Lincolnshire including Skegness, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Boston, and Lincoln who suffer from Loneliness. During COVID, those people who did not have a companion had to go through the pandemic with no one to talk to.

Mary Barlow, who runs a Chatty Café in Long Bennington, near Grantham, describes the experience as a “joy to engage with people.”

 

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This sentiment is echoed by Louise Baker, the owner of Baker’s at Sixty-two, the venue that hosts a local weekly scheme. According to Louise, the community’s response to the Chatty Café has been overwhelmingly positive, with smiles and friendly conversations filling the establishment.

The impact of the Chatty Café Scheme extends far beyond casual chats and friendly banter. For individuals like Jane Roper, who works from home, attending the café provides a much-needed break from isolation. Jane shares, “In a busy week, I have managed to get out and hopefully helped someone else as well.” These events offer a sense of connection and support, allowing attendees to uplift one another.

Pat Mitchell, another regular participant, values the opportunity to “chat and moan” during the weekly gatherings. She emphasizes the importance of being able to express oneself and release pent-up emotions, ultimately leaving the café feeling a sense of relief and improved well-being.

Cathy Elms, who often accompanies her 86-year-old mother-in-law, appreciates the inclusive nature of the Chatty Café. She states, “It’s a really nice break to come here and to know there’s an open invitation.”

Since its inception in 2017, the Chatty Café Scheme has grown exponentially, encompassing not only physical gatherings but also a telephone befriending service.

However, in order to reach even more individuals in need, the charity is actively seeking volunteers and venues to join the cause.

Jenny Bimpson, the volunteer manager, highlights the need for more venues to sign up for the scheme, particularly in the centre of Lincoln.

The organization’s website map reveals a lack of representation in this area, underscoring the urgency to expand the Chatty Café’s presence and impact.

Volunteers and venues interested in participating in the Chatty Café Scheme can register with the charity and gain access to online training resources.

These materials provide valuable guidance on creating a welcoming environment, fostering meaningful conversations, and addressing the specific needs of attendees.

By following the established guidelines, volunteers and venues can effectively contribute to the fight against loneliness in their communities.

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