Tackling loneliness and social isolation: exploring the impact of the Chatty Café Scheme

Two women having a discussion over a cup of coffee
Public lectures / seminars

Friday 30 September 2022

01:00 PM - 02:30 PM

Location

Online

Cost

Free

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Event details

This event will discuss findings from the initial stage of a research project exploring the impact of the Chatty Café scheme on tackling loneliness and social isolation in England.

Abstract

The Chatty Café scheme is designed to encourage conversation, to allow people to connect to reduce the feelings of loneliness or social isolation. Evidence suggests that loneliness and social isolation affects a large proportion of the UK population, with these experiences being exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic. The Chatty Café scheme began as a way to connect people in places like cafes by having a designated area for people who were willing to talk to other. This scheme has grown to a network of Chatter & Natter tables across the country, but has also expanded to virtual Chatty café sessions online (via Zoom), as well as a telephone friendship service. These activities, facilitated largely by volunteers, are taking place to try to reduce experiences of loneliness or social isolation, improve social mobility and support people to create connections. In order to understand the impact of the Chatty Café scheme on the people it provides for (beneficiaries), a research project has been established.

This seminar explores the initial findings from the first stage of the research exploring the views of beneficiaries, volunteers and the wider general public to consider the potential impact the scheme has on society. 

Biography

Dr Jennifer Ferreira is a Research Fellow based at the Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University where she is involved in a range of projects as part of the Sustainable Production and Consumption, and Economic Transformation, Inclusion, and Entrepreneurship research clusters. She is interested in the expansion and development of the coffee and coffee shop industries, in particular the role of coffee shops and coffee shop cultures in different places, the importance of sustainability, and the role of the circular economy.

Abigail Murray is the Operations Manager at The Chatty Café Scheme. Abigail manages the delivery of a 3-year project which aims to reduce loneliness and connect communities across England. In a previous role, Abigail worked as a Housing Officer, and through this work noticed how loneliness and social isolation can affect a person’s health and wellbeing. This led to an interest in finding innovative solutions to tackling loneliness and her involvement in the Chatty Café Scheme, which was set up by her sister, Alex Hoskyn, in 2017.