The UK, Australia and our Chatty Cafe Partnership
The UK Chatty Cafe Scheme was created on a wet and windy day in 2017 when Alex Hoskyn was in a supermarket café with her four month old son, who wasn’t being great company at that moment and Alex was feeling fed up!
Alex looked around the café and saw an elderly lady who looked just as down as her and on another table sat a young guy with additional needs and his support worker both looking like they had run out of conversation!
Alex started to think about the positive impact they could have had on each other if they had sat together. Alex knew from experience that when you are feeling lonely, a short conversation with another human can really brighten your day and she realised that you can be out of the house all day yet have no interaction with another person.
It was right there and then that the concept of ‘Chatter & Natter’ tables in the UK began in 2017 and there are now over 1,400 venues signed up in the UK! There are also venues in Poland, Gibraltar and interest building in Canada and the USA.
A ‘Have a Chat’ Table creates a space for people to talk while they drink a tea, coffee, juice etc, or eat a snack or meal or whatever, whether it is for five minutes or an hour – just plain old-fashioned friendly, relaxed conversation. And that chat just might brighten someone’s day!
The Australian Chatty Cafe partnership with the UK organisation started in late 2019, after Glenys Reid had unexpectedly experienced social isolation for the first time in her life in 2017, and noticed a lot of other people in her community at social venues seemed isolated too and were keen to chat if a conversation was initiated by Glenys! And then in 2019 Glenys discovered the UK Chatty Café Scheme! It seemed a perfect fit!
The Australian venues offer “Have a Chat” tables to better suit our Aussie culture. A ‘Have a Chat’ Table creates a space for people to talk; whether it is for five minutes or an hour of good friendly conversation, while you drink a brew of your choice and/or eat a snack or meal.
So while droughts, bushfires and Covid-19 have been a challenge for Chatty Cafe Australia, we are still resilient and strong on our vision to have Chatty tables across most venues (cafes, restaurants, clubs, pubs, libraries, community centres etc.) in Australia. We want folk to “expect” to find a “Have a Chat” table welcoming them in any venue they go into, if they choose to chat to other customers while enjoying the venue’s delicious offerings.
What they say
“I don’t consider myself isolated or lonely, but I’m looking forward to going to one of these, just to chat to people I don’t normally chat to, and be part of the escape from the ‘glued-to-a-screen’ culture”Jane Dent
“It is a brilliant and wonderful idea and I cannot wait for them to arrive here … ! You are an absolute credit to society and may this brilliant scheme go from strength to strength and be everywhere across our country.”David Tombs