Horsham ‘chatty cafe’ scheme launched to get people talking

A new scheme to get people back socialising after the pandemic is being launched in Horsham.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 12:36 pm

Letters have gone out to cafes in the district asking them to take part in the scheme by placing cards on designated tables stating: ‘This is a Chatter and Natter table.’

The scheme is being promoted by Horsham District Council, Horsham District Older Persons Form and West Sussex Brighton and Hove Age UK who are hoping to get people talking again.

A council spokesperson said: “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.”

Bob Cusack from Age UK, Martin Bruton from the Older Persons Forum and Shelley Gosden from Horsham District Council at the launch of Chatty Cafe

The Chatty Café scheme was first founded in Manchester and now has more than 900 cafés and pubs across the UK registered as Chatty Café venues.

The ‘Chatter and Natter’ cards placed on tables make it clear that anyone sitting there is happy to engage in conversation.

The spokesperson added: “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 letters to the district’s cafes to encourage as many as possible to sign up to the scheme.

There is a registration fee of £20, for which venues will be included on the chatty café website and will also be sent signs to put on the tables, posters, window stickers and promotional leaflets.

Horsham Council cabinet member for community matters 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.”

Any café owners who would like to find out more can contact [email protected]

See www.thechattycafescheme.co.uk