In my day job I’m a social worker, a profession that embeds reflective practice in everything we do. We are encouraged to reflect on our assessments, conversations, how we handle situations, our training; pretty much every element of our work. I find reflection a useful tool and can feel quite enlightened when I think back on a situation and realise things I could have done differently or something that worked particularly well.
The Chatty Café Scheme has been one big reflective process in which I’m in a constant state of thinking about what needs doing, what I should have done and if I am missing anything. What’s tricky is I don’t have an exact template to follow, I can google how to set up a Community Interest Company, how to apply for funding but there is no guidebook directing me how to run the scheme, instead I’m learning as I go along, testing the idea, shaping it as I go along.
I’m really lucky to have my sister Jenny helping out and already I can see the benefit of having other people involved mainly because they are not as emotionally attached as me and therefore able to make hard core decisions which I will deliberate for months.
Primarily, I know the website needs work; to say the premise of the scheme is so simple, the website feels too complicated. I know how I want it to look and feel and as the scheme is gaining more international interest it needs to be easily translatable.
Things that are on my to do list:
- Design a logo that can be recognised worldwide – I have now advertised a competition on social media to help with this!
- Get the website looking better which will include adding terms and conditions for venues wanting to join – this will help ensure venues genuinely want to connect people. Also create a better way for people to search for their nearest Chatter & Natter table
- Apply for funding to employ a project manager
- Develop Chatty Wednesday and promote it
- Diarise set dates for the newsletter
- Work on how we can reduce loneliness & get people chatting which is above all our number one priority (and should really be number one on this list)
I wanted to share this on a blog because it feels like we are in this together. Your encouragement and support keeps me going and I want to be open and honest with what I’m trying to achieve.
Also – thank you SO much to all the journalists who have given us some AMAZING coverage recently and THANK YOU to everyone supporting us whether you have signed up your venue, sat at a Chatter & Natter table, told someone about us, liked us on social media or just read this to the end! YOU are keeping this movement going and I seriously love you for believing in it.
That’s all for now but if anyone has any other things you think need adding to the to do list feel free to get in touch.