Alexandra Hoskyn Founder of The Chatty Café Scheme was among those named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2021. Alex has been awarded an OBE for services to Tackling Loneliness.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, The Chatty Café Scheme set up a telephone friendship service and ran virtual Chatty Café group sessions, bringing people together from across the UK to tackle loneliness.
The Scheme also encourages venues to designate ‘Chatter & Natter Tables,’ creating a space for customers to sit together for a chat, should they wish to. Alex has partnered with major corporations to roll out the initiative, including Costa Coffee which have signed up over 400 branches nationwide. Chatter & Natter tables can be found in thousands of venues across the UK, to be resumed once social distancing measured have fully lifted.
Alex has worked tirelessly to deliver innovative solutions to tackle loneliness, a growing problem faced by many in our society. Those who know Alex will know she continues to grow the organisation in her aim to help support as many people as possible across the UK. She receives this OBE in recognition of her national contribution.
Responding, Alex said:
“When I found out I had been awarded an OBE I was in complete shock, and I still am. It is a huge honour and wonderful to be recognised in this way. The Team and I have seen time and time again how detrimental loneliness can be on a person and how simply having a conversation can make someone go from feeling invisible to visible. We will continue striving to create opportunities for human interaction to tackle loneliness and social isolation on a national scale. This award has given us a real boost and I am incredibly grateful for the nomination.”
In a personal letter to Alex, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward but allow me to offer my own recognition of how your ‘Chatty Cafe Scheme’ is transforming the culture of talking to other people in cafes, combating loneliness and opening up people’s lives.”
We congratulate Alexandra Hoskyn OBE on her achievement and look forward to her continued outstanding work in tackling loneliness.