Research Project – Our starting point
To understand the impact of the Chatty Café Scheme on the people it provides for, we started a research project with Coventry University.
The following findings come from our initial report:
- 97% of venues feel that Chatter & Natter tables are encouraging community spirit
- 97% of venues feel that Chatter & Natter tables are reducing loneliness and social isolation.
Upon reflection, this has given us the insight to adapt and evolve with our venues to gain a good look into what is happening within communities sat around a Chatter & Natter table and review the different types of venues. For the scheme to work, we need evidence that we are all making a positive impact within our communities.
Friendly Feedback is Fabulous!
We love to hear your feedback as this helps us gain an understanding of what our strengths and weaknesses are. We also like to share the feedback with venues so that we all evolve together. For example, in our survey one venue suggested that it could be useful to ‘encourage businesses to see how other places are doing’ so with this feedback we set up the Chatty Community Hub which now runs monthly.
Feedback is also a great opportunity to share positivity, inspirational ideas, and reflection on practice with each other. Every so often we like to share quotes with you such as the following.
“As we are a small establishment all our staff are naturally sociable – we know a lot of customers by name, and we often sit customers together on tables when we are full. This scheme fits really well with our business profile, and it allows customers to feel they can join others at table for a natter.
Many of our customer basis is older ladies and gentlemen, many of whom have lost their husband/ wife/ partner – so this scheme is great for them, it allows them to talk to new people and enjoy a conversation outside of their immediate circle” – Venue Owner
“Well, this sounds ‘nitpicky’ after praising the scheme to the skies, but for the purposes of potential service users I would use language that stresses fun and belonging, rather than the notion of interacting with other lonely people which might not sound so fun” – Beneficiary
Lastly, before I shut shop, we had this feedback from the survey:
- Respondents from the venue survey identified that the Chatty Café Scheme can improve by expanding its network of venues, by marketing its activities and celebrating its achievements so that there is a greater awareness of its different elements, and how people can access them.
With this valuable feedback we know how important it is for us to “not be in the shadows” (quoted from feedback) and now the pandemic restrictions have gone and given us freedom again, with your help we can ‘paint the town yellow’ and reach out to as many people as we can and get the Chatter & Natter tables intertwined with everyday café culture…let’s join forces and do this!