‘People come for all sorts of reasons but they all want company’
By Hannah Richardson
21st Dec 2022, 10:46am- 2 min read
Buckingham’s Chatty Cafe, based at the University of Buckingham, was featured on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today, Wednesday, December 21, as an example of a successful scheme for the lonely.
The pop-up weekly cafe is part of a national network of Chatty Cafes which are open for one hour a week, manned by volunteers and hosted by local organisations.
The Buckingham branch was set up in January by university faculty quality manager, Paula Seddon.
The filming took place a few weeks ago as part of GMB’s ‘1 Million Minutes’ campaign, highlighting the efforts of volunteers helping to end loneliness.
The presenter talked to Paula and to people attending the cafe. Colin Hinton, who is retired, decided to go along after seeing an article in the Buckingham & Winslow Advertiser. He enjoyed meeting people of all ages and is now a regular attendee.
Paula told the Bucks Herald: “I wanted to do something to help people fend off loneliness. The university agreed I could use the refectory for a weekly voluntary one-hour session.
“It has become very popular, with more than 60 members. People come for all sorts of reasons but they all want company. They say the connections they’ve made have helped with loneliness. They enjoy chatting for an hour – it gives them a boost.”
University vice-chancellor James Tooley said: “Paula has done brilliantly. She has created a valuable local service which is helping people who need company or who are lonely.
“We are delighted the university is hosting this popular scheme. It’s great GMB have given it the recognition it deserves.”
The weekly Chatty Cafe attracts about 60 people
The film crew interview Cafe Organiser Paula Seddon;