The Lounge Bar, Brackley hosts a Chatty Café group every Thursday from 3pm – 5pm. Led by Jon Haslam, a volunteer who helps host the table, the group meets every week simply to chat. The group stated in August 2022 and has rapidly grown, and some weeks attracts around 40 attendees.
It’s part of the national Chatty Café Scheme, a non-profit which encourages hospitality venues to designate tables as “Chatter & Natter” tables. Anyone can attend and there is always a table at the Lounge Bar Cafe once a week where anyone can come and sit, talk and socialise.
In response to the cost-of-living crisis, the Chatty Café group has been awarded a grant from Brackley Town Council to help fund refreshments at the weekly sessions, for those struggling financially.
Research shows people living in poverty or experiencing financial stress are more likely to experience loneliness and social isolation. Loneliness has been found to raise levels of stress, impede sleep and, in turn, harm the body. Loneliness can also augment depression or anxiety. The Chatty Café group encourages chatting which in turn can help tackle loneliness and social isolation.
With this funding and during the Chatty Café sessions, the venue will provide free refreshments for anyone who is struggling financially and cannot afford to purchase a drink.
We hope the grant funding will encourage more people to join the Chatty Café group, and that the cost of drinks won’t be a barrier to attendance. Alex Hoskyn, Founder of the Chatty Café Scheme said;
“Jon [the volunteer] and Richard [Owner of the Lounge Bar] have done an incredible job of bringing the Chatty Café concept to life. They continue to put so much effort into letting as many people as possible know about the sessions and have successfully created a welcoming and friendly space for anyone to visit. They deserve this recognition and I hope many more people can now attend, grab a drink and experience the benefits of how a simple chat can brighten their day.”Alex Hoskyn, Founder, The Chatty Cafe Scheme