What to do if you’re interested
Please go to the map on our website, enter your location to find out if a venue offering a ‘chatter & natter’ table is in a location that is convenient for you to travel to. Please make a note of your chosen venue and you will be directed back to this page to fill in your application form, which can be found at the bottom of this page. Please include the name of the venue you wish to volunteer at, in your application form.
Purpose of the role
The Chatty Café Scheme supports venues (cafes, pubs, community centres) to designate a table as a ‘chatter & natter’ table. We currently have over 1,000 venues that have joined our scheme all around the UK. Venues are seeking support from volunteers to help establish their ‘chatter & natter’ tables as places in their community where people can come together to chat and socialise.
We are looking for volunteers to host ‘chatter & natter’ tables, where the volunteer helps create a welcoming space where members of the public can get together and chat, should they wish to.
We are looking for passionate, super-organised volunteers to support a venue local to them, and implement a 12-week plan, which provides a step-by-step guide on how to establish a successful and well attended ‘chatter & natter’ table.
Our vision is that in the future, ‘chatter & natter’ tables become a normal, everyday part of café culture. Where people of all ages can talk to others and not feel so socially isolated. We believe that Chatty Table Volunteers are instrumental in helping us achieve this and play a key role in connecting people within communities.
What to expect at the Chatter & Natter table
A venue joins the Chatty Café Scheme and is sent a ‘chatter & natter’ table sign and designates a table as a ‘chatter & natter’ table. The venue and volunteer agree a time and day of the week that the volunteer will host the ‘chatter & natter’ table. The hosted table typically runs for around one hour each week. The table volunteer is a friendly and welcoming face at the tables and encourages people to join.
The volunteer must be comfortable socialising with people and have a keen eye on recognising anyone within the venue that may want to approach the table but might need some help sitting with others. A ‘chatter & natter’ table should consist of light-hearted chatting with a positive and happy tone so that communities organically connect, communicate, and want to return each week.
Is this role right for me?
We are looking for volunteers who are strong communicators, with excellent organisation skills. You would need to be a kind, empathetic person who is passionate about making safe and welcoming spaces for people who are experiencing limited interaction and want to connect with other people. Is this you?
We are looking for Chatty Table Volunteers with the following skills and attributes:
- Organised, committed, and can allocate up to 3 hours a week over the first 4 weeks to promote the table (we have a step-by-step process for you to follow) and then a minimum of 2 hours a week to host the table to meet and greet attendees
- Good conversational skills and an ability to steer difficult conversations
- Motivated and driven to implement the 12-week plan to promote and interact with your community
- Raise awareness locally of the Chatter & Natter table and help promote it
- An enthusiasm for making genuine connections with people in your community
- A friendly, patient, and empathetic approach
- Basic computer literacy (including the ability to use email)
- Passionate about our vision
Requirements from you.
- Attend 1 x 30-minute online onboarding session
- Attend an online ID check
- Provide 1 x reference name
- Watch safeguarding training
- Wear your name lanyard whilst running your ‘chatter & natter’ sessions
- Maintain confidentiality about the attendees at the table
- Follow all guidance in your Table Volunteer training to ensure that the ‘chatter & natter’ table is enjoyable, appropriate, and in line with our mission, values, and policies
- Ability to follow a 12-week step-by-step plan on how to establish a successful ‘chatter & natter’ table and your agreement to provide feedback to The Chatty Café Scheme on how the table is progressing
If there is no venue near to where you live and you’d like to proceed, please follow the next steps:
- Find a venue; Choose your venue carefully. Is it easy to access, popular and will it be flexible and supportive?
- Approach the manager/owner of your potential venue, explain how a ‘chatter & natter’ table works and ask if they’d be willing to let you use one of their tables to run ‘chatter & natter’ sessions.
- Only if the venue agrees, the volunteer must then register the venue with The Chatty Café Scheme. The volunteer would need to take on the cost of the venue joining the scheme (£30 per year). To sign up your venue and receive the ‘chatter & natter’ pack, please register here: https://thechattycafescheme.co.uk/register/
- After receiving your ‘chatter & natter’ pack in the post, please complete the volunteer application form and go through our training to become a Chatty Table Volunteer, please include the name of the venue that you wish to volunteer at, in your application form.