We got in touch with Chat Cafe CIC who aim to conquer loneliness and social isolation to find out what they've been up to in the last year. Read on to find out more...

This year we were honoured to receive £500 from Localgiving. We used this towards fuel and operational costs. You may be thinking fuel? I want to explain why this has been vital to our outreaches success. We began inviting lonely people out for a cuppa and to make friends in a chat club on 22.2.22. Now 8 months later the word has spread, the miles have been clocked and just under 3000 people have attended our Happy to Chat daily chat clubs. We grew fast because the need is great and the demand is high. We grew from a 3 town outreach programme giving Happy to Chat badges, leaflets, monthly empowering newsletter and planted chat clubs in another 4 towns. We have 4 more to launch before Christmas 2022.

What we do: Lovely local volunteers have been recruited, trained and welcome new and old members every day. The chat clubs have become treasured babies to them and the members have become part of a family that belongs. Once a month we host nature days out and we've had 7 so far; a Stanpit Marsh walk,Bournemouth Gardens walk, Jubilee street party, afternoon sailing up the River Stour, lunch by Wareham Quay, Teddy Bears picnic and a beach party. This is ground breaking, life changing work for our 768 beneficiaries, who admit they might never have gone out again without our invitation. 

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In a recent survey 90% recorded that their mental health had improved. A huge winter effort is currently being undertaken to reach more unreachable loneliness victims, it includes a bus company, so wish us well in our outreach, volunteer recruitment of new volunteers and training, but most of all spread the word or if you can, invest your treasure to get more people out. So they can forge new friendships and heal from loneliness' darkness. We have had stroke victims re-learn to talk through chat club, cancer victims who are too scared of cancer club say, 'I feel normal.' Our chat clubs have stopped 3 suicides, we've had 3 birthday parties, a funeral and last month a wedding. Paul says 'all the people who have gone before us are looking down and are happy seeing their spouses around the chat club tables smiling.' Chat Club changes lives. Our Happy to Chat badges are freely available if you'd like to join on chatcafelocal.com Please keep thinking of us as we think of you and help others to help themselves to make a plan, create a new post lockdown structure and leave loneliness behind forever.

Support their incredible work here: CHAT CAFE CIC | Localgiving