AN unassuming young mother’s scheme to combat loneliness and put people in touch with each other has gone viral.
Alexandra Hoskyn, 33, who lives in Lees, has already received enthusiastic support and praise for launching her unique Chatter and Natter tables at local cafes.
Now, her unique idea has been featured on air in Kay Burley’s popular afternoon show on Sky TV.
Alexandra, a part-time social worker with Tameside Arts, revealed 70 cafes have already signed up to the scheme, and there was a fresh flood of interest nationwide after the broadcast.
She created her scheme after visiting a supermarket café with her then four-month-old son, Henry.
“He wasn’t great company and I was feeling fed up,” she explained.
“I looked round the café and saw an elderly lady who looked just as down and a young guy with severe additional needs and his support.
“I started to think about the positive impact we could have on each other if we could all have a chat.
“When you are feeling lonely, a short five-minute interaction with another human can brighten your day.
“It was right there and then the ‘Chatter & Natter’ table began as a dream… but now it’s a reality.”
She explained: “A Chatter & Natter table creates a space for people to talk whether it’s for literally five minutes while you drink a brew, or an hour of good conversation.
“We’re not trying to build friendships – just simple interactions to combat loneliness and to just maybe have a big impact on someone’s day.”
She added: “Oldham Council have been fantastic and Tameside Council has given us immense coverage by telling staff all about us and they have also sent out information to residents.”
For a one off £10 donation, the scheme supports cafes to designate a table where customers can sit if they are happy to chat with other customers. The cafes receive a table sign, a wall poster, flyers and a listing on the website.
For more information or to join, call Alexandra on: 07917 586160 or email: email@example.com
Chatty Cafes are currently available in Saddleworth at:
• Relish Sandwich Bar in Grotton on Mondays from 9.30am-10.30am
• Coles Cake and Coffee House in Lees on Tuesdays from 10am-11am
• Albion Farm Café in Delph on Wednesday from 2-4pm
• The Old Library Garden Café in Uppermill on Wednesdays from 2-4pm
• Reclamation Room Café in Uppermill on Thursdays from 9.30am-12pm