Great places to chat: inside the Coffee Shop, Parliament House, Dolgellau (Photo credit: Dave Croker)

A scheme launched in Salford to reduce loneliness and mental illness among older people has won a £7,500 grant.

The project started by former Salford University student Alexandra Hoskyn encourages cafes to put aside a Chatter and Natter table for people to talk to others if they are feeling lonely or want to chat with someone.

Alexandra said: “Although the aims of the scheme are to reduce loneliness and get people chatting we decided not to use the word loneliness.”

Alexandra, who now runs the national scheme from Oldham, secured the Innovation in Aging award funded by JustGroup which will help her to expand the concept beyond the 400 venues already signed up.






Last year Costa Coffee became the first major chain to introduce Chatter and Natter tables.

Alexandra added: “I encourage cafes to have the table, I want to make it normalised.”

The scheme is always looking for other cafes such as supermarket cafes and community cafes to get involved in helping tackle loneliness in Salford and beyond.

Any customers wanting to sit at a Chatter and Natter table can find their nearest table using this link.

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