-KH News Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council appears ready to launch a programme to promote interactions among customers in cafés.
The “logical follow on” from council’s “chatty bench” idea was disclosed to members of the economic development and regeneration committee during a meeting on Tuesday, June 13.
The Chatty Café initiative was launched in 2017, encouraging customers to sit at tables marked as “Chatter and Natter” if they wanted to engage in discussion with others.
The ABC loneliness network is eager to advance the programme and is presently in the process of identifying possible cafés that would be interested in signing up for the programme and supplying those cafés with advertising materials.
Currently, council owns eight cafés spread across its eight buildings in the borough.Four of the cafés are franchised and can be found at the FE McWilliams Gallery, Banbridge Leisure Centre, Orchard Leisure Centre, and South Lakes Leisure Centre. The four additional cafés are all run by the council and are situated at the Kinnego Marina, Silverwood Golf and Ski Centre, Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, and Navan Centre.
Cafés that sign up for the programme are required to choose a weekly time when the chatter and natter table will be open; make sure a staff member or volunteer is present to help host the table; post signage for the chatty café in or near the café area; and designate a staff member as a point of contact for updating the loneliness network.
The UK Chatty Café Scheme will provide training and assistance to all participating cafés, including orientation and safeguard training.
“Working in the rural support networks I know only too well the problems isolation can cause and what it leads on to,”councillor Kyle Savage expressed.