Chatter tables to tackle loneliness in Letchworth

PUBLISHED: 12:02 26 December 2018

As part of Herts County Council's Connecting Lives campaign, it has launched a scheme to tackle loneliness in Letchworth. Herts County Council

As part of Herts County Council's Connecting Lives campaign, it has launched a scheme to tackle loneliness in Letchworth. Herts County Council

Archant

A new Herts County Council scheme has come to Letchworth to provide an informal place to meet new people as part of its Connecting Lives campaign.

The ‘chatter tables’ programme started earlier this month at the café in Letchworth’s Morrisons, and will return again on Thursday, January 3.

The scheme welcomes members of the community to come along on a drop in basis, to meet new people and chat in a comfortable setting.

Cabinet member for adult care and health, Councillor Colette Wyatt-Lowe said: “Chatter tables are for people to have a friendly chat with other local people over a cuppa.

“They are informal, so that people can drop in as they wish without having to commit to attending a group or activity on a more regular basis.”

Chatter tables have come to Letchworth to provide an informal opportunity for people to have a chat and meet new people.

The bid to tackle social isolation was also launched in some other parts of the country, including in Frome in Somerset – where they are seen as a successful aspect of the town’s campaign to end loneliness.

The chatter tables form just one part of the council’s Connecting Lives campaign, which has already seen more than 30 people in Letchworth sign up to its ‘Connectors Army’ since its launch in October.

The Connectors Army is made up of people who interact with the public through their daily jobs – such as hairdressers, taxi drivers, pharmacists and shop workers – signposting them to the many groups and social activities on offer locally.

Anyone who signs up as a ‘connector’ will be given hints and tips on how to share information about the benefits of being more connected to activities in Letchworth. They will also be given leaflets to hand out.

According to Herts County Council, research shows that 45 per cent of UK adults sometimes experience loneliness, and that lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression. Just getting out and having a friendly chat can make a big difference.

The next chatter tables session will take place between 10am and 12 noon on Thursday, January 3, in the café at Morrisons in Broadway.

If you are interested in finding out more about chatter tables or Herts County Council’s Connecting Lives campaign in general, you can email connectinglives@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

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