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Launch of Chatty Café at Lunch Box Café in Larne

Pictured (L-R) is Yvonne Carson, Northern health and Social Care Trust; Marjorie Hawkins, Chair of Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network; Mayor Cllr William McCaughey and Rhonda Duddy, Aces Employment Larne (AEL).

Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network has been proactive in establishing Chatty Cafés across our Borough to tackle loneliness and reduce isolation by creating opportunities to talk and interact.

Following on from the success of four Chatty Cafés opened last year, AEL Larne are pleased to announce they are joining the Mid and East Antrim Chatty Café scheme.

Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network is also delighted to launch its Chatty Cafe Toolkit, which is a useful resource to help local café owners establish a Chatty Café in their area.

The idea behind Chatty Cafés is to encourage venues to designate a table and make it available as a ‘chatty table’ where customers can sit if they are happy to talk to other customers.

Manager of the Lunch Box café Rosie Craig said:

“We are so pleased that the Lunch Box will be hosting a Chatty Café table every Monday and Friday between 10am – 12 noon. We understand lots of people have been dealing with issues of loneliness recently and we know the positive impact a conversation can have on your health and wellbeing. A short conversation with another person can really brighten your day. We hope this new Chatty Café will get people talking and meeting new people.”

Marjorie Hawkins, Chair of Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network The Mayor Cllr William McCaughey Yvonne Carson, Northern health and Social Care Trust.

The new Chatty Cafe Toolkit has been designed to support start-up of new Chatty cafes and Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr William McCaughey said:

“One in three people in Northern Ireland are likely to experience feelings of loneliness in their lifetime. Throughout these difficult past few years of lockdowns, isolation and restrictions on our social activities, human contact has been limited which has impacted upon our mental health.

“The challenges the Covid 19 pandemic has created in terms of creating loneliness in communities is something that the Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network aims to tackle. I am delighted to attend this launch and look forward to seeing many more established across the borough.”

On the launch of the Chatty Café Toolkit Yvonne Carson, Lead for Loneliness and Social Isolation in the Northern Trust said:

“The Toolkit aims to provide practical information and advice to anyone in the Mid and East Antrim Borough wishing to take part in the Chatty Café Scheme. We hope it will be a useful tool to help provide consistency and support to Chatty cafes.” Chairperson of Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network Marjorie Hawkins added:

“Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network are dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness and helping people make new friendships and we are delighted to be launching the fifth Chatty Café in the Borough today.

“Chatty Cafes brings companionship and joy to those struggling with loneliness and isolation. With the help of the Toolkit we hope the roll out of the Chatty Café scheme further across the Borough will help local people struggling to make new connections and relationships.”

The new Chatty Café Toolkit is available to Café and coffee shop owners interested in learning more about how they can help reduce loneliness and isolation amongst local people.

To find out more visit:


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