South Shields' SeaChange Cafe bids to beat Blue Monday by joining Chatty Cafe Scheme to help tackle loneliness

A popular cafe is hoping to help others beat Blue Monday and tackle loneliness in the long term with its friendly new scheme.

SeaChange Café in Ocean Road, South Shields, is joining the Chatty Café Scheme - an initiative designed to combat loneliness by getting the nation talking.

Blue Monday, this year falling on January 16, is said to be the most depressing day of the year, with the festive season well over, money worries kicking in, gloomy winter weather, and motivation dropping off as people’s zeal for New Year’s resolutions wears thin.

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To help buoy up spirits, SeaChange has picked the gloomy day to officially launch its part in the Chatty Cafe Scheme, which was founded by mum Alexandra Hoskyn after a miserable day at a supermarket café with her infant son, where she noticed that no one was talking to each other.

The Chatter and Natter Table at SeaChange.

She found that by simply putting ‘Chatter & Natter’ signs on tables in cafes it created a space for people to talk.

Sarah Farrell, managing director at SeaChange, said: “Feeling lonely is something we can all relate to; it is a social issue that our customers tell us they want us to do something about, and that’s why we’re really excited to be launching the Chatty Café Scheme here at SeaChange Café.

“SeaChange has always played an important role within our community: providing sustainable employment for neurodiverse adults, acting as a hub for our autism-friendly social evenings and being a place for people to meet, spend time together and most importantly, talk. With loneliness and social isolation on the rise, feeling part of a community is now more important than ever.

“And that is exactly what the Chatty Café Scheme is all about – we want to help make it as simple as possible for the people of South Shields to open up and have a friendly conversation - whether it is for five minutes over a cup of tea or an hour of good conversation.

The team at SeaChange.

" It’s not about making life-long friends, just having good old fashioned human interaction.”

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To join the conversation, look out for the dedicated ‘Chatter & Natter’ table at SeaChange Café every Monday between 10am - 11.30am.

The team at SeaChange.