Village cafe near Banbury joins scheme to get people chatting in bid to reduce loneliness

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A village cafe in a village near Banbury has just signed up to a scheme that encourages visitors to chat with one another in a bid to reduce loneliness.

The Grain Store in Middle Aston has become the latest cafe in the Banbury area to join the nationwide Chatty Café scheme.

Every Monday between 9am and 11am, barring bank holidays, the cafe will set up a ‘Chatter and Natter’ table.

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The table will be marked by distinctive signs and is there to encourage strangers to talk with each other while they enjoy their drinks or food.

Look out for the chatty table signs when visiting The Grain Store in Middle Aston on Monday mornings.Look out for the chatty table signs when visiting The Grain Store in Middle Aston on Monday mornings.
Look out for the chatty table signs when visiting The Grain Store in Middle Aston on Monday mornings.

The Chatty Cafe Scheme is the brainchild of Alexandra Hoskyn, who founded it after a miserable day at a supermarket café where she noticed that no one was chatting with each other.

Alexandra found that by putting ‘Chatter and Natter’ signs on tables in cafes created a space for people to talk with each other.

A spokesperson for the scheme said: “Anyone can join in; if you're on your own, in a couple, with a friend, if you're a carer, why not sit there with who you care for, mums and babies, dads and babies, grandparents and babies, young people, older people and anyone in between!

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"The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted those experiencing loneliness, and we know that simply having a chat can brighten someone’s day.”

In Banbury, the Light Cinema and the Banbury Tea Room Limited are both signed up for the scheme.

For more information about the Chatty Cafe Scheme, visit: https://thechattycafescheme.co.uk/

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