New Chatty Cafes to assist in tackling loneliness open at three Larne locations

Three new Chatty Cafés have opened in Larne – with the Salvation Army, The Prom Café and Barbara Ann’s Home Bakery now playing a role in helping to tackle loneliness.

The initiative has been a success since its launch at Blessings Café in Cullybackey this year.

The purpose of the project 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.

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The scheme, being rolled out by Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network, part funded by Mid and East Antrim Council, aims to tackle loneliness and reduce isolation by creating opportunities to interact.

Staff members from the Prom Café alongside the Mayor, Cllr William McCaughey, Cllr Robert Logan, Yvonne Carson, Northern Health Trust and Deborah Neill, Mid & East Antrim Loneliness Network member. It is one of three Chatty Cafes opened in the town to tackle loneliness

It follows the success of the Chatty Benches initiative, whereby bright yellow benches in a number of the council’s public spaces provide opportunities for conversation.

The Mayor, Councillor William McCaughey, said: “One in three people in Northern Ireland are likely to experience feelings of loneliness in their lifetime. Throughout this difficult year of lockdowns, isolation and restrictions on our social activities, human contact has been limited, which has impacted our mental health.

“The challenges the pandemic has created in terms of creating loneliness in communities is something that the Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network aims to tackle. I was delighted to attend the launch of the Chatty Cafés for Larne and look forward to seeing more established in the borough.”

Yvonne Carson, Thematic Lead for Loneliness and Social Isolation with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, commented: “At a time when we have seen many restrictions on our social activities it’s great to see initiatives like this promoting interaction and conversation.”

Volunteers from Salvation Army alongside Mayor, Cllr William McCaughey, Yvonne Carson NHSCT and Deborah Neill, MEA Loneliness Network member.


Click here to read: Chatty Bench installed in Larne Town Park to help those experiencing loneliness


A message from the Editor:

Barbara Ann and staff alongside Mayor, Cllr William McCaughey, Yvonne Carson, NHSCT and Deborah Neill, MEA Loneliness Network.

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