top of page

We've joined The Chatty Cafe Scheme

Hi everyone,

A coffee shop in County Durham tackling loneliness. – PRESS RELEASE

The Well

in West Auckland a coffee shop and more The Well is a coffee shop and more in West Auckland has been serving the local community and surrounding areas for over 10 years. During this time, we have seen how loneliness affects people. Our aim has always been to develop a space where people on their own feel comfortable knowing there is someone at The Well ready to chat. A recent ONS survey shows that 19% of people who responded, experienced loneliness some of the time (8.5 million people) and 6% experienced loneliness often (3 million people) #. There are many causes of loneliness including bereavement, unemployment, living alone, financial difficulties, taking on the role as a carer and COVID-19 which can impact an individual’s wellbeing.

Andy Mitchell from The Well said,” We have seen loneliness impact people in our community and therefore it has always been important for us to play our part in tackling this issue.”

He continues, “We don’t want financial difficulties to be a barrier for people going out for a coffee and a chat. When a customer comes to our coffee shop, they can purchase a suspended coffee for another. There is nothing better than receiving a free coffee that has been bought by someone else never met before. To build on our mission to tackle loneliness in our community, I am proud to announce that The Well has joined The Chatty Café Scheme.”

The Chatty Café Scheme

The Well has allocated one of its tables as a Chatter and Natter table every Tuesday between 9am and 11am.

The ‘Chatter & Natter table’ scheme was founded by Alexandra Hoskyn OBE, after a morning sat in a café, where she noticed that no one was talking to each other. She found that by simply putting ‘Chatter & Natter’ signs on tables in cafes it created a space for people to come together and talk. The Chatty Cafe Scheme is reducing loneliness and social isolation by getting people chatting!

Coventry University have published their May 2022 initial report and the key findings are that 100% of Chatter & Natter table users said it made them feel less lonely and socially isolated.

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

For more information, please visit their website:


Andy Mitchell, The Well Manager is available for interviews or questions.

Telephone: +44 (0)1388 834005 Email:

# Wellbeing and Loneliness - Community Life Survey 2020/21 ONS

About The Well in West Auckland

Based in West Auckland, Bishop Auckland in County Durham. A coffee shop and much more. We run a community grocer, Trussell Trust Foodbank, ACTS 435 advocates, counselling, and other services for the benefit of our local community. It is an initiative of West Auckland Vineyard Church started 10 years ago.

About the Chatty Café Scheme

The Chatty Café Scheme was set up in April 2017 by Alex Hoskyn who, a year earlier when her son was four months old, noticed how much you can be out of the house yet have no interaction with another person. On one of her usual visits to the local town centre with the pram, she sat in a café and observed an elderly lady sitting on her own looking fed up. On another table was a young man with additional needs and a carer and they were looking round the room not making conversation with each other. Then there was Alex and her baby: she was finding the experience of being a new mum a big shock to the system, and quite lonely and isolating. She thought about how nice it might be if there was a table where customers could sit if they were happy to talk to other customers.

A year later The Chatty Café Scheme was created, and the Chatter & Natter tables began. Pre-Covid, there were 2,000 Chatter & Natter tables around the UK and a partnership with Costa Coffee. With the closure of cafes during lockdowns, Chatty Café have had to think creatively about how they can continue to get people chatting; that is how the weekly telephone befriending calls and Zoom Virtual Café sessions began. More information is available at


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page