OUR ANDOVER chatty cafe scheme

OUR ANDOVER Chatty Cafe scheme will launch on Monday 4th June 2018 at 9am, starting at Coffee#1.
Andover Town Mayor Barbara Long will be opening the first social event. The following cafes (in day order) have agreed to have a chatty table:
Monday am Coffee#1
Tuesday 12-2pm Dukes Cafe, Wellington Centre
Tuesday pm Costa Coffee
Wednesday am Blue Onion Espresso
Friday am Butters Cafe

A chance to chat with strangers is coming to Andover town in a new scheme to tackle loneliness and boost community spirit. The national chatty scheme is being introduced to Andover, but instead of cafes individually signing up to the programme, a new town Community Interest Company (CIC) called OUR ANDOVER, is running it as a town project.
Cafes around the town have signed up to host a morning or afternoon for individuals to come along and sit with other people and get chatting. There is a national websitehttps://www.thechattycafescheme.co.uk, which lists all the participating chatty cafes across the UK.
OUR ANDOVER Co-Director David Coole said: The national chatty caf scheme was born out of the late MP Jo Cox; one of her visions was to try and get the community spirit back up and running. We were doing a lot of research for OUR ANDOVER and Jo (Coole) picked up on the idea of how do we get people to talk to one another and break down this loneliness? Jo would quite often sit in a coffee shop and see people sitting on their own and think do they want to talk to people? People Jo spoke to said they wanted to sit there to be around people and they did want to speak to people. What we want to do is have a chatty caf every day in Andover so anybody feeling lonely will know there will be at least one caf in Andover where they can sit and talk to others.
The Chatty Cafe scheme is currently top of the OUR ANDOVER Facebook poll for short term projects. Consequently, we have been busy talking with various Andover Town Centre cafes and encouraging them to join the scheme. From the 4th June, residents and visitors to Andover will be able to go into a participating cafe on a particular day and sit on a designated table, knowing that they can talk to anyone on that table.
We hope that other cafes will also join the scheme and/or existing cafes will agree to have more chatty tables, so that Andover has at least one chatty table on every day of the week. If you have a favourite cafe that you would like to be in the scheme, let us know and we will try to encourage them to join. Please spread the word and help encourage inclusiveness and combat loneliness!!

WHO IS OUR ANDOVER?
OUR ANDOVER is a new not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) whose Aim is to enable Andover and surrounding Villages become an unique and attractive location for residents, visitors and businesses. With so many shops leaving our towns and villages and with continual cuts to public services, a group of residents from Andover and surrounding Villages have got together to form OUR ANDOVER to both deliver and influence short, medium and long term improvements to the area. They want to turn the tide of decline of shops, tourism and businesses and help create a sustainable future for Andover and surrounding Villages. The whole ethos of OUR ANDOVER is to keep things local, promote everything local and to encourage the community to get involved in improving things for themselves and others, so that our Town and surrounding Villages prosper socially and economically.
OUR ANDOVER has set up a Facebook page and a group called OUR ANDOVER, where the community can get involved, vote, comment and suggest ideas for projects they would like to see happen in Andover and surrounding Villages. The chatty caf scheme is the first of OUR ANDOVERs short term projects to launch, while other short term projects being considered include a permanently funded Youth Service and facilities, organising tourist twinning by reciprocal coach tours between towns, establishing an Emporium for much needed town centre shops and introducing a town centre car boot market.
OUR ANDOVER projects are community-led so that the community have a real say on what projects we take forward. These projects will be delivered as short, medium and long term projects by OUR ANDOVER, in conjunction with other organisations and/or by influencing ongoing projects. For more information on and how to get involved with OUR ANDOVER and its projects, please visit OUR ANDOVER Facebook page and group, contact OUR ANDOVER by email at ourandover@gmail.com and telephone 07976 565470. The more people involved, the more improvements we will be able to achieve.
The OUR ANDOVER Facebook Page is at https://www.facebook.com/OurAndover/ and the OUR ANDOVER Facebook Group is at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2054010784840739/, where people can vote on/add their own ideas/projects.