Loneliness brings us together not apart at The Chitter Chatter Clubs.
Question and answers.
Where are the chat clubs? They are in local friendly cafes, at the moment in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Weymouth and Wimborne. Also in Care homes in Ferndown, Wimborne and West Moors.
What is a Care Home Chitter Chatter Club? Apart from being a tongue twister, it is a lovely safe, warm, homely place where you can meet the residents and have a lovely chat. I love them because after they tell you their war stories and how they have triumphed over adversity, it makes you feel like you can conquer the world. Not only that, where else could you find such grandparent, non-judgemental love? It's the perfect tonic for everyone. You also get to meet the staff and if you like, have a look around. It will
When I go inside will I know where to aim for? The lovely table host volunteer will have a sign on the table, she/he will be looking out for you. Iif the cafe is busy, ask the counter staff.
How do I approach the table? Take long deep breaths thena big gulp of silent courage, and give anyone on the table a smile or little wave, as you say 'Hi, I'm new.'
Everyone at the table had a first time, so try not to worry. We are here for you.
Do I have to check in and out? No, come and go as and when you want or need to. You can go to one or all of the chat clubs.
Can I go on the walks only? Yes, some people prefer this.
Will I have to give loads of personal information? No, just an email address if you would like to receive the monthly newsletter.
What are the people like? They are from all backgrounds and ages/abilities. The diverse collection of compassionate chitter chatterers will make sure you meet your kind of people. It is amazing how guests connect over the craziest little things.
Will I be welcome if I don't come from round here? Of course, in fact 90% of Dorset people are blow in's from other towns. It's very rare to get a native.
Do I have to pay? No. Just buy yourself a cuppa In the local care villages, the refreshments are free.
What are the care home chat clubs like? I love them. Most people are elderly but oh so kind and wise. I learn so much about resilience, love, community, and adore the grandparent vibe. You come away feeling so treasured. The care staff are incredible and dote on everyone too. It's such a special experience.
If I struggle speaking will it matter? Absolutely not. We love to welcome people from every background.
Will I have to speak? Only do what you want to do. Bring your newspaper if you like. But I will say, I dislike people using phones at the table.
Is there entertainment? Sometimes we have guest health/wellbeing speakers, but most of the time once people warm up, I can't get a word in edgeways
Can I have a look around the care homes? Of course, you can go from one chat club to another and if you are thinking of this for the future, it's a perfect opportunity to demystify the fears and stigmas attached to care homes.
I love all the chat clubs, everyone is different but that's what is so wonderful. I know you will toooooooo.............................
Anne Anderson Loneliness Outreaching Founder. 6.11.23
The Chitter Chatter Club is a group of friends who are looking for social connections. Loneliness is your bodies way of screaming - 'you must go out, reconnect.' It is a disconnect.
People need people, fish need fish and birds need birds. Our 21st Century culture tells us the opposite.
986 new people hit our website this week. This evidences how large this epidemic is Dorset wide.
In February 2022, we were unlocked from our homes after COVID-19; hope was rare. I followed my heart and founded a chat club drop in. It advertised, asked, built websites, talked to many many professionals, and became a Community Integrated Company. (not for profit)
Amazingly 4500 attended in the first 12 months. Chatters made friends, told stories, and together began the healing journey loneliness caused.
On 22nd February 2023 The Chitter Chatter Club came into being with bigger ideas for loneliness outreaching.
We facilitate chitter-chatter friends around tables in local cafes, care residencies, and exclusive venues, as I believe no one should be excluded from making friends,
‘So let's do this together.
Lockdown showed us that the world we all lived in didn't work. We are now in a new world, that needs new solutions. New people have new problems and old solutions will not work. As loneliness and more early deaths are being recorded , hospital waiting lists/mental health and counselling lists get longer too.
As a bold, gracious, ex outreach worker with homeless people, I decidedI could use my work and life experience in the opposite way. Instead of getting homeless people into accomodation/work or training, I could use my skills to get people out of the home and rebuild confidence, rebuild social connections, support whilst making life goals, signposting to other support services for a broader view on post-lockdown life.