Because you are worth it.
Being a northerner,down south, I have never understood why no one greets one another in streets, or talks in the shops, on the buses or in queues. After lockdown was lifted, the streets were empty. At a party, 60 people were invited, only 3 came.
'What's happening? Why haven't they come?' I asked my friend, because the music was blaring, we were dancing like monkeys-freed. (She'll have me for saying she dances like a monkey :))
'They are too frightened to come out of their flats into the corridor. They get food and shopping delivered. They don't need to go out.'
'That's not right!'
I'd always struggled with loneliness due to being shunned in the street and being a single parent.
So I researched loneliness; it's affects on the body, mental health, local/nationwide statistics, asked 30 local friendly cafes if they would host 'Happy to Chatters' wearing our friendly free pin badges and hey presto, Chat Cafe Local launched on 22.2.22.
We started hosting local volunteer-led chat clubs, in local cafes in three towns Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. In 10 months, we have thirteen chat clubs in nine towns. 974 people have ventured out of loneliness' grip, 3763 have attended chat clubs, 90% of attendees say their confidence and mental health has improved. The other 10% say 'they havn't attended, but they feel better knowing that chat clubs are on if they want to go, and overall, they feel more hopeful.
We see miracles every day. Chat clubs encouraged a stroke victim with regaining her speach, 4 people have been saved from suicide. Cancer victims who don't attend cancer club, feel they belong. Widows smile around tables. Young laugh and chat with old. Most of the time you can hardly get a word in edgeways, but most of all, they are just so lovely, everyone's so lovely.
At each chat club, I savor a moment to soak in the love, respect all around and know to the core of my being, that everyone on this planet is happy to chat, to make friends, but maybe we just all need an invitation.
Dorset is full of people who have lived here years and don't know anyone. If that is you, chat clubs community ego will blow you away.
This is yours for the taking. Try your hardest to come along so we can meet you, share life and hope together and we'll make this a better world for our grandchildren.