‘Chatter and Natter’ table offers a chance to meet new people

CJ's Cafe, Three Bridges
CJ's Cafe, Three Bridges

A cafe in Three Bridges is joining in a new scheme to help tackle the problem of loneliness.

CJ’s Family Cafe, in Three Bridges Road, now has a designated ‘Chatter and Natter’ table, for people who are happy to have a chat with any strangers who might be in the cafe.

Katie Wells said: “We talk to anybody in here; we’re on first name terms with most of our customers. We’re quite lucky in here, because we’ve got a lot of mums that come in with their kids - they all tend to talk to each other anyway.”

However, some of their customers - often first time mums, or residents of the nearby old people’s home - find themselves short of someone to chat to.

The cafe is now taking part in the Chatty Cafe Scheme - a nationwide drive to break the ice among strangers in cafes.

“It’s a new idea to encourage anybody that’s lonely, or hasn’t got anybody to talk to,” said Katie. “If they’re ever feeling lonely, or they’re new to the area, they can come and take a seat.

“They don’t have to have children to come here - it’s open to anybody of any age.”

CJ’s recently won the Best Cafe award from Muddy Stilletos - an online guide to cool and quirky places to eat and shop.

Katie said: “We’ve been open for just a year - we’re celebrating our first birthday this month.

“It’s got a nice community feel to it - it’s not just a cafe, it’s something completely different, and it’s something we’re proud to have achieved in a year.”