The Witham’s Café goes the extra mile to combat loneliness: Barnard Castle’s Chatty Café.

The Witham community arts centre is now participating in Chatty Café, a national scheme to help to reduce loneliness by encouraging people to chat.

Every Tuesday and Friday mornings from 10 am to 12 noon, The Witham Cafe now has a dedicated Chatter & Natter table*. This is a place you can sit if you’re happy to talk to other customers. 

The Chatter & Natter table will also be in situ on film screening nights. We know that some people attend on their own, so why not strike up a conversation with another film enthusiast?

As founder Alex Hoskyns comments, “I know from experience that when you are feeling lonely, a short  conversation with another human can really brighten your day and I realised that you can be out of the house all day yet have no interaction with another person.

A Chatter & Natter table creates a space for people to talk; whether it is for five minutes while you drink a brew, or an hour of good conversation. We’re not trying to build friendships – just simple interactions to combat loneliness and to just maybe have a big impact on someone’s day.”

The Witham’s Cafe Manager Suzanne Wallace says, “We are passionate about customer service here at The Witham and also about helping combat loneliness. We have lots of customers, especially older people, who come in to share a bit of conversation and a smile with our friendly staff. The Chatty Cafe Scheme feels natural to us so it’s great to join in the national initiative.

Stay for five minutes while you have your drink or longer. It’s not about making friends just having good old fashioned human interaction!”

Who is this for?

Anyone… if you’re on your own, in a couple, with a friend, if you’re a carer, why not sit there with who you care for, mums and babies, dads and babies, grandparents and babies, young people, older people and anyone in between.



10am – 12 noon on Tuesdays and Fridays at The Witham community arts centre, 3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle DL12 8LY.