HAWICK is being introduced to a new scheme to help battle loneliness in the community.

Now, people who fancy a chat with someone new while enjoying a cuppa, can do so at Heart of Hawick.

Introduced to the area by Live Borders, the Chatty Café scheme, is also spreading across the UK.

There are now over 900 cafes taking part and anyone can join in.

If you’re on your own, in a couple, or with a friend or child, look for the sign on the table, and take a seat.

Alexandra Hoskyn, Founder of The Chatty Café scheme, said: “The scheme was created on a wet and windy day when I was in a supermarket café with my four-month-old son.

“He wasn’t great company and I was fed up. I looked around the café and saw an elderly lady who looked just as down as me and, on another table, sat a young guy with additional needs and his support worker, both looking like they had run out of conversation.

“I started to think about the positive impact we could have had on each other if we had sat together.

“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.”

And so, Alexandra came up with the idea of a Chatter & Natter table where customers can sit if they would like to talk to other customers.

A ‘Chatter & Natter’ table is a space for people to talk; whether it is for five minutes or longer.

The scheme encourages simple interactions to combat loneliness: a chat may have a big impact on someone’s day.

Sophy Delavigne, Operations Manager at Heart of Hawick said: “As soon as we heard about the Chatty Café scheme, Heart of Hawick wanted to join.

“We think it’s a fantastic idea and already have the support of our regular customers.

“As a charity, every penny spent across Live Borders centres and venues is invested back into the community to help make lives healthier, happier and stronger, which this scheme definitely accomplishes.”

For further information visit: www.heartofhawick.co.uk and thechattycafescheme.co.uk/blog