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New Chatty Cafe in Ballymena!

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New Chatty Cafe in Ballymena!

Following on from the success of the Chatty Cafés opened in Cullybackey, Carrickfergus and Larne, Ballymena has opened its first Chatty Café in Ballykeel 1 Moving Forward Breakfast Club.

The idea of a Chatty Café is to encourage venues to designate a table and make it available as a ‘chatty table’ where customers can sit if they are happy to talk to other customers.

The scheme, being rolled out by Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network, part funded by MEA Council, aims to tackle loneliness and reduce isolation by creating opportunities to talk and interact.

It comes off the success of the Chatty Benches scheme which has seen bright yellow benches in public spaces create an opportunity for conversation in the outdoors.

Ballykeel Chatty Café was opened by members of the MEA Loneliness Network, Yvonne Carson (Thematic Lead for Loneliness & Social Isolation NHSCT), Hannah Bowyer (Community Development Officer Ballymena South Community Cluster) and Wenda Gray (Volunteering Support Officer Volunteer Now). Throughout this difficult year of lockdowns, isolation and restrictions on our social activities, human contact has been limited which has impacted upon our mental health.

Yvonne added:

“It’s very encouraging to see the establishment of more Chatty Cafes in the Mid and East Antrim Borough. At a time when we have seen many restrictions on our social activities it’s great to see initiatives like this promoting interaction and conversation.”

Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network launched in December 2019 and is made up of a range of community voluntary and statutory organisations who all work together to prevent and address loneliness.

To find out more go to

Ballykeel Chatty Cafe Ballykeel Chatty Cafe Ballykeel Chatty CafeBallykeel Chatty Cafe

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