In a UK-first, Costa has rolled out a bold initiative to tackle loneliness in 300 stores nationwide.
The popular ‘Chatty Café scheme’, which encourages strangers to sit together and have a chat, was thought up by Alexandra Hoskyn, from Manchester, following a visit to a supermarket café with her four-month-old son.
“He wasn’t great company and I was feeling fed up,” she recalled. “I looked around the café and saw an elderly lady who looked just as down as me, and a young guy with severe additional needs with his support worker.
“I started to think about the positive impact we could all have on each other if we could all have a chat.”
JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
Following a successful trial in 25 stores up and down the country, Costa has introduced ‘Chatter and Natter’ tables to 300 stores nationwide – becoming the first and only chain in the UK to adopt the scheme on a national scale.