Earlier this year, we reported that Costa had launched ‘chatter and natter’ tables in stores across the country in an attempt to raise awareness of and combat loneliness among Brits – an issue that has continued to grow over the years.
Well, now supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has decided to follow suit by launching their own initiative against the silent epidemic. ‘Talking Tables’ is a new community campaign which will be trialled at selected Sainsbury’s instore cafes as well as being introduced at back of house for the company’s employees. Like Costa’s chatter and natter, it will consist of designated tables that are made available for people to meet with others to spark a conversation.
The news comes after the government’s first ever Loneliness Strategy was announced and will be hosted by charity partners, including Mind. The initiative is also a response to recent statistics by the Living Well Index. Their findings highlighted that 1 in 10 (6 million) Brits confessed to feeling lonely most or all of the time. They pointed out that the high risk groups most prone to loneliness included young mothers and single men.
Sainsbury’s believe that the new Talking Tables will help to bridge the loneliness gap by bringing people together.
Judith Batchelar, Director of Sainsbury’s Brand, said: ‘We know from our Living Well Index that community connections are a key driver of helping people to live well. Yet with almost two thirds of us feeling lonely some of the time, it’s important that we contribute to helping to improve the lives of our customers and communities. We hope that by bringing people together at our ‘Talking Tables’, we can utilise the potential of our store-space to help people be better connected to the communities they live and work in.’
Sainsbury’s new ‘Talking Tables’ initiative will be trialled in around 20 stores across the UK from October to December.