Reflections on the year
Alison and Andrew Ricketts
We relaunched Chatter Cafe in July 2022. We now meet in the function room at The White Hart. Most of the people who came previously returned and were very happy to see one another again. We also had some new people who had just moved in to the area. It is a thriving, lively group.
When we launched Chatter Cafe on Facebook someone suggested we do a Chatter Cafe in the evening for people who work but are new to the area. We immediately responded with Chatter Cafe in the evening which we ran from July until December. Chatter Cafe in the evening did not have the traction of its morning counterpart and we have now stopped.
We met with the other churches in Whitchurch, Whitchurch Welfare Trust and local councillors, both town and BDBC to organise the Whitchurch Warm Spaces which ran from 6th December to 28th January. The warm spaces ran on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Our visitors covered lots of the daily slots. The project attracted several volunteers from the community and was well supported by The White Hart and Paynes Printers.
We are still contacting our visitees mostly by phone. We remain circumspect about face to face meeting especially given the level of vulnerability of the people we support. Where possible we are suggesting going for a walk together or even coming to Chatter Cafe rather than meeting at home.
We are getting the occasional referral from the doctors’ surgery in Whitchurch and from the proactive care team.
We have 18 volunteers on the books although several people are not currently active and we have supported 16 visitees by phone over the year.
Our Church and our community are grateful to Alison and Andrew Ricketts for their work in developing and co-ordinating the above schemes. They will be the first to say that they could not do it without their team of supporters. Our thanks go to them too. The basket is a small token of our appreciation.