Café befriending scheme comes to Penwortham to provide company for the town's lonely

A Penwortham woman who benefited from a scheme set up to combat loneliness has brought the initiative to her hometown.

By Paul Faulkner
Thursday, 18th November 2021, 8:50 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd November 2021, 6:15 pm

Christine Owens is running two new outposts of the Talking Tables service, after experiencing for herself how it can provide support and solace for those in need of company.

An offshoot of the Chorley-based befriending group Friends for You, Talking Tables sees spots reserved in cafes for people wanting a coffee and a chat – either with the volunteers operating the scheme or others who attend.

Christine visited a venue in Leyland during one Talking Tables session – and was so taken with the idea that she wanted to help expand its reach.

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A warm welcome for those wanting company at the launch of Talking Tables in Penwortham (image: Dan Martino)

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Chorley's café befriending scheme expands into Leyland

“There are a lot of lonely people – and I know how they feel because I went through it myself when I lost my husband two-and-a-half years ago.

“I wasn’t getting out and so I went along to Talking Tables and really enjoyed it. Anybody who comes to the new ones in Penwortham can be assured of a warm welcome – my job is to be there and invite anybody who arrives alone to come over and join us,” Christine explained.

Talking Tables Penwortham was officially launched on Wednesday during a ceremony at the town’s community centre.

From left to right: Friends For You founder Marjorie Hayward, Christine Owens of Talking Tables Penwortham and Nicola Rainford from Talking Tables Leyland (image: Dan Martino)

The initiative will run once a week at two outlets – the Costa Coffee branch on Liverpool Road on Tuesdays between 1.30 and 2.30pm and Penwortham Community Centre on Priory Lane on Wednesdays between 10.30 and 11.30am.

There are now almost a dozen Talking Tables venues hosting people each week across Chorley and South Ribble - see here for full list.

Conversation is the most important thing on the menu at almost a dozen Talking Tables venues now operating across Chorley and South Ribble