Chat About

Chat About is a free scheme for Hampshire businesses and organisations wishing to play a role in improving wellbeing and social connection in the community. If you run a café, coffee morning, social group or community activity, membership of the scheme will demonstrate your commitment to customers and the wider community.

It’s simple to join.

COVID-19 has resulted in many people in our communities feeling lonely, isolated, or struggling with their mental wellbeing. We know that feeling lonely or down can affect our physical as well as our mental health.

Communities can help change this and the solution is easy – let’s encourage people to come out and chat about…well, anything really! Connecting with others is one of the five proven ways to boost our wellbeing.

Chat About encourages businesses and organisations to create spaces where people can connect over conversation no matter their age, background or circumstance. Even a quick natter can brighten someone’s day.

Staff and volunteers who take time to chat and have the skills and knowledge to signpost to help when needed, can help those who may be struggling. This can prevent people becoming very unwell and helps raise awareness of available support.

Any Hampshire business, voluntary or community organisation can sign up. Cafés, pubs, libraries, community centres, hairdressers, beauty salons and nail bars. Anywhere where people can connect with others!

You can sign up to take part at any time. You will need to re-apply every 12 months to ensure any new staff/volunteers have also undertaken the online training.

Appoint a lead staff member or volunteer to be responsible for ensuring that customer-facing staff have completed the free training.

Sign up in five easy steps

1. Share with all staff / volunteers what Chat About is, why it is important to support community wellbeing, and why your organisation is joining the scheme. Why not discuss ideas together about how your organisation might be able to get involved and use the scheme to boost community conversation in your venue.

2. All front-facing staff and volunteers should complete the two free online training modules on mental wellbeing and suicide prevention:

3. All front-facing staff and volunteers should be made aware of what to do if you are concerned about the safety of an individual and how to report a concern to the safeguarding board:

Hampshire Safeguarding Adults’ Board

Hampshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership

4. You can then complete this form and submit your registration to the scheme.

5. Promote your membership! Put up a poster, create a ‘Chat About Table’ or ‘Chat About Corner’ so that customers/ members/clients can clearly identify where to go to connect with others. Add crafts, puzzles or activities or create a regular time slot. If you can, have a volunteer or staff member who has undertaken the above training available to have a chat and signpost to support when needed. Display your certificate and use your branded email signature to show partners that you’ve joined the scheme - why not tell social media, local charities and social prescribers you are now part of Chat About.

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