It’s not good to talk, it’s great to chit-chat

A friend of mine introduced me to a young millennial, Jake. Jake is my kind of person, bright, articulate, interesting, energetic and above all and I don’t think you can train this….Passionate about important things. This is a cool trait.

Jake and I had a Zoom last week and it was fascinating. Jake is part of chit-chat, this is an organisation that you should know about, maybe for you but probably and I might upgrade that to definitely for someone you know.

Here’s some stats and who doesn’t love stats, I know I do.

  • Over 9m people in the UK are either often lonely or always lonely. By my rubbish calcs that is 1:5 adults, WOW !
  • A YouGov poll said that 69% of people felt better after a conversation with somebody
  • 700,000 young people often feel lonely

I said to Jake but how is that with social media, Zoom, Whatsapp everyone is connected but of course that is just through David Leen’s lens. I feel brilliantly connected but that is just me. One of the things that Jake said about social media, is that it often isn’t very social. A-ha ! That is true.

So let me cut to the chase, Jake is part of chit-chat is a non-profit organisation that provides a platform and a place for people to literally chit-chat. Interacting with others is so important and often their existing places are quite transactional or lack a positive element to the conversations. This is where chit-chat comes in.

Chit-chat was founded by Lewis Alexander Baxter who is a mental health advocate, the over-arching aim of chit-chat is to eradicate loneliness, isolation and promote positive mental wellbeing and who wouldn’t want that.

I think bombarded Jake with a series of questions that I know he’d heard before and had all the answers.

Firstly, I said “Isn’t this just the Samaritans?” No said Jake, when people get to the Samaritans they are often in a very bad place. chit-chat is the stage before that and can provide a way of avoiding that call or worse.

I think said but surely people get all the chit-chat they want via Whatsapp, Facebook etc but Jake responded by saying that these conversations can be judgemental, self-promoting and not often a place you can be yourself. You are often with groups of people, (my village in my case) where your connections to others is quite tenuous. chit-chat is putting you with people with shared interests about the weather, movies, culture, sport, food.. whatever.

He said we are your coffee shop, pub, social club, gym, whatever you want it to be.

Jake stressed that chit-chat is not a medical organisation or a counselling service or a helpline (like the Samaritans) this is a place to chat that is non-threatening and inclusive. I got it !

What could you do, you could be a volunteer who is happy to have a casual chat with others.

You can call them on 0333 002 0333 or via @chitchatbritain

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