Things are getting chatty down at the café and it’s all part of our latest plans to get people talking and reduce social isolation.

May marks Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is loneliness and its consequences, with a focus on encouraging people to reach out to one another.

As owners of Grimsby Garden Centre, we've used the week to launch dedicated talking tables at the centre’s popular eatery, The Potting Shed.

Anyone who fancies a chat or wants to meet new people, can display a sign on their table saying they’re happy to natter,  encouraging conversation at dedicated times.

NAViGO chief executive Simon Beeton said: “Feeling lonely is something all of us can experience at any point in our lives and it can often be difficult to reach out to someone else.

“We thought this was a good way to support people in getting talking, meeting each other and connecting with the wider community.”


Sign reading This is a Talking Table. I'm happy to talk to other customers


Joy of interaction


Interested customers can collect a sign and pop it on their table to say they’re happy for a natter. They could be on their own, with a friend, part of a couple or with their baby. They could be anyone. Of any age.

It might be a quick chat or the start of a new friendship. But there’s no pressure to take part. It’s just about getting talking and the joy of interaction.

Launching on Friday 20 May, it will continue each and every week. Further details are available here.

While there are things we can do to support our own health and wellbeing, we're keen to stress that we offer a variety of services providing professional advice, guidance and therapy.

Anyone struggling with their mental health can telephone 01472 256256 (and select option 3), freephone 08081 968442 or text ORANGE to 85258. You can find more help here.