In places across the UK, our HELLO PEOPLE sit and talk with members of the public. They are hosted by PARTNER VENUES that offer them tea and coffee for a few hours.
5asideCHESS has connected with the most diverse and incredible people over the past 6 months as we push to fight loneliness and promote social inclusion in the UK. And, most importantly, they have connected with each other.
Maybe after reading this you can be involved too? As a HELLO Person, Partner Venue or Sponsor…
Who are the HELLO PEOPLE? Can I be one?
The answer is absolutely yes.
Every day we work to ensure our team of HELLO people are stationed in Cafes, community centers, nursing homes, pubs and many other venues around the country.
They sit with the 5asideCHESS set and a book for a few hours, offering everyone and anyone the opportunity to sit down and have a chat.
Nursing Home Visit…”Today I heard John say things he has never mentioned before,” Laura (pictured) nursing home manager…John has dementia and suddenly reminded us of how much he played with his sister as a boy. CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH 5asideCHESS? . . . . . . . . . #chess #mentalhealth #dementia #dementiacare #alzheimers #alzheimersawareness #5asidechess #bristol #bristolhealth #nhs #loneliness #socialisolation #smiling
Our HELLO People range from elderly community members looking to get out of the house, to students keen to spend a few hours away from their screens, reconnecting in the art of conversation?
They are women and men, from multiple ethnicities, ranging in age from 19 to 72 years old (right now). We’ve lost count of the number of religions represented. Some like dogs. Others are cat people. Martin used to be an accountant, Stevie used to be an alcoholic. Every single one of them wants to reconnect. To come back in from the cold of social media, their own minds and even their preconceptions of others.
Football and Beyond
We have found, in the world of football, a community of people already championing the ideals of social inclusion, cultural understanding and mental health awareness. It’s been great to share ideas with organisations like Women in Football and Kick it Out, both of which ensure the conversation of inclusion continues on a national level. Sports’ influence on wider society cannot be underestimated.
And that’s why we have some big things lined up with individual sports teams in both rugby and football coming this year. Our team of videographers, web designers and photographers is busy doing things I don’t really understand, to be honest, filming and editing and making sure our message will be shared in a big way this year.
Unfortunately, we have seen a number of tragedies at universities this year, with young people deciding to take their own lives. If we can help to create a space where students can talk about the issues on their minds, then we think that can only be a good thing. If you think you can help us do that, then we would love to hear from you.
That’s why we are now setting up 5asideCHESS Partner Venues on campuses to help. 5asideCHESS is all about social inclusion, but that isn’t confined to improving the representation of marginalised groups. We see it also as ‘including everyone in society.’ And society is community. Community is support. And support is 5asideCHESS.
— 5asideCHESS (@5asideCHESS) September 9, 2016
Boston Tea Party and Other Amazing Venues
Talking of support, we would like to say a huge thank you to our partner venues that offer them free tea and coffee during their stay.
A special mention must go to the lovely people at Boston Tea Party, who support us from their 20 (soon to be 22) venues in the South West. It’s been brilliant to find successful and growing company with such a strong commitment to the wellbeing of its community.
Crossways CommuniTEA Cafe Cambridge
Last week we also helped open the a new community cafe over in Oakington, Cambridge, with the help of South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen. The cafe asks not what “your village can do for you, but what you can do for your village.”
Mrs Allen was extremely supportive and spoke strongly about the need to combat loneliness on the whole. If you haven’t already, you can read our blog about the positive health benefits 5asideCHESS and other measures can have. How much it can save the NHS is particularly interesting!
Hello People, Venues and Sponsors
We are also currently looking for sponsors for our second edition board, with 1,000 sets commissioned for our next push to fight loneliness and promote social inclusion in the UK.