5 aside chess. Mental health at uwe

5asideCHESS: Join the Revolution !

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.

Marquee Boys, Paulus and Paddy, playing 5asideCHESS during their lunch break…just 1/000 our 1st edition boards helping to reconnect people.

Maybe after reading this you can be involved too?  As a HELLO Person, Partner Venue or Sponsor…

5asidechess. Chess and mental health
EKO Restaurant in Cambridge, serving the best Nigerian Food around. And a place to chat, of course !

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.

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

5aside chess. Bristol mental health.
The brilliant Lydia in Bristol. 

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.


5 aside chess. Mental health at uwe
Tam at The University of West England

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.

mental health at UWE. 5aside chess.
Ryan explaining our HELLO People/Partner Venue Template last year to Tam and Dean at UWE.

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.

Boston Tea Party and Other Amazing Venues

5aside chess. Rehab and chess.
The Edge Cafe is run by members of rehab who are looking to re-engage with society. A brilliant partner venue doing exceptional work.

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.

boston tea party, mental health
Picture from St George’s Ticket.

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

heaidi allen with 5aside chess. Communitea cafe oakington
MP Heidi Allen with our man Ryan at the Crossways Communitea Cafe in Cambridge. Say that 5 times fast.

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

5asideches with SOFA project.
Eva and Harrison at the SOFA Project in Bristol. That’s Ryan being told to raise the sign just a little higher.

In the meantime, if you would like to be a HELLO person or become a Partner Venue you can CONTACT Ryan directly at RYAN@5asideCHESS.com or on Twitter at @rochild89

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.