Talking Tables – Tackling loneliness one good chat at a time

Hull CVS are relaunching the Hull Talking Table Scheme, which encourages café customers to strike up a conversation with a stranger at a breakfast briefing at The Deep (Monday 15 January at 9:30am).

The scheme aims to bring people together, making it easier to meet, talk and connect. Charities and businesses across Hull have agreed to host one or more Taking Table at their venues at set times each week (normally mornings or afternoons) and will display door stickers and posters. The designated Talking Table will carry signs inviting people to sit down.

To date, the following venues have agreed to participate in the activity:

  • The Deep
  • Lonsdale Community Centre
  • Hull Central Library Café
  • Woodford Leisure Centre Café
  • Pelton Café at Warners Gym
  • Alf Marshall Centre
  • Victoria Dock Community Centre
  • West Hull Community Hub

The ongoing venue list and times for Talking Tables can be found here.

From week commencing Monday 22 January, the venues will have tables available for anyone to join, and engage others in conversation.

Where possible these tables will be supported by a Talking Table Volunteer to welcome people to the table and support a good chat, but each venue has been given guidance to support people in feeling comfortable and safe.

The venues will have a small selection of games available to play or conversation starters for those who aren’t quite sure what to discuss.

The scheme is being relaunched on Blue Monday – traditionally the most depressing day of the year to highlight the value of reducing social isolation and providing opportunities for people to talk as a route to addressing loneliness and poor mental health.

Matt Wright, Head of Community Development at Hull CVS, said: “The heart of talking tables is everyone has the ability to address and respond to loneliness by engaging in conversation, but in many cases for patrons in cafes this can be really hard. The plan is to give people a chance to chat, connect, and talk to someone new.

“I would encourage anyone to use the Talking Tables whether alone or in small groups and have the willingness to meet and chat with someone new. Ultimately, the scheme will give people the green light sit down and know they will immediately be with other people who want to speak to them and will remove the stigma some people can feel about going out alone.

“We are delighted that The Deep has signed up and we are keen to recruit as many other cafes, venues and other spaces as possible. We want people to have the option of joining a Talking Table wherever they go – ultimately I hope to see more and more people prescribed a good chat to tackle loneliness”.

For more information about joining as a host for the scheme, visit

All participating venues will receive a free support pack which includes posters, window stickers, table displays, advice and more.

The scheme originally run by Hull City Council was launched on Monday 10 September 2018, with over 20 venues signed up. However, since the pandemic the scheme has been on hold.

The Talking Table scheme is being supported in its relaunch via funding from the UK Government through the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund that aims to increase volunteering and tackling loneliness. For more information about the Know Your Neighbourhood Fund and other funded activities in Hull, visit