We all know loneliness is devastating but did you know that as many as 1 in 10 of us say the TV is our main companion?

MeetUpMondays™ give hospitality businesses the opportunity to help change this, to show love for the community and to showcase their lovely, friendly pub, cafe, tea room or hotel lounge, as a place of warm welcome.

Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to everyone who has suffered sadness and loss brought about by the coronavirus crisis. The period in our history has been unlike any other and brought immense challenges to many people. Our communities have fought back with overwhelming kindness and community spirit, and counteracted each difficulty with action & positivity. Our wonderful MeetUpMondays™ hosts have been a huge part of this, sharing positive messages to uplift their communities throughout lockdowns, to raise the spirits of their locals. As they hold on to that positivity going forwards, we all need to do what we can to support our local pubs, cafes and independent businesses, so that we can hold on to them also.

MeetUpMondays™

As pubs and cafes operate under government social distancing & Covid-secure measures, when restrictions ease, they have been offering a rare opportunity for folk on their own to socialise safely with others, in an everyday environment outside of their own four walls.

During lockdowns, many hosts have been adapting their businesses and also coming up with creative ways to keep the isolated members of their community connected whilst folk are unable to attend their MeetUpMondays in person. Some venues have been able to resume their sessions between lockdowns, when tier guidelines allow, and others are keeping their online socials going until restrictions lift.

We’ll be planning a big re-launch of MeetUpMondays for 2021, for when restrictions are lifted! 

In the meantime, we will get through this together if we all look out for each other. Even more of us will be feeling disconnected, so send a message of cheer to anyone you’re thankful for, and anyone in your radar who you think might need that extra kind thought. Look up your local MeetUpMondays venue and let them know that you’re keen to attend when restrictions are lifted, and that you support them. Tell your local pub or cafe about MeetUpMondays if they’re not yet in the network, so that we can create more spaces in readiness for folk to get together when restrictions when it’s safe once again to do so!

A bit about MeetUpMondays™

MeetUpMondays™ was started by Mick Dore of The Alexandra pub, SW19 in January 2018 as he was fed up of reading about loneliness and decided to DO something. He is well worth following on Facebook and Twitter as he is an inspiration! His pub has been voted by Young’s as their community pub of the year 2018, and has also been voted Pub of the Year 2018 in the Merton Best Business Awards

So what did he do? Well, he began offering a couple of hours of free tea, coffee and sandwiches on a Monday lunchtime encouraging those in the local area who ‘are fed up with their own company’. This may be because they are a new mum, a home worker, out of work (for whatever reason) or an elderly person or couple who have started to feel isolated. Since the launch The Alexandra’s #MeetUpMondays has simply changed lives.

Ann Osborn, Director of the Rural Coffee Caravan then fell over #MeetUpMondays on Twitter and thought it was an absolutely brilliant idea. The Rural Coffee Caravan battles loneliness by delivering information and friendship across Suffolk. They befriend communities and offer them access to the information they need to empower them. The fit with MeetUpMondays™ was perfect!

Then Ann met Sally, Suffolk Good Neighbour Scheme development officer for Community Action Suffolk, another perfect fit! Sally’s work with Good Neighbour Schemes is focused on communities working together to ensure that everybody has somebody to call upon in times of need. MeetUpMondays™ can compliment an existing Good Neighbour Scheme, or can lead to a new Good Neighbour Scheme!

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