MeetUpMondays™ was started by Mick Dore of The Alexandra pub, SW19 in January 2018. Mick was fed up with 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 consistently won awards for its commitment to the community – notably its free Christmas dinner for anyone who would usually be alone on Christmas Day.
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, Chief Exec of the Rural Coffee Caravan then fell over #MeetUpMondays on Twitter and thought it was an absolutely brilliant idea. The Rural Coffee Caravan addresses loneliness and isolation 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 at the time, another perfect fit! Good Neighbour Schemes are 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!