News & Media

Have a cup of positivi-tea


With some saying there’s nothing better than a good cup of tea and a chat, and the power of a great British brew now being used to help paramedics reduce A and E calls, it’s not surprising that some of our buildings have cafes inside used by community groups, and that some GPs are ‘prescribing’ coffee morning groups to patients suffering with loneliness, mental health issues, obesity and even heart disease.

With 46% of people suffering with loneliness and approximately 200,000 older people who have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month, feeling alone can often lead to unnecessary GP appointments, A and E attendances and ambulance call outs because it may be that person’s only social interaction of the week. If someone struggling with isolation can be persuaded not to come to the doctor but to join a group for a cup of tea and to make friends, NHS time can focus where it needs to. Most importantly, that person gets the support they really need: the simple act of having a chat to someone else, sharing a problem or confidence, or just having a good laugh.

Let’s not forget that loneliness is indiscriminate: it’s more likely to affect young people and almost 10% of 16-24-year-olds say they are “always or often lonely” – the highest proportion of any age group. A good cuppa brings communities together, at all ages. Perhaps primary care centres can provide the venue. Because as they say: “Where there’s tea, there’s hope.”

Meet the meeting places

Frome Medical Centre


Frome Medical Centre have a talking café where members of the public can chat about anything and everything. The Café also has a Frome and District Day Centre Lunch Club which recently had a visit from the Duchess of Cornwall. The lunch club gives those that are lonely a hot meal and good company.

Freshney Green Medical Centre


Freshney Green’s café is part of a not-for-profit social firm called Jobs4all. Jobs4all believe that everyone should have the opportunity to be employed irrespective of their disability. They invest all their profit into the organisation which is then used to provide opportunities of paid work.

As well as offering this to those that are struggling with employment they also offer a drink and chat service where people with moderate to severe learning disabilities can come and have a chat about what opportunities there are for them in the workplace.

Other buildings which have cafés are:

  • Eaglebridge Healthcare Centre in Crewe
  • Stratford Healthcare Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Moor Park Health Centre in Blackpool