CCS (the Community Council for Somerset) is delighted to announce Talking Cafés are starting up again! Not in the physical sense, as sadly venues are still closed, but you can access the same invaluable help and support from the comfort of your own home through a new Facebook Live stream beginning 14th May.
Before the Coronavirus lockdown, CCS Agents were running over 20 Talking Cafés across Somerset, where, since 2018, thousands of people have accessed vital information and advice that helped ease problems in their day to day lives – from helping with benefits, housing issues, being an unpaid Carer, supplying food boxes, helping people find the right support with health concerns and much, much more. They were also fantastic social hubs for people, creating new friendships and hobby circles.
Using Facebook Live, Talking Cafés will now be interactive streaming events where people can ask CCS Agents and other agencies questions in the comments, with Agents answering live and calling in advice from other colleague online at the same time. Like the physical Talking Cafés CCS Agents are hoping to help many people on the spot rather than people having to wait for appointments or a phone call.
CEO Keeley Rudd said: “CCS Agents have handled an incredible 42,000+ requests for support since lockdown began and now we have adapted to dealing with ‘the new normal’, the time felt right to reopen the Talking Cafés – albeit in a virtual sense!”
Kirsty Hirons, Team Lead for West Somerset CCS Agents explains how it will work:
“Each day of the week a different district team will host a Facebook Live streaming event – people can ask questions in the comments under the live video that we will tackle there and then, or people can private message us so we can answer the query anonymously”
Lauren Giddins, Team Lead for Sedgemoor Agents is hosting the first live event on the 14th May and is excited by the opportunity it will bring to help people:
“We have really missed being out in the community and seeing our clients at our regular Talking Cafés , the live sessions present an opportunity to help many people at the same time who may have similar concerns – and because the live stream can be re-watched and saved, people can share the advice with others too very easily. After the first session on the 14th, the Talking Café will be a live daily event with the rest of the team from Monday 18th May at 11am.”
Go to www.facebook.com/talkingcafesomerset to set a reminder to listen in and take part!