'It's testament to Suffolk for how friendly they are' - Meet up Mondays success story
PUBLISHED: 18:09 26 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:09 26 August 2018
It’s those little kindnesses that help get you through your day that happen at Meet up Mondays (MUM).
This initiative, which is spreading goodwill across Suffolk, now has 35 venues and more are signing up all the time.
Ann Osborn from the Rural Coffee Caravan and Sally Connick from Community Action Suffolk issued a rallying call earlier this year for venues to take a stand against loneliness and “show Suffolk is a really caring county”.
Pub, cafe and shop owners have certainly responded, and all have stories of how the Monday sessions have had a positive impact on people’s lives.
They offer a warm welcome, free drinks and food, and most importantly company.
Mrs Osborn said she was “absolutely delighted” with how Meet up Mondays has taken off in Suffolk.
“They are still coming on board. The Mix in Stowmarket is coming on board on September 3. There’s a variety of venues and we still want more.”
The Turks Head in Hasketon joined up at the beginning of June and a “wonderful” group of people has built up over time, co-owner Jemima Withey said.
“I must say it’s been a great success story from the start. We generally have between 20 and 25 people every Monday morning and we have had some fabulous friendships forged. People find out about different volunteering they can do and things they are interested in.”
She added: “ It’s been a great joy and testament to Suffolk for how friendly they are”.
She said one woman told her the Monday meet-ups were her reason for “getting out of bed” and an older lady had come along on her late husband’s birthday as she didn’t want to spend the day on her own.
Mrs Osborn said: “It’s really important the little things are considered important. It’s the little kindnesses that get us through each day, and it’s these little things that happen at Meet up Mondays.”
Mrs Withey does not like to label people as “lonely” and attach any stigma when they have already been so brave to walk through the door on a Monday morning.
Mrs Osborn said a variety of ages do get involved with MUM, but they would really encourage more young people to be part of it.
Visit Meet up Mondays for information.
List of Venues:
Weaver’s Tea room , Peasenhall
Chilli Farm, Mendlesham
The Bear Inn, Beyton
The Greyhound, Ipswich
The George, Hadleigh
Boosh Bar, Bury St Edmunds
Farmers Kitchen, Alburgh
Norman Warrior, Lowestoft
White Horse, Sudbury
Coastguard Cottages Tea Rooms, Dunwich
Clare Antiques and Interiors, Clare
The Smock, Ipswich
The Angel, Woodbridge
The Rec Community Cafe, Stowmarket
The Butchers Arms, Knodishall
Coffeelink, Leiston Co-op, Leiston
The Turks Head, Hasketon
The Rose Inn, Shotley
Tea on the Green, Cavendish
The Butchers Arms, Beccles
Cupcake Cafe, Claydon
Newmarket Leisure Centre, Newmarket
La Tour Cycle Cafe, Ipswich
The Kingfisher, Ipswich
The White Lion, Aldeburgh
The Laydens Community Cafe, Felixstowe
The Sun Inn, Dedham
Cafe 27, Brandon Day Centre, Brandon
The Freston Boot, Freston
The Five Bells, Wrentham
Sam’s Coffee House, Kessingland, Lowestoft
The Griffin Yard, Yoxford
The Ship Inn, Levington
The Mix, Stowmarket - from September 3