Loneliness is harmful to both mental and physical health. Recent research has indicated that it significantly impacts on mortality. Loneliness is comparable to the impact of smoking 15 cigarettes per day, consuming alcohol and being obese.

It also puts you at higher risk of hypertension, depression, cognitive decline, dementia, the onset of disability and is associated with a 64% increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Meet Up Mondays: The Ridge Rooms Café

Over 9 million people in the UK – almost a fifth of the population – say they are always or often lonely, but almost two thirds feel uncomfortable admitting to it. In a bid to tackle this problem in Boston, The Ridge Rooms Café in town has launched a ‘Meet Up Mondays’ initiative.

Following on from being the first café in Boston to join the Chatty Café Scheme, Leanne and her small team at The Ridge Rooms Café, located at Main Ridge West, wanted to do even more to help reduce loneliness and get more people coming together, so they have joined the Meet Up Mondays network.

Meet Up Mondays was first started at The Alexandra pub, Wimbledon by landlord Mick Dore who recognised that many people in his community where socially isolated and lonely, particularly on the weekend. By inviting people to join him at his pub on a Monday morning for a free cup of tea and a biscuit, it gave people something to look forward to and a positive start to the week.

The scheme was developed by Ann Osborn director of the Rural Coffee Caravan in Suffolk and is now in venues across the county. Hearing of the scheme, Leanne and her team decided to bring it to Boston and be the first place in Lincolnshire to join the Meet Up Mondays network.

Friendly Company

Meet Up Mondays takes place every Monday between 10am and midday at The Ridge Rooms Cafe at 1 Main Ridge West, Boston. During these sessions you can enjoy a free cup of tea or coffee, along with some friendly company.

Leanne says: “Weekends, particularly Sundays, can be particularly lonely for some people, especially if they have lost a loved one or do not have any family living nearby. By offering a friendly place to come on a Monday morning, where they are guaranteed a warm welcome, we can give them something positive to look forward to. A place where they can hopefully meet new friends.”

To find out more about The Ridge Rooms Café and Meet Up Mondays, either pop into their café on 1 Main Ridge West (next door to the Masonic Hall) or visit their Facebook page.

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