MA SOCIAL WORK, 2015
Alexandra has been awarded in recognition of her social innovation in developing the ‘Chatty Café’ scheme – encouraging cafés to dedicate a table where customers can sit if they are happy to chat to other people. The scheme aims to tackle loneliness by bringing people of all ages together for a chat over a cuppa.
Since launching in 2017 nearly 1,000 cafés have signed up across the UK, including branches of Sainsburys and Costa Coffee, and even reaching as far as Gibraltar, Australia and Florida. Impressively, the scheme recently won the national Innovating for Ageing award - beating 75 entrants and four finalists to the £7,500 prize.
In support of Alex’s scheme, the University’s catering provider, Salfood has also joined the other Chatty Cafés with their first ‘Chatter and Natter’ table opening in the Allerton café this Autumn.
The achievement she is most proud of:
“At 30 I returned from living in Australia to study a masters in social work– I had dreamed of doing this for years, but it had never seemed the right time. But while studying I found out I was pregnant, putting my social work career on hold – and I had to watch all my friends go and get jobs. Now I am absolutely over the moon to say I have just been offered a permanent social work position. So, my greatest achievement is that considering the chaos of my twenties - worrying I would never have a career – I now have a job I love and am very proud to do.”