A group of garden's centres in Surrey and South West London have joined a scheme designed to combat loneliness.

The Chatty Cafe Scheme launched in 2017 by founder Alex Hoskyn, whose epiphany was to realize the potential of cafes to bring otherwise isolated people together.

The Squire's Garden Centre group who operate stores in the area including sites at Hersham, Shepperton, Cobham and Long Ditton, announced this week (August 20) they would be joining the scheme in the hope that their locations will provide the ideal platform for the scheme.

This hope is shared by Ms Hoskyn's herself, who welcomed the latest edition to her award-winning scheme.

"The Chatty Café is thrilled to welcome Squire’s to our scheme. Their lovely café bars are a perfect setting for Chatter and Natter tables.

"Anyone can join in and chat over a coffee – if you’re on your own, in a couple, with a friend, young people, old people and anyone in between," she said.

"It’s just about having good old fashioned human interaction and the relaxed environment of Squire’s Café Bars will hopefully allow for lots of happy chatting!" The Chatty Cafes founder added.

Squire's Garden Centres Chair Sarah Squire cited the weight that the scheme placed on direct communication between people as a key reason why the group wanted to join up.

"In this age of social media it’s so important to make an effort to talk to others face to face.

"So for those who would like a bit of real social interaction simply sit at a ‘Chatter and Natter’ table at Squire’s and you can talk to other customers.

"I believe a short conversation with another human can really brighten your day.

"Everyone’s welcome, and it’s a great way to meet people in your local community," she said.

A spokesperson for Squire's said that the Chatter and Natter tables would be put on every Tuesday morning at all sixteen of Squire’s Café Bars, plus other days throughout the week too — attendees just need to look out for the Chatter and Natter signs on the cafe tables.