Updated: Jul 19, 2020
We want to amplify the voices of a variety of different charities, community groups and individuals from home and abroad. While highlighting how COVID-19 has impacted them, how kindness plays a role in what they do, how people can get involved to support them and what the ideal future looks like.
Our special guest today is Lauren Lamb, head of social media, discussing her work for the new non-profit chit-chat!
Tell us about yourself and your organisation.
Hi! I am Lauren, Head of social Media at chit-chat!
Founded on the nation’s favourite things; a cup of tea and a chit-chat, we are a new and exciting non-profit born during the peak of a global pandemic. We have a simple mission: connecting the nation through conversation. We are providing an inclusive, casual and non-judgmental space for anyone to communicate about anything, whilst tackling loneliness and social isolation head-on.
Any conversation is welcome: sport, arts, culture or favourite food! We’re not a mental health helpline or counselling service, but a place to bring people together and offer people an outlet to interact with others.
In our first 8 weeks, we connected with over 88,000 people on social media, answered over 250 calls, recruited and trained over 30 phone volunteers, secured national press coverage and formed exciting brand partnerships.
If people want a chit-chat, they can give us a call on 0333 002 0333 from 9am – 9pm, daily.
We’re on all the socials too: @chitchatbritain
I oversee chit-chat’s social media presence and collaborate with brands and influencers to expand our reach. I am a firm believer that a cup of tea and a chit-chat can solve many of our worries – especially in a world dominated by all things digital!
What do you like and what are you passionate about?
I am a lover not a hater, so I like a lot of things…
My passions could probably be encapsulated within a holiday vibe.
You’ll find me on the beach in the sun, with a good book (Russian literature, Bulgakov is one of my favourites), with some sushi and a Pornstar Martini in hand, in the middle of a group of friends.
Life, however, is not one big holiday, so when I am not enjoying the sun I also love; netball, music, a pub garden, people, the power of words, and above all KINDNESS.
How has COVID-19 affected the work that chit-chat does? What activities have chit-chat been undertaking since the start of COVID-19?
We are firm believers that isolation should not mean social isolation. In a world dominated by social media presences, the old art of conversation has been lost. Born out of the pandemic, we wanted to revive this and encourage people of all ages, genders, races, and locations to connect. COVID-19 has worsened loneliness and so our phone line that runs from 9am-9pm and social media hub have been connecting the nation through conversation. We hope as people begin to return back to normality that they do not forget the power of a conversation. We are all sociable beings who need to hear another voice, feel listened to, and share passions with.
Tell us about the role of kindness in your work.
Kindness is the driving force behind our work. Without devoted and selfless individuals like Lewis, Matty, Fran (to name a few) and of course our volunteer chit-chatters, chit-chat would not be able to reach so many people!
Alongside our desire to connect the nation, we want people to develop compassion and empathy for one another. In my opinion, it should not take a global pandemic like COVID-19 to force people to re-evaluate how they connect with one another, and how much they should value kindness. We want people to remember to stay kind; it means everything to receive, and nothing to give!
How can people help/get involved with what chit-chat is doing?
Since our aim is to connect people, we are always looking for enthusiastic individuals who are passionate about working for a non-profit or feels they can talk for England. Involvement can be on any level, whether that is becoming a volunteer chit-chatter, following our page, or sharing our number.
What is the most amazing act of kindness you have seen during the COVID-19 crisis?
To me there has been no single act of kindness that has stood out during the COVID-19 crisis, but rather a multitude. The spirit of unity and togetherness during such unprecedented times has seen the emergence of a range of acts of kindness. Therefore, it is the small acts like the clapping for our NHS carers and key workers, the food donations and shopping for the vulnerable, the steps and runs for our workers (most notably, Captain Tom) that have contributed to become part of one united act of kindness.
What does the ideal future look like for you?
The ideal future to me is one built upon a simple philosophy of happiness. If you can be a ray of sunshine in someone else’s cloudy day, you bring people together. Happiness is not perfection or flawlessness, but rather it is the power to love yourself, surround yourself with those who better you, and do what you love. An ideal future for me is one where we all value the simple freedoms in life like a hug, a catchup with a friend, or time with a loved one.
What positives would you like to see come out of this crisis? Is there anything else you’d like to focus on?
A few words to live by: Kindness costs nothing but means everything, and a good conversation starts with good listening! Whatever is on your mind, a chit-chat always helps!
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Are you an organisation, charity, writer, or simply have something to say? Do you want to be our next guest blogger for our Voices of Change blog series? Then please get in touch.
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