Inspirational scheme to bring people together in Burnley and Pendle launches in Ribble Valley

The Natter Shack scheme in full swing at The Secret Garden cafe in Clitheroe
The Natter Shack scheme in full swing at The Secret Garden cafe in Clitheroe

An inspirational project, aimed at bringing people together over lunch or coffee, has been such a success in Burnley and Pendle it has launched in the Ribble Valley.

Two venues in Clitheroe have signed up for the Natter Shack, which was the brilliant idea of Tracey Smith, who wanted to beat the stigma of loneliness and bring people together.

Natter Shack founder Tracey Smith with her parents, Barrie and Muriel Maden, who are huge supporters of the project.

Natter Shack founder Tracey Smith with her parents, Barrie and Muriel Maden, who are huge supporters of the project.

Several venues are already operating the scheme in Burnley and Pendle and now Mansell's Cafe and The Secret Garden in Clitheroe are hosting Natter Shack sessions.

Tracey decided to launch the scheme in the Ribble Valley after being approached by several people.

Tracey said: "Both venues in Clitheroe are on board with the scheme and really want it to work so I want to get the message out there.

"New faces and people of all ages are very welcome."

The aim of the Natter Shack sessions are to bring people together for one hour a week to meet others and get chatting in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

Tracey hit on the idea for the scheme while out for lunch with her daughter. They got chatting to a lady who was on her own and discovered she went out regularly but would love company and someone to chat with.

After the runaway success of the Natter Shack, Tracey has hosted two Sunday afternoon tea dances that have attracted dancers from across the North West and next month she is throwing an afternoon disco event.

Boogie Wonderland is open to over 55s and will be held at Remedy nightspot in Burnley.

The Ribble Valley Natter Shack sessions will be held at The Secret Garden on Wednesdays from 2pm to 3pm and at Mansell's in Swan Courtyard on Thursdays from 10-30am to 11-30am.