It is hard to believe that its six months ago that a group of us decided to start Cuppachat. We wanted to have a group that would support anyone for whom English is their second language. The name says it all – a cuppa and a chat! There are many groups in Preston offering English classes but what we wanted to do was different – to offer community, an inviting, friendly, safe place to come and practise speaking English.

So every Monday morning between 10.30am and 12.30pm we get together with coffee and pastries and chat with whoever arrives. Our guests have come from places as far away as Cameroon, Eritrea and Iran and it has been great to help them ‘feel at home’ by introducing them to our sometimes baffling (even to us!) culture, customs and sayings. We celebrated our first Christmas with carol singing (some in Eritrean!) and lots of food. Easter saw us decorating eggs, there have been games of chess, nails painted and lots of chat and laughter! We celebrated a guest’s 50th birthday complete with cake and candles – and of course our rendition of Happy Birthday!

In one of the discussions Lancaster Castle came up and so we decided to have our first trip out as a group. Getting the bus from Preston the group arrived and started with an amazing lunch at the Cornerstone Café in Lancaster (we would all definitely recommend the food there!). We then walked to Lancaster Castle for what was a really interesting and enjoyable tour of the castle.

The food was excellent and the castle tour very interesting and enjoyable but it was the laughter and friendship that really made the day.

If you know anyone who would benefit from the group or you would like to volunteer we would love to hear from you. You can use the form here to contact us.

From the Cuppachat team