Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

Benyon boost for Newbury Companions Hour

“Coffee Companions has introduced an easy way to open the communication channels"

Chris Ord


01635 886639

Benyon boost for Newbury Companions Hour

REGULARS at the Empire Cafe in Newbury were joined by some new faces at a recent Thursday morning Companions Hour, including Newbury’s Conservative parliamentary candidate Richard Benyon.

The 60-minute session, organised by community group Coffee Companions, encourages customers to chat to each other in an effort to provide social interaction for some older or isolated residents.

Customers are issued with a ‘Chat Mat’, and if they want to get chatting they show the green side, but the red side shows they don’t want to be disturbed.

Following the session, Mr Benyon said: “Too few of us say hello to our neighbours, let alone have a proper conversation.

“Coffee Companions has introduced an easy way to open the communication channels.

“Change doesn’t have to be expensive but failure to change may be for individuals and wider society.”

The Companions Hours are held at the following coffee shops in Newbury:

Mondays – Sainsbury’s, Hector Way, 10.30am-11.30am; Café Nero, Northbrook Street, 2pm-3pm; Coffee#1, Parkway, 3pm-4pm; Café Nero, Kennet Shopping centre, 4pm-5pm.

Tuesdays – Weaver’s Coffee Shop, Weaver’s Walk, 10am-11am; Corn Exchange, Market Place, 2.30pm-3.30pm.

Wednesdays – King’s Café, The Broadway, 3pm-4pm.  

Thursdays – Empire Café, Cheap Street, 10.30am-11.30am; McDonald’s, Northbrook Street, 6pm-7pm.

Fridays – Waterstones, Parkway, 2pm-3pm.

Sundays – Waterstones, Parkway, 10.30am-11.30am; Café Rouge, Parkway, 3pm-4pm.

For more information, or to download your own Chat Mat, visit

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000

Article comments

  • EugeneStryker

    15/05/2017 - 09:09

    Benyon would have to get in a 4x4 and drive across acres of woodland and deer park to say hello to his nearest neighbours - self imposed isolation in green belt is a bit different though I imagine. It wasn't long ago that NWN ran with the headline 'Council's brutal cuts "will isolate the elderly and disabled"' It went onto to state: 'The council is also looking to halve funding for Shopmobility and cut funding for buses by 20 per cent – which could result in four services being terminated and many more severely affected'. These are the cuts that Benyon voted for and yet here he is having a cup of tea and a biscuit like nothing has happened.


  • NWNThatcham

    14/05/2017 - 10:10

    I assume that NWN will provide equivalent headlines for other parties standing for election. This is blatant Conservative promotion.


    • NewburyLad

      15/05/2017 - 00:12

      Presumably you saw the article singing the praises of the Lib Undems the other day? Or the article about the Labour candidate last week? Or were your blinkers on?