On Thursday November 18 and December 9, there will be a pilot Climate Café in Bridport, at Soulshine Café, South Street, 2-4pm. In the past couple of years, there has been rapid growth in climate cafés across the UK, and a small team is now doing training to host them in Bridport.
A climate café is an informal, supportive space where you can talk about your feelings about climate change. It’s a confidential space for respectful listening, whatever your views. It’s not a therapy group, and it’s not a place for discussing or planning action, vital as that is. No regular commitment is needed: everyone is asked to arrive promptly, so we can make group agreements like confidentiality, but you can leave anytime. The café is free of charge, except for you buying whatever refreshments you’d like.
The climate crisis brings many problems, but also positive opportunities. It can stir up painful emotions, such as fear, anger and others: one reason climate cafés are popular is that many people find it very supportive and empowering to be able to express their feelings and be heard by others. The upsides of the crisis can include recovering our connection with Nature and our sense of community: realising we are in this together, and can support each other in many ways.
The Climate Psychology Alliance is a network of therapists and counsellors exploring ways to address the impact of the climate emergency. They run the training which the Bridport team are doing: Rebecca Nestor co-leads the training, and her blog about climate cafés gives more useful information about how they work.
Alan Heeks is one of the Bridport hosting team. He is also part of the Seeding our Future team who set up Bridport Food Matters. Alan comments, “I’ve been supporting groups on climate concerns for four years, and having your feelings heard by others is really helpful, and enables people to take action. If these two pilots go well, we aim to run monthly climate cafés next year.”
For any queries, call Alan Heeks on 07976 602787.