Customers of Croydon’s Clocktower Café will soon find new ways to relax and feel the stress of modern life drift away.
Mini massages, modelling clay and colouring books are amongst the activities that will be on offer when the council lets the popular eatery be transformed into South London’s first ‘happy café’ next month to coincide with National Stress Awareness Day on 2 November 2016.
Happy cafes are set up by people with a shared interest in promoting happiness and wellbeing in existing, friendly and welcoming cafes. Members of the public are welcome to approach the café manager to run happiness related meetings and events.
They are places to meet likeminded people and they promote activities that help customers to relax and manage stress in their lives. This includes fun games, colouring in, mindfulness, music, and meditation. They also offer a way for people to find out about and contact organisations that promote health and wellbeing.
“Happy cafes are fun but they also send a very important message about happiness and its link to our health and wellbeing. Happy people who are supported by strong social networks are less likely to suffer from a whole range of health problems in life. The happiness cafes help people to make connections while also promoting activities that encourage a happier, healthier and more relaxed state of mind.”
Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care
The group behind the concept is called Action for Happiness and its members are dedicated to increasing wellbeing in their homes, workplaces, schools, and local communities.
Mark Williamson from Action for Happiness said: “Our overarching aim is for fewer people to suffer with mental health problems and for more people to feel good, function well and help others.”
Volunteers wear badges which let others know they are part of the happiness movement and open to conversation.
To mark Stress Awareness Day, the council is also turning its office canteen into a Happy café and will be providing staff with information on health, wellbeing, and diversity.