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Ruby Wax to host mental health chats in M&S cafes

Marks and Spencer is to host mental well-being chat sessions in 11 stores as part of a project fronted by comedian and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax.
Frazzled cafe

Marks and Spencer is to host fortnightly mental health chat sessions in 11 stores as part of a project fronted by comedian and campaigner Ruby Wax.

The Frazzled Cafe meetings will allow people to meet to talk and share personal stories in a safe, anonymous and non-judgmental environment, the retailer announced.

The stores will include three in London, Brighton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Cambridge, Nottingham, Leeds, Newcastle upon Tyne, Canterbury and Norwich, with more locations to be added throughout the year.

Plan A

The sessions will take place in M&S cafes after hours and will be led by trained volunteers.

Frazzled Cafe was

Marks and Spencer is to host fortnightly mental health chat sessions in 11 stores as part of a project fronted by comedian and campaigner Ruby Wax.


From left to right: M&S retail director Sacha Berendji, Ruby Wax, London Book Fair director Jacks Thomas and Penguin Random House UK CEO Tom Weldon at the launch of The Frazzled Cafe at the London Book Fair. Picture: Alexandra Wyman/SilverHub/PA Wire

The Frazzled Cafe meetings will allow people to meet to talk and share personal stories ‘in a safe, anonymous and non-judgmental environment’, the retailer announced.

The stores will include three in London, Brighton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Cambridge, Nottingham, Leeds, Newcastle upon Tyne, Canterbury and Norwich, with more locations to be added throughout the year.

Plan A

The sessions will take place in M&S cafes after hours and will be led by trained volunteers.

Frazzled Cafe was successfully trialled in M&S offices and stores last year as part of the company’s Plan A ethical and environmental initiative.

Ms Wax, who announced the launch at the London Book Fair on Tuesday, said: ‘We live in a time where to have a life crammed to the hilt is considered a success story.

De-frazzle

‘But with all this pressure, so many of us have nowhere to go to meet and talk about it.

‘Frazzled Cafe is about people coming together to share their stories, calmly sitting together, stating their case and feeling validated as a result. Feeling heard, to me, has always been half the cure.

‘It’s special to get a company like M&S on board. I’m grateful for the support they have given us to set up – and access to their cafe network is a huge boost.’

Tackling taboos

M&S retail director Sacha Berendji said: ‘Ruby’s Frazzled Cafe is a simple, pressure-free way of tackling what can be a taboo subject – feeling stressed.

‘We hope that by providing calm venues after the cafe has closed, we can help any members of the community who simply need to talk about things and what’s happening in their lives.’


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