Ruby Wax's Frazzled Cafe to launch in M&S stores
Marks & Spencer has joined forces with author, comedian and mental health awareness campaigner Ruby Wax to launch Frazzled Cafe in M&S stores.
The retailer said the move will involve M&S Cafés hosting fortnightly ‘talk-in’ sessions where people who are feeling stressed can meet to talk and share their personal stories in a safe, anonymous and non-judgmental environment.
Some 11 M&S stores will be hosting Frazzled Cafe meetings over the next few months. These will include three stores in London and shops in Brighton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Cambridge, Nottingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Canterbury and Norwich. More locations will be added throughout the year.
Taking place in M&S Cafés after hours and led by trained volunteer facilitators, the initiative was trialled in M&S offices and stores last year with the support of Marks & Spencer as part of its Plan A eco and ethical initiative. Marks & Spencer said the meetings are not therapy but a place where people can talk openly with others who understand how they are feeling.
Frazzled Cafe is a not for profit organisation and will soon be a registered charity created by Wax and run by Elizabeth Morrison and Anna D’Onofrio. Its name is inspired by Wax's bestselling book A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled.
Announcing the launch at the London Book Fair, Wax said: “We live in a time where to have a life crammed to the hilt is considered a success story. 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 set-up support they’ve given us and access to their café network is a huge boost.”
Sacha Berendji, retail director at Marks & Spencer, 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 free and calm venues after the café 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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