What is Frazzled Café

Frazzled Cafe is a mental wellbeing charity that prides itself on providing a safe space for those who feel overwhelmed, lonely, stressed or anxious either with everyday life or with particular events and circumstances that can arise through everyday living. Our attendees at Frazzled Cafe meetings are looking to support their mental wellbeing whilst still being able to go about their daily lives due to the flexibility our cafes offer.

Who could benefit

We are available for those who would benefit from joining a community of people that share similar feelings or, as Ruby says, the ‘weather conditions’ associated with the struggles of everyday life in a safe environment, without judgement, advice or fear and within our community guidelines and within a trusting environment

Who may not benefit

Unfortunately, we are not a mental health organisation, and therefore unable to provide support to those who are experiencing more severe and enduring levels of distress, or mental ill-health which might impact on their abilities to manage everyday life. For those who are in acute mental health care or receiving higher level interventions may find our meetings detrimental to their wellbeing and also risk impacting others within the groups. We would request that if you feel you may come under this second category, you utilise our Need Help Now’ tab on the website, and seek the best and most effective support for you.

Frazzled Cafe is also not suitable for anyone under 18 years old.

Yes, all of our meetings are free. Frazzled Cafe is a registered charity, and we rely on donations to help us provide this service for free to those who need it.

Meetings are free, and they must be booked through our website to make sure there are the right number of attendees so that everyone to get a chance to speak.

You can register for a meeting via this link or via the ‘book a Frazzled Cafe meeting’ button on our homepage.

Bookings are managed through our website, and participants are sent a link to join an online meeting via Zoom. We operate on a first come, first served basis.

Currently there are three options: a larger group meeting of around 100 people hosted by Ruby Wax, and smaller group meetings hosted by either our trained facilitators and hosts. These meetings are capped at around 19 attendees so that everyone has the chance to speak if they want to.

For more information, go to our ‘Meetings’ page here.

Zoom is an online video conference call platform. Using this technology means all meeting participants can see each other, just like in a real in person meeting. You do not have to download any software or apps to join meetings, you simply click on the link emailed to you by Frazzled Cafe to join.

We ask that everyone has their camera on in the meetings so that we can all see each other face to face.

Frazzled Cafe is not an actual cafe – our meetings provide a safe and confidential environment where those feeling ‘frazzled’ can come together to talk about how they are coping with the stresses of modern-day life.

Historically, we held our meetings in the cafe area of select M&S stores, after the cafe has closed, so that we had a private space where we could talk openly. However, in light of covid-19  restrictions and in keeping with safety measures, our meetings are now held virtually via Zoom.

We hope that everyone attending a Frazzled Cafe meeting will find it a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, but Frazzled Cafe meetings do differ from traditional social groups or coffee meetings.

The meetings are a place for people who are feeling frazzled to share how they are feeling in a safe and understanding environment. We ask that people do not book into more than one meeting a day so they have time to decompress after the meeting.

We know that times are tough right now, but we ask that our meetings are used as intended for people to talk about the things that are overwhelming them in their lives, not used as a social meeting space.

There is a minimum age requirement of 18 years to be able to attend a Frazzled Cafe meeting.

Frazzled Cafe meetings begin with our guidelines being read out to the group, and start and end with a mindfulness exercise. After the opening mindfulness exercise, the Facilitator or Host will ask people to speak, and participants have a chance to talk about how they are feeling. You do not have to speak if you do not want to.

Our meetings are not about therapy or offering solutions, but provide a safe and confidential space where people can speak openly, without worrying about judgement, amongst a group of peers who understand how it feels to be frazzled.

For more information, go to our ‘Meetings’ page here.

We are running meetings in three formats. There are larger group meeting hosted by Ruby Wax with around 100 attendees (on a first come basis).

There are also smaller group meetings for around 12 attendees, so that everyone has the opportunity to speak if they’d like to. These will be hosted by our trained Facilitators and Hosts. For more information, go to our ‘Meetings’ page here.

We recognise that many people find mindfulness to be a useful tool in helping to de-frazzle. In fact, our founder and patron, Ruby Wax, has written a  book about it.

We open and close our meetings with a brief mindfulness exercise to help everyone to be ‘present’ in the room, but it is not the main focus of Frazzled Cafe meetings.

As Ruby explains in her book Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled, to be ‘frazzled’ is when someone is feeling constant stress.

Stress can be helpful to a degree, it’s what gets us out of bed in the morning, but it stops being helpful when someone is stressed about being stressed and is then caught in a constant loop, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed.

Our meetings are designed for people who are feeling overwhelmed, or ‘frazzled’ to come and speak in a supportive space about what’s going on for them.

If you are in crisis right now, there are other free services which may be more helpful than Frazzled Cafe. You can find further details of these on our Need Help Now page.

If you are interested in volunteering with Frazzled Cafe, please feel free to reach out to us via the contact page.

We are grateful for all levels of voluntary support and will over time be placing details on our website of other specific roles we are recruiting for. If there is something that you think you can help with, please get in touch.