About

The CHAT Room is ideal for small meetings, relaxed discussions and action planning. It has been set up to support organisations and individuals who are helping to build a more inclusive, equitable, collaborative and sustainable community in Weston.

What happens in The CHAT Room?

The CHAT Room is a multi-purpose space.

  • Sometimes it is open for anyone to drop in and you are welcome to come in to have a chat or just sit quietly.
  • Sometimes there will be exhibitions. We’re opening this month with PROUD TO BE, a Black History Month exhibition that celebrates the contributions of black people to the UK and around the world.
  • Sometimes there will be advice sessions run by organisations who provide specific services.
  • Sometimes there will be open activities, like our knitting circle which is running on Tuesday’s at 1pm.
  • Sometimes there will be closed sessions when the room is in [private] use by a particular group.
  • Sometimes it will be waiting for your ideas and action, and nothing will be happening.

The door will always be open when people are in the room, but this doesn’t mean that the room is always open to people passing by.

When a closed session is in progress there will be a sign in the doorway with the times that the session is running. Please do respect this and come back when the session is finished.

How does The CHAT Room run?

The CHAT Room is run by members of the Community Hub Action Team, supported by North Somerset BME Network (a local charity).

There are no paid staff. It is run entirely by people who are taking voluntary action to make things happen in The CHAT Room and around Weston.

The space will be free for small voluntary and action groups to use. Larger organisations with a budget may be asked for a donation!

There will always be at least one person in the room who is responsible for all of the practicalities, like ensuring everyone is safe and keeping the space clean and tidy.

It might not immediately be obvious who this person is as we all share responsibility when we are in The CHAT Room, and there will be different people who take this role. Also, the people who are responsible for the practicalities during a session might be different from the people who are running the session. If you need to know, please do ask.

We’ll do our best to post opening times in advance, but we may not always manage this. Sometimes this is because there aren’t enough people with enough time to do all the admin work, sometimes it’s because something important needs to happen quickly.

What are The CHAT Room rules?

The CHAT Room doesn’t have a fixed set of rules, and each individual group using the space has autonomy to set the rules for their own session.

However, there is a core code of conduct that sets out ways that the team hope will help to main The CHAT Room as a positive space for everyone.

It’s based on a number of important principles.

The CHAT Room is a space where diversity is acknowledged and celebrated. You might meet people with different views to your own and different beliefs. If you do, please treat them as you would wish to be treated.

  • Listen with respect and try to understand that people have different experiences and different perspectives on life from your own.
  • Give priority to the views of people who have lived experience about the topic of conversation.
  • Share ideas and thoughts with generosity, to promote understanding and to help things move forward positively.
  • Try to avoid scoring points, criticising people, or making comments that put people down.
  • Some conversations may become difficult and uncomfortable. It is important to check that everyone in the conversation is OK with it continuing.
  • If someone says that they cannot manage to continue a conversation at any time, please respect this.
  • Never insult, abuse, or threaten anyone.
  • If you feel you have been insulted, abused, or threatened or if you are feeling distressed by any of the topics of conversation, please try to explain to the group or ask to speak to the people who are responsible for the session in private.
  • If someone is distressed, please try to support them.
  • Please remember that The CHAT Room is entirely managed by volunteers who all have different skills.
  • The people present will always do their best to listen to a problem, but may not always have the appropriate skills, experience or resources to resolve the problem and the person in the team with the most experience may not be in the room. If you feel you need to continue talking about an issue, please do ask the person responsible for your session to pass your concerns to the team. We can then arrange a separate time to discuss the issues with you.

We are all responsible for the space and for one another. The CHAT Room is an evolving project. The rules we start off with may need to be amended as the use of the space develops. The code of conduct will be reviewed regularly and all users will be invited to particate.

Is The CHAT Room an accessible space?

Unfortunately, the space is not yet fully accessible, and the entrance and toilet are not suitable for wheelchairs. We are currently applying for funding to address this.

What facilities does The CHAT Room have?

The CHAT Room is a small space that will work well for groups of up to 15 people.

There is a meeting table, some comfortable chairs.

There is WiFi and a large TV that can be used to display content from your laptop.

There is a (very) small kitchen with a sink, and tea and coffee facilities in the main room.

There is a small toilet.

Plans to improve the kitchen and toilet facilities are in progress but it is unlikely anything will be possible before 2022.

How can I book time in The CHAT Room?

The CHAT Room is just getting started and there isn’t currently a formal booking system. If you are interested in using The CHAT Room for public or private sessions, please do get in touch.