Empathy Cafes are a space where people can explore their feelings about social issues such as climate change and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local facilitator Rachel DeSumma said she wanted to get involved and bring them to regional Victoria after attending Empathy Cafes in Melbourne.
“It can be difficult to connect socially and to have places where we can share our feelings and opinions in a non-judgemental space where we can feel seen and heard,” Ms DeSumma said.
“During the past few years we have seen rapid changes to our daily lives.
“The pandemic has increased social isolation and feelings of loneliness and we are also seeing the impacts of climate change, which for some can lead to feelings of anger, grief, fear and overwhelm.
“I found it so helpful, connective and nourishing to practice the reflective listening skills that we use in Empathy Cafes.
“I began using these skills in my everyday life and in my relationships, and it was so helpful.
“I’m really committed to sharing these simple skills with others so that they can have the benefits in their communication with others too.”
Empathy Cafes will be held monthly for the next six months at Benalla library in partnership with the Benalla Sustainable Futures Group.
The first of the series is on Wednesday, October 19, from 5.15pm to 6.45pm.
Tea, coffee, and light refreshments will be provided.
Further events will be on November 16 and December 7.
Dates for the new year will be confirmed after the December event.
This event is offered on a donation basis. Contributions to room hire, refreshments and preparation costs are welcome.
You can register to attend at events.humanitix.com/empathy-cafe-series"
(Click here to go to direct link, while available)