Conversation Café

Every Tuesday & Thursday at 10am – 11.30am at The Salon in Dalkeith.

Welcome to the Drop-In Conversation Café

Are you looking to improve your English language skills while connecting with a diverse and welcoming community? Look no further than The Conversation Café!

What is The Conversation Café?

The Conversation Café is a volunteer-led project dedicated to helping learners enhance their English-speaking abilities in a relaxed and informal setting. Our goal is to create a space where individuals can learn, connect, and grow.

What to Expect:

  • No assessments. no homework, no pressure!
  • Join at any level of fluency.
  • Enjoy complimentary teas, coffees, cakes and biscuits.
  • Drop in at your convenience – late arrivals and early leavers are welcome.
  • Support by our dedicated Volunteer Facilitators.

A Typical Session:

When you join us at the Conversation Café, we’ll welcome you in with refreshments and allow you to introduce yourself. We’ll let you know general housekeeping details and discuss our Conversation Agreements, so everyone feels respected and welcome.

We even have day trips out to cultural places around Scotland! Check out our recent adventure to the Kelpies.

Our learners are already planning their next day out for next year! Let’s see where our conversations take us…

Free Crafting Class

Our volunteers, Tibi and Moonny, have come together to start a crafting class on the last Thursday of every Month, from 10am – 12pm.

Boxes of arts and crafts were donated by Gina Clark, 2 Scots, Army Community Development Officer.

Our Conversation Agreements:

  1. Open-mindedness: Listen to and respect all points of view.
  2. Acceptance: Suspend judgment as best you can.
  3. Curiosity: Seek to understand, rather than persuade.
  4. Discovery: Question old assumptions and look for new insights.
  5. Sincerity: Speak from the heart and with meaning.
  6. Brevity: Aim for honesty and depth without dwelling.

Become a Conversation Café Volunteer:

Are you passionate about fostering a sense of community and helping others improve their English skills?

Every guest is supported by the Volunteer Facilitators and listened to.

What we expect from volunteers:

  • Strong verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work well in a learning environment.
  • Non-judgemental and sensitive approach.
  • Positive attitude with a growth mindset.

Impact and Mission:

The Conversation Café is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and aims to address the need for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes for Ukranian and other non-native English speakers in Midlothian. By providing a welcoming a physical space for learners to practice their English, we promote integration and confidence-building.

The Human Library:

What is a Human Library or Living Library? A Human Library is where instead of books, people can loan another human. The ‘books’ are people who are willing to share anecdotes and experiences of their own cultures, prejudices or stigmas. They are borrowed by ‘readers’, who are free to ask questions in order to better understand cultural differences and to challenge their own thinking. At the Conversation Café, we invite English speakers and non-volunteers to share their stories with our learners, fostering cultural exchange and understanding.

If you would like to join our Human Library, get in touch at

Join us at The Conversation Café and be part of a project that makes a real difference in the lives of learners and volunteers alike.