Avon & Somerset Police have rolled out ‘chat benches’ in Burnham-on-Sea, Taunton and Weston-super-Mare in a bid to tackle loneliness and isolation within the communities in these areas.
Benches in Taunton’s Vivary Park, along Burnham-on-Sea’s seafront and in Weston-super-Mare’s Ashcombe Park, have had plaques attached with a sign that reads ‘The happy to chat bench – sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say hello’.
We think the ‘happy to chat’ benches are a fantastic way of tackling loneliness, not only in the elderly, but in people of all ages. Taking the time to stop and say ‘hello’ to someone on a ‘chat bench’ could make a huge difference to any lonely or vulnerable people and it could really turn their day around. We would love to see this idea rolled out across Wales and all over the UK.