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Council to introduce its own ‘Happy to chat benches’

Happy Chat Bench

Pembrokeshire Communities are being invited to apply for a ‘Happy to Chat’ bench to help tackle loneliness and isolation.

‘Happy to Chat’ benches feature a simple sign which reads ‘Sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say hello.’

The benches are being made available thanks to an Age Friendly Communities grant.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Older Person’s Champion, Cllr Simon Hancock, said: “Some people may go days or even weeks without the simplest of human contact and are living in increased isolation so the ‘Happy to Chat Bench’ seeks to break down that social barrier and encourage conversation.

“As restrictions ease and spring and summer approach, many people will be looking to interact once more with their community.

“By sitting on the bench, people will know that you’re open to a friendly talk.

“Whoever you are, whatever your age, you might make a new friend, or simply brighten someone’s day.”

Applications are welcome from community groups/organisations, charities and Community & Town councils.

Applicants are asked to have a suitable place in mind for the bench.

It should be in a position where people will find the bench helpful and demonstrate a local need, a place where people could stop and chat to others, or a place without existing seating where people could stop and rest.

Email: [email protected] with the heading ‘Chat Benches’ to request an application form.

Applications need to be completed by the closing date of Wednesday 23rd February 2022

Applicants will be informed if they have been successful at the beginning of March.