Brentwood Chatty Bench initiative aims to reduce loneliness and isolation

Mick Ferris

For those who are feeling socially isolated, or needing to talk, Brentwood Council has launched the Chatty Bench initiative in a bid to combat loneliness and isolation.

Chatty Bench signs have been installed in various locations across the borough to help bring local people together, thanks to a partnership between Brentwood Community Tree, Axis, and Brentwood Borough Council.

The initiative behind the campaign is to encourage residents to stop and chat together, reduce social isolation, combat loneliness and raise awareness of mental health services in the borough.

Brentwood Council’s chair of the Community, Environment and Enforcement Committee, Councillor Will Russell, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has played a significant role in triggering increased levels of loneliness and isolation. While we worked together to stay safe and save lives, many have found themselves spending less time with friends and family.

“By breaking down social barriers and encouraging people to connect and chat, the Chatty Benches initiative is a small but very effective way of tackling loneliness and isolation.

“The benches are designed to encourage people to talk to one another, helping reduce their sense of loneliness and isolation. So, if you see someone sitting on one of these benches, please do say ‘Hi’, you may be the first person they have spoken to in a while.”

Chatty Bench locations:

  • Baytree Centre
  • Bishops Hall Park
  • Brentwood Rail Station
  • Brentwood Town Hall
  • Brentwood High Street, Chapel Ruins
  • Hutton Community Centre
  • Ingatestone – Community Garden
  • Ingatestone – Fairfield
  • Ingatestone – Seymour Field
  • Ingrave – Village Playing Fields
  • London Road Cemetery
  • Mountnessing Postmill
  • River Road Play Space
  • South Weald (Opposite St. Peters Church)
  • The Hermit – Essex Youth Service
  • Tipps Cross Remembrance Hall
  • Warley Hill (Outside shops)
  • West Horndon Village Hall
  • Westbury Road Car Park

For more information about where you can get local support with mental health, please visit www.essexcommunitytree.net and www.mind.org.uk/

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk