Police install 'lovers' benches' to help people suffering from loneliness

Police install 'lovers' benches' to help people suffering from loneliness

In a bid to combat loneliness, police in an English seaside community have installed “chat benches” for residents to initiate a conversation with strangers and make friends.

Police in an English seaside town have installed “chat benches” as part of efforts to combat loneliness in the community.

Anyone who is feeling isolated or disconnected is encouraged to sit on the benches and strike up a conversation with a friendly stranger.

“The Chat Bench is a very simple concept where a sign is placed on a bench, typically in a park or a town centre, in a location used by a good cross-section of the community,” said Burnham-On-Sea Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), Tracey Grobbeler.

So far, two chat benches have been unveiled, one on the waterfront in the town of Burnham and another next to a cafe in nearby Taunton.

Each bench bears a welcoming sign for potential visitors: “The ‘Happy to Chat’ Bench: Sit Here If You Don’t Mind Someone Stopping To Say Hello.”

Police install 'lovers' benches' to help people suffering from loneliness

Photo credit: twitter.com
Source: Facebook

READ ALSO: Ghanaian billion-dollar oil entrepreneurship to receive award at the FACE List Awards gala

“The sign simply helps to break down the invisible, social barriers that exists between strangers who find themselves sharing a common place,” Grobbeler said.

“Simply stopping to say ‘hello’ to someone at the Chat Bench could make a huge difference to the vulnerable people in our communities and help to make life a little better for them.”

A Burnham-on-Sea Coastguard spokesperson said they are in full support of the mission, having witnessed first-hand the toll that loneliness, abuse and mental illness can take on a person’s wellbeing.

“In our role as Coastguards, we deal with many people who are battling mental health issues, they can feel isolated and unable to share what is going on, often this can be alleviated just by a simple chat,” the spokesperson said.

“A simple ‘Hello’ or ‘Are you OK?’ can make such a difference to a person.”

The spokesperson pointed out that having someone to talk to is a “luxury” for some people.

READ ALSO: 7-year-old fastest boy in the world can already run 100m in 13.48 seconds

Many are suffering in silence without anyone to even ask how their day was.

The kindness of strangers can make a world of difference.

“We do all have the ability to help, just by passing the time and lending an ear, no matter who you are, race, gender, sexual orientation, we are all the same and we all have our problems,” the spokesperson said.

“So next time you are sat on a bench, could be any bench in the world, just throw out a friendly hello, who knows you may just change someone's life.”

The Burnham-On-Sea Police Department introduced the chat benches to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which encourages community members to appreciate and engage with the senior population, and to raise awareness of the physical, emotional and financial abuse many older people endure.

“Any form of abuse is completely unacceptable and it fills me with sadness to think that this cruelty happens to members of our elderly community,” Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, said.

“The Chat Bench is fantastic new initiative that I hope encourages those of all ages to start many more conversations in the future. If you think an elderly friend, neighbor or relative is vulnerable or at risk of loneliness.”

Meanwhile, a young black boy is already on track to become the fastest man on the planet and has been compared to Usain Bolt for his speed on the track.

READ ALSO: Homeless man humiliated on Facebook by woman for sleeping in fast food cafe gets huge help

Star Gist: I started acting because I was told I look like Suzy Williams - Kisa Gbekle| #Yencomgh

Subscribe to watch new videos

READ ALSO: Reigning Miss World pays historic visit to Ghana ahead of 2019 Miss Ghana finale

Have national and human interest issues to discuss?

Know someone who is extremely talented and needs recognition?

Your stories and photos are always welcome.Get interactive via our Facebook page.

Source: Yen Newspaper

Mailfire view pixel