Commissioner launches Antrim 'Chatty Bench'
The Commissioner had the pleasure of launching two of the newest ‘Chatty Benches’ in Antrim. Beautifully hand crafted from recycled timber, by members of AMH New Horizon’s Antrim (Steeple) Men’s Sheds, the benches are designed to offer a comfortable perch for a natter by people using green spaces at Regional Office, Antrim and on the Holywell Hospital site.
Following on from the successful launch of chatty benches in parks and green spaces around Northern Ireland, two new benches crafted from recycled timber, have been given the artisan treatment by members of AMH New Horizon’s Antrim (Steeple) Men’s Sheds.
Designed to offer a comfortable perch for an informal natter for people using green spaces at Regional Office, Antrim and on the Holywell Hospital site, the benches were officially launched on 10 October 2023 by The Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the launch of the bench, The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch, said:
“Loneliness continues to be a big issue for many people and can have such a negative effect on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. The chatty bench is a wonderful initiative, which offers so much more than just a place to sit – it provides an opportunity for social connection, which can have a positive influence on our health, mental health, life expectancy and wellbeing.
It’s great to see another chatty bench being installed in Northern Ireland, and I hope that people will embrace the idea and use the opportunity to spark up a conversation and enjoy a chat with someone they don’t know.”
AMH New Horizon’s Service Manager, John Davis said:
“I am delighted to be involved with the Chatty Bench initiative in the knowledge that increasing the number of Chatty Benches is an opportunity to help people tackle loneliness. The Five Steps to Mental Wellbeing highlights the importance of connecting with others and being physically active. This initiative combines both of these important steps, encouraging people to enjoy our open spaces and support and connect with each other. The plaque also offers added value with the inclusion of a QR code signposting directly to the Lifeline website for further advice. I would encourage everyone to find their local Chatty Bench, take a seat and have a chat!”