'Happy to Chat' Benches

Published: 16 March 2020

In the UK, more than a million older people say they always or often feel lonely, according to Age UK. A review found 17% of older people talk to family, friends or neighbours less than once a week. For many, it is even more scarce than that.

Some people may go days or even weeks without the simplest of human contact, so the 'Happy to Chat Benches' seek to break down that social barrier and allow us to all say 'hello’. The benches are a simple way to let people know that you’re open to a chat.

Chronic loneliness can impact on memory, mental and physical health and is a major contributing factor behind financial exploitation of the elderly.

But it's not just the elderly who can benefit from a random "hello". New mums can sometimes feel isolated, often going all day without speaking to another adult. So, if you’re waiting for the bus or enjoying the view you can sit and chat to someone new.