Mendip District Council are installing seven ‘Talking Benches’ to encourage people to sit, share and connect with each other.
Benches are already in place at Shepton Mallet, Glastonbury, Nunney, Street and Walton. Two more are destined for Frome and Wells.
The benches are paid for through the Chair’s Fund and demonstrate the council’s desire to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of residents. They are a legacy gift to the community as the District Council comes to an end, to be replaced by a new Somerset Council on 1 April.
Cllr Helen Sprawson-White, Chair of Mendip District Council, said: “Mental and emotional wellbeing has always been a personal priority of mine and over the last few years we have seen a huge increase in the impact of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Getting outside is proven to improve holistic wellbeing and I truly hope that this legacy project will fulfil everything I hoped it would when I first discussed it with officers. It’s good to talk and important to share. We must be kind and look out for each other and try to make a difference. I truly hope that these benches provide much comfort, both physical and emotional, over the years ahead.”
Last year, Shepton Mallet Town Council installed ‘Happy to Chat’ benches where people may sit and welcome conversation with others. These are identified by a plaque including a QR code which also takes you to a page on the Council’s website for other sources of information that might be of interest https://sheptonmallet-tc.gov.uk/health-wellbeing-contacts/.
The benches can be found in Collett Park and the Market Place. Map Here
You can read the full story here: www.sheptonmallet-tc.gov.uk/2022/12/21/shepton-mallet-town-council-happy-to-chat