Following on from interest and the success of the first chatty bench placed in Dungannon Park last year, a further five chatty benches have been placed in other popular areas throughout the district.
Locations include Ballysaggart Lough Dungannon, Iniscarn Forest Desertmartin, Portglenone Riverside Walk, Ballyronan Marina and Round Lake, Fivemiletown.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Paul McLean welcomed the placement of additional chatty benches in Mid Ulster, saying: “Following the successful introduction of chatty benches in Dungannon Park last year, when isolation and loneliness were at an all-time high due to the pandemic, I’m delighted to see more chatty benches being placed across the district”.
“Chatty benches encourage us to connect with others and to stop and have a conversation. For those who may be experiencing loneliness, this can make a huge difference to their day. If you see someone sitting on a chatty bench, please spare a few minutes to join them and share a conversation together”.
Sandra McKenna, Chair of Mid Ulster Loneliness Network, said, “With the addition of five new chatty benches placed in walking spots across Mid Ulster, we hope to launch a further seven benches very soon. There will also be a number of them painted bright yellow so they can be easily identified. Watch this space for even more chatty initiatives.”
Yvonne Carson, Thematic Lead for Loneliness in the Northern Trust added, “Chatty Benches are designed to help tackle loneliness and help support positive mental health within the community. We hope these ‘Chatty Benches’ will be seen as a place for people to come together to chat and connect.”