Say 'Hello' at a Friendley Bench this week

During Loneliness Awareness Week local benches across Dudley borough will be ‘adopted’ for fun and conversation.

Local residents are invited to drop by for a chat at one of the benches, decorated and staffed by a local community group and if you want to, take part in an activity.

The ‘say hello’ benches were inspired by the work of comedian John Bishop, who launched the “Say Hello” campaign last year, as part of Month of Community, led by the Eden Project Communities initiative.

The campaign aims to combat loneliness and encourage people to just say hello to each other. Brought to you by Marmalade Trust, Loneliness Awareness Week is dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness and getting people talking about it, across the UK and beyond.

Benches will be located in:

  • Halesowen town centre
  • Silver Jubilee Park in Coseley
  • Wordsley Green
  • Vicar Street Gardens and Ladies Walk in Sedgley
  • Dell Stadium Jasmine Road Gardens in Dudley
  • Stevens Park in Quarry Bank
  • Wall Heath Park
  • Netherton library

Activities and times vary between benches, but include a choir, dementia friends, a seed and book swap, board games, exercise sessions, crafts, sight awareness activities, positive message making and, in some places, a cup of tea will be on offer.

Activities are supported by a range of community groups across the borough - Halesowen BID, Just Straight Talk, Adult Community Learning, Harry’s Café (Brierley Hill), The Beacon Centre, High Oak Youth and Community Centre, Jasmine Road Gardens, Mindful Moms, Friends of Wall Heath Park and Friends of Netherton Library.

The Friendly Bench in Halesowen, was the first to be installed in a UK town centre, forms part of a UK-wide scheme run by The Friendly Bench CIC.


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