Chatty Benches Bit Hit In Ards And North Down

Chatty Benches Bring People Together in Ards and North Down

Chatty Benches Bring People Together in Ards and North Down

Ards and North Down Borough Council is increasing the number of Chatty Benches in the Borough with four new benches installed at Green Flag sites, helping to support mental health and bring people together.

Following the success of the first Chatty Bench in Bangor Castle’s Walled Garden, the Council has installed new Chatty Benches at Londonderry Park, Ballymenoch Park, Linear Park and Kiltonga Nature Reserve.

Front row: Mayor Karen Douglas with Mark Cavanagh (South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust). Back row: Councillor Richard Smart (Mental Health Champion) and Selwyn Johnston (Action Mental Health). (Photo: Ian Pedlow).

Increasing the number of Chatty Benches is an opportunity to help residents in other areas tackle loneliness at a park close to them.

To add more value, the benches have been installed with a plaque and a QR code that directs people to the newly launched Here2Help app.

The app is designed to signpost users to a range of local services where people can get support instantly, including support with mental health, debt advice, domestic abuse, housing and much more.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Karen Douglas, said:

“I am delighted to support the extension of the Chatty Bench initiative and the addition of the Here2Help app.

“The NHS’s 5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing recognises the importance of connecting with others as well as being physically active.

“This initiative brings both of those important steps together, encouraging people to enjoy our open spaces and support each other.

“The addition of the Here2Help app on the Chatty Benches is a fantastic way to encourage people to download the app and make use of the wide range of local support services available.

“The benches will provide opportunities for people to connect with each other. I would encourage everyone to find their local Chatty Bench and take a seat, have a chat, and download the app!”

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