Bottesford's Friendly Bench unveils new bench in Ipswich
A project aimed at helping to tackle loneliness in Bottesford is expanding its network of ‘Friendly Benches’ across England.
The Friendly Bench was originally set up in Bottesford in 2018 to reconnect people to their communities and tackle social isolation.
With support from the National Lottery, The Friendly Bench will now be launched in a further 20 locations.
The latest ‘Friendly Bench’ has been unveiled in the grounds of Castle Hill Community Centre in Ipswich, to help bring together members of the local community to positively improve their physical and mental wellbeing, as well as help tackle loneliness and social isolation.
The mini-community garden comes with integrated seating and sensory planting enabling people to meet, chat, connect, build friendships and create a sense of belonging.
Lyndsey Young, Founder of The Friendly Bench™ in Bottesford said: “This is the first of our National Lottery funded The Friendly Bench™ expansion. We are so excited about working with NW Ipswich BLT and the Castle Hill Community Centre, having The Friendly Bench™ installed here will give so many people of all ages a chance to meet, socialise, participate in activities and learn new things. It will be beautiful social, community hub for everyone to meet, make new friends, feel accepted and valued.”
Tracey Dockery, project lead at NW Ipswich Big Local Trust added: “We are absolutely thrilled to have The Friendly Bench™ in Ipswich, we have so many exciting plans already and can’t wait to get started.”
The next The Friendly Bench™ installation will take place in Kiveton, Rotherham by the end of the month.
You can find out more about The Friendly Bench on their Facebook page at Facebook.com/TheFriendlyBench