Alresford, a small town outside of Winchester, has seen the construction of a new ‘happy to chat’ bench in a bid to build community and inclusion in the area.
The bench, which is located along the town’s River Alre, a tributary of the River Itchen, is the latest in a series of recent moves to bring the town together.
Just a few minutes up the river can be found Amy’s Duck Food Table, where local resident Amy and her father make up bags of food for residents to feed to the ducks. Amy has complex learning difficulties, where the Table ‘give[s] her a little, purposeful, activity to her day and help her improve on her abilities‘, according to her Facebook page, as well as providing local families with a little extra joy on their riverside walks.
The ‘happy to chat’ bench was inspired by similar projects in cities far and wide, from Kiev in Ukraine to Burnham-on-Sea, Newport, Tenby, London, and Chester.
The idea was initially supposed to highlight the issue of loneliness among the elderly community, but has spread to become a social good for all people affected by the positive installations.
Campaign to End Loneliness is a UK-based charity that supports those experiencing loneliness, and you can donate or get help on how to volunteer here.