Barr encourages the launch of ‘Chatty Benches’ and cafes in Kells and Broughshane
Braid Ulster Unionist Councillor Alan Barr has encouraged the launch of the Chatty Bench and Café initiatives in Kells and Broughshane.
Councillor Barr said:
"Recent studies have shown that around 20% of people in Northern Ireland often feel lonely and 88% of people believe that loneliness has become a bigger problem since the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Loneliness is not limited to older people within our community. It also affects single parents, young adults and people with a disability."
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Chatty Bench and Café initiatives are excellent ways in assisting in addressing loneliness and isolation. Chatty benches encourage anyone wanting to engage in conversation with someone to sit down on the bench and chat.
One of the best places for Chatty Benches is in open green spaces. Councillor Barr believes the river walks in both Kells and Broughshane are ideal places for these benches.
Chatty Cafés encourages venues to designate a table and make it available as a ‘chatty table’ where customers can sit if they are happy to talk to other customers.
The Chatty café scheme recognises a conversation’s positive impact on health and well-being. A short conversation with another person can bring much positivity. The Chatty Café scheme is hoped to get people talking and meeting new people.
Over the next few weeks, Councillor Barr will engage with the various cafes in Broughshane to establish the Chatty Café scheme. Councillor Barr will also speak with the Council’s Loneliness Network and community associations about potential locations for the chatty benches.