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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Mid and East Antrim welcomes another two ‘Chatty Benches’ during Loneliness Awareness Week


Mid and East Antrim’s Loneliness Network is delighted to launch another two ‘Chatty Benches’ in the Borough during Loneliness Awareness Week 2024.  


Located in Newtown-Crommelin and Martinstown, Ballymena, the benches have been introduced to provide a place for people to come together and have a chat.


Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Beth Adger MBE, said:


“Chatty benches are springing up all over the Borough to combat loneliness and reduce social isolation.


“It’s a simple idea where existing or newly installed benches have a sign on them that shows by sitting on them, a person is happy to chat with whoever comes and sits next to them. It is a fantastic opportunity to increase face to face interaction, spark up new conversations and make lasting friendships.”




Sabrina Lynn from the Northern Health and Social Care Trust adds:


“The Chatty Benches have given people a pathway to reconnect with society. The bright colour of the bench offers an opportunity for passers-by to see a fellow member of the community who may want to talk.  


“The Chatty Bench has not only helped to tackle loneliness within the community but has encouraged stronger relations and built upon an existing positive community ethos.”


Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network Chairperson Marjorie Hawkins said:


“Chatty Benches are designed to help tackle loneliness and support positive mental health within the community. We now have 18 Chatty Benches across the Borough and hope that more will follow soon.”


To date, benches have been launched in:


• Shaftesbury Park, Carrickfergus

• Town Park, Larne

• Between Wellington St. and Church St., Ballymena 

• People’s Park, Ballymena

• Maine Riverside Walk, Cullybackey

• Portglenone Marina

• Whitehead Railway Garden

• Ballykeel, Ballymena

• Larne Promenade

• Ahoghill Park

• Sentry Hill, Ballymena

• Sunnylands Community Garden, Sunnylands Community Centre

• Ballykeel Memorial Community Garden, Ballymena

• Harryville Motte, Ballymena

• Ballystrudder Community Garden, Islandmagee

• Buttermilk Bridge Riverside Path, Broughshane

• Newtown-Crommelin, Ballymena

• Martinstown, Ballymena

 

Mid and East Antrim Loneliness Network hope that the new Chatty Benches will provide an opportunity to combat loneliness in our communities, encouraging people to sit and have a chat with one another.

 

-ENDS-

Newtowncromlein photo l-r: Eugene, Kevin, Marion from Glenravel and District Community Residents Association, Mayor Alderman Beth Adger MBE, Gillian Forrest Supporting People, and Patricia from Glenravel and District Community Residents Association

Martinstown l-r: Gillian Forrest Supporting People, Mayor Alderman Beth Adger MBE, Eugene, Patricia and Marion from Glenravel and District Community Residents Association

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