Community Connectors ‘Happy to Chat’ Benches

Earlier in 2023, our Southport based Community Connector, Louise, noticed some ‘Happy To Chat’ benches being placed around a community in England on social media. Residents sit on these designated benches if they are feeling lonely or isolated and would like to be joined for a chat. Louise thought this was a fantastic idea to implement in the North of Sefton.

The benches display a small plaque to say “Sit here if you are happy to be joined for a chat” and incorporate a QR code linked to a Living Well Sefton webpage displaying information about the Community Connector project and how to self-refer. The Living Well Sefton freephone number is also be displayed on the bench to ensure those who don’t own a smart phone can also get further information. The information about the relevant organisations who have been involved in the benches project also appears on the webpage.

We felt that by placing these benches in places where people may be passing or visiting, we could not only provide the local community an opportunity to meet someone new, but also create a link to further information and support.

Louise has led on this in collaboration with Brighter Living Partnership. To date, the benches are placed around six venues in North Sefton as shown below:

  • Woodvale Community Centre
  • Southport Community Centre
  •  Ainsdale Lunch and Leisure
  • Compassion Acts
  • Cornerstone Church, Marshside
  • Liverpool Road Methodist Church

Funding has also been secured for the Happy to Chat benches to be placed around South Sefton during Spring 2024 – with Living Well Sefton partner, May Logan, co-ordinating these locations.