Happy to Chat

04/04/2024 ; News ; Uncategorised

Three “Happy to Chat” benches have been installed by Malvern Town Council, following an idea championed by Cllr Julie MacLusky and then supported by other town councillors at a meeting of Council.

A new initiative within Malvern, “Happy to Chat” benches have been introduced in Rose Bank Gardens, Victoria Park and in Station Gardens and follow an idea adopted not only across Britain but also in the United States, Canada, Australia, Switzerland and Ukraine.

The benches are identified by a colourful plaque which says, “Sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say hello”. How often do you see someone sat on their own in a park? Do they want to chat? Do they want to be left alone? Have they spoken to anyone else on that particular day? “Happy to Chat” benches provide a simple way of letting other people know that you are open to a chat and if the idea proves successful then the Council will consider adding benches on other town council land.

Cllr Julie Maclusky proposer of the motion said, “Councillors will be aware of publicity about the health risks of loneliness, and I believe that our “Happy to Chat” benches could play a small but very significant role in alleviating loneliness, and improving social connection and interaction, amongst the residents of Malvern, I believe that many people could benefit from a random hello and chat.

Cllrs Julie MacLusky (Upper Howsell ward) and Cllr David Watkins (Link ward) “having a chat”!