Police Forces Are Designing Public 'Chat Benches' For Strangers To Chat To Fight Social Isolation

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As a means of fighting loneliness and social isolation in English towns, local police forces have started designating specific public benches which can be used for making friends and having conversations.

Police Forces Are Designing Public 'Chat Benches' For Strangers To Chat To Fight Social Isolation

As a means of fighting loneliness and social isolation in English towns, local police forces have started designating specific public benches which can be used for making friends and having conversations.


The “Chat Benches,” situated in two different parks and outdoor areas in Somerset, are identified by little signs reading: “Sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say hello!”


The Avon and Somerset Police Department Facebook page has recently published pictures of their two new “Chat Benches” in Burnham and Taunton with an encouraging note for readers to stop by and use them for socialization.


According to the department, 17 percent of older people are only in contact with family, friends, and neighbors less than once per week, which can leave them feeling isolated. Collectively, that amounts to roughly 9 million United Kingdom residents who suffer from loneliness and isolation every year.



The police force launched the Chat Bench initiative in June 2019 to coincide with United Nations World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Although the officers say there are many different forms of elder abuse that deserve our concern, they hope the Chat Benches will help to tackle senior loneliness in their communities.

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Thinking Humanity: Police Forces Are Designing Public 'Chat Benches' For Strangers To Chat To Fight Social Isolation
Police Forces Are Designing Public 'Chat Benches' For Strangers To Chat To Fight Social Isolation
As a means of fighting loneliness and social isolation in English towns, local police forces have started designating specific public benches which can be used for making friends and having conversations.
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