First ‘Happy to Chat’ bench due to launch in park

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ISLANDERS are being invited to the unveiling of the first of five ‘Happy to Chat’ benches, which are being designated around the Island to encourage people to strike up conversations with one another.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (26689468)

The bench is due to be unveiled at 12.30pm on Wednesday in the Millennium Town Park ahead of the festive period, which can be a particularly isolating time for some people.

The St Helier-backed campaign will see four other designated benches introduced in an initiative to tackle the issue of loneliness.

A number of places in the UK have adopted similar schemes.

St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft said: ‘I welcome this initiative, which is part of a growing sense in the community of the importance of talking to one another and of the value of good communication. I hope it will bring comfort and companionship to many people who feel isolated.’

The Parish of St Helier also thanked Ravenscroft, who sponsored the initiative, and Signtech who produced the signs.

Haydn Taylor, managing director of Ravenscroft in Jersey, added: ‘One of the things that Ravenscroft is passionate about is being connected with our clients. While technology is an important part of the service we offer, the relationships we have with our clients are built and strengthened by us talking to them and meeting them face-to-face.

‘There is no substitute for talking to people which is why we wanted to support this fantastic initiative. We hope this is the first of many Happy to Chat benches in Jersey.’

Krystle Higgins

By Krystle Higgins

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