A PAIR of Chatty Benches have been installed in Shirley to help combat loneliness.
The pale blue benches in Shirley Park and Parkgate are part of a project to help reduce social isolation and loneliness by encouraging people to sit and chat.
Solihull Council said it is hoped the Chatty Benches will encourage people to sit down and talk to each other if they feel lonely.
Solihull’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Joe Tildesley said: “I am delighted to support the Chatty Benches project which will help bring the people of Solihull together.
“It is a wonderful idea to help reduce social isolation and get people back into the community. If you see someone sat on one of these benches, you can go and talk to them to make sure they are ok – you may be the only person they have spoken to in days.
“Thank you to everyone who has been involved in this project. I hope to see many more light blue benches popping up all across the borough.”
The Chatty Benches are in Shirley Park, close to the main entrance and in Parkgate by the Royal British Legion.
The project is supported by Citizens Advice Solihull Borough (CASB), Parkgate, Friends of Shirley Park, Solihull Healthcare Partnership and Solihull Council.
Sharon Gates, senior social prescriber at CASB, said: “CASB has spoken to hundreds of lonely, isolated people and we feel the Chatty Bench project is very important; it will provide people with somewhere to go to talk to someone.
“It’s good to talk, we hope people will sit, chat, smile and heal.”