(Above: Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Paul McLean, takes a seat on the Chatty Bench in Dungannon Park, with (L-R), Doreen Bolton, Northern trust; Neil Gillan, Southern Trust; and Sandra McKenna, chair of the Mid Ulster Loneliness Network).
MID-Ulster Loneliness Network has placed its first “Chatty Bench” in the Mid-Ulster district.
Situated in the popular and picturesque surrounds of Dungannon Park, the special bench has been introduced to provide a place for people to come together to have a chat. Two other benches are also included at other sites within the park.
Chair of Mid-Ulster District Council, Councillor Paul McLean, welcomed the first chatty benches in Mid-Ulster district, saying: “The restrictions of the past 18 months have exacerbated the experience of loneliness and isolation for many people.
“Some people may go days or even weeks without the simplest of human contact, so the installation of Chatty Benches here in Dungannon Park is a timely initiative as it seeks to break down that social barrier and allow us all to say hello.
“It is our hope that it will be a way of tackling loneliness by encouraging people who may be experiencing it to connect with others, and for others not experiencing loneliness to recognise that starting a conversation can bring so much to another person’s day.”