We believe that nature has the power to bring people together and heal some of life’s problems. We also know that over nine million people in the UK say they are lonely. That’s why we support The Friendly Bench – a community garden project that develops flourishing, accessible kerbside spaces where people can come to rest, talk to others and enjoy nature.
The Friendly Bench creates beautiful oases of flowers and friendship within communities. It makes small community gardens that are integrated into comfortable wooden benches. The idea is that people young and old – particularly elderly people or those with limited mobility – will use the gardens as spaces where they feel safe and connected with the community.
We think the work of The Friendly Bench is incredible, and the benefits are endless. By giving people a safe and pleasant space to sit, the scheme encourages people to go outside and get some gentle exercise. They can get fresh air, look at the beautiful flowers and listen to the birds singing – that’s got to be good for the soul! Most importantly, these gardens give people the chance for social interaction, which they might be missing from their day. A bit of company can really boost people’s spirits, making them happier and more confident.