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Chatty Benches

Chatty Bench Sign Generic.png

Chatty Benches

Sparking Social Connections through Conversation

Chatty Benches are a great way of encouraging people to connect with others. Their essence is to help promote impromptu social engagements facilitated by design and placement. Chatty Benches facilitate conversations and connections that can uplift and change the outcome of someone’s day.

What are the benefits of a Chatty Bench?

Researchers have found that sitting on chatty benches allows people to spend more time outside, which is both beneficial for mental health and allows people to connect with others in their community. They also found that access to public benches are beneficial for physical health, as they can provide resting places for those with limited mobility.

 

We also know that a small moment of connection during someone’s day can have a real impact in alleviating feelings of loneliness. We hope these benches will encourage community members to say hello and have a quick conversation with someone who may be sitting on the bench. Even if it’s just a comment on the weather. Speaking to someone can make a significant difference in  

 

What to talk about?

It may be that this is the first person that you or the person on the bench has spoken to in a while. For someone who is lonely or experiencing low mood this act of kindness can really support them in a positive way and bring our community together. Loneliness and isolation can often be alleviated by simply talking.

 

We have put together a conversation menu that can provide inspiration to spark conversations:

  • What brings you here? What do you like about this locale (library, downtown, park)?

  • What’s your favorite hobby/book/food/movie/television show?

  • What was the best concert you have seen? 

  • What’s the favorite place you have visited?

  • If you could go anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

  • Do you prefer chocolate or fruit? Favorite food/restaurant?

  • What’s something that made you laugh recently?

  • Who would you invite to dinner if you could choose 4 people in history?

  • What’s something courageous you’ve witnessed recently?

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Helpful Resources

If you need some tips on increasing your social connections or how to address feelings of loneliness, here are a few helpful guides:

Helpful Tips for Social Connection

Recognizing & Addressing Loneliness

If you need to connect with immediate support, first and foremost know that you are not alone. 

Click here for services which are a phone call away: RESOURCES

I have personally witnessed the eradicating of this painful epidemic EVERY SINGLE DAY since we delivered the first Flower Power arrangements in June.  I have watched, witnessed, and felt the sparks flying, the smiles generated, the changed outcomes in those we have been visiting for over 6 months (and those whom we met just yesterday).  This isn't complicated, but it is hard work and takes us being our most authentic selves and asking others to step up, lean in, and do the same.
 

-Ginger Smith, SOAR Together Founder

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