Loneliness organisation launches Talking Bench celebration at Graves Park in Sheffield this weekend

A group tackling loneliness in Sheffield is hosting a celebration event to unveil a new Talking Bench in Graves Park this weekend.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 12:07 pm
The celebrations will be held in Graves Park, where the Talking Bench will be unveiled.

Age Better in Sheffield are hosting three hours of free activities on September 18 to celebrate the group’s work over the last six years to combat loneliness in the city.

They will also unveil a new Talking Bench – a designated spot where people can sit, enjoy the view, and open themselves up for a chat with friends or strangers.

Edyta Bancer, Programme Manager of Age Better in Sheffield, said: “It will be quite relaxed and informal atmosphere. It is open to everyone and we would love to see all residents in Sheffield not just people involved in the project.

Age Better in Sheffield helps to engage with older people and conducts research into how to tackle loneliness.

"It is very much celebrating the possibility of being face to face after a period of restrictions. Hopefully the weather will be on our side.”

The event will run from 11am-2pm and feature mindfulness sessions, dance lessons with Charlie Armitage, founder of Dancing in Driveways, and workshops to learn how to have more meaningful conversations.

Cycle rides around Graves Park will take place throughout the course of the event on Rhubarb and Ginger – Sheffield’s famous trikes.

Edyta said that owing to the pandemic, loneliness has been on the rise and a high percentage of Sheffielders are affected. Through the work of organisations like Age Better, people in the community can be offered the support they need.

Since the pandemic, loneliness in Sheffield has been on the rise.

The official opening of the Talking Bench will take place at 11.45am, and will mark the introduction of Sheffield’s second Talking Bench, following one which was opened in the Winter Gardens in 2017.

Live Better in Sheffield are funded by National Lottery Fund and were established in 2015.