Kintore project aims to help people struggling with mental health
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A community project has been launched in Kintore to install Happy to Chat benches in the town.
It has been spearheaded by resident Alison Clark who informed councillor Glen Reid about the initiative being considered by a council in England.
The benches have a small plaque which says: “Sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say hello” and they are designed to be wide enough for social distancing.
Their aim is to help those who may be dealing with mental health issues by enabling people to connect and tackle social isolation.
Councillor Reid said in an online statement: "In late March, Kintore resident Alison Clark tagged me in a social media post about 'Happy to Chat’ benches that were being considered by a council in England.
"These benches have a wee plaque which says “Sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say hello” and they are designed to be wide enough for social distancing.
"Alison said that she thought they would be great in Kintore and I agreed. During lockdown so many people have been affected with mental health issues and social isolation was already a huge problem. It’s hoped that these benches will help people connect and be a positive step forward.
"Mental Health affects all age groups, young and old, so the perfect community partner to help deliver the project was Rachel Lewis from Action Kintore’s Bothie.
"Rachel’s enthusiasm for the project has been brilliant and between the two of us we now have funding in place and a local manufacturer.
"We are now reaching out to the Kintore and Blackburn community to ask for suggestions for possible locations for these benches."
Residents can put their suggestions forward on locations on Councillor Reid's Facebook page