A new ‘Happy to Chat’ bench which is designed to help combat loneliness and encourage community interaction has been unveiled at Apex Park in Highbridge.

Sedgemoor District Council have installed the new “Happy to Chat” bench in Apex Park near Parsons Road, pictured here. 

The bench overlooks the lake and has a plaque encouraging people to sit and chat. 

The benefits of Happy to Chat benches have been demonstrated by other similar initiatives across the country.

A study published by the University of Sheffield in 2015 found that sitting on park benches allows people to spend longer outside which is beneficial for mental health and helps connects people within communities.

This connection is particularly important for people who might find social venues like cafes too expensive or too busy.

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