Campaigner launches 'happy benches' scheme

Campaigner launches 'happy benches' scheme

A COMMUNITY campaigner wants to get people chatting in public spaces. 

Ex-Mirfield postie Kelly Williams, the face of the Spread A Little Sunshine campaign, is promoting a ‘Happy Benches’ scheme, inviting people to “sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping by and saying hi”.

The project has been successful in Australia and closer to home in Wales and Bradford, and Kelly will put up posters across the district this weekend.

“It’s something that I’d seen online, the idea of a chat bench isn’t really a new thing or something that I’ve invented – the problem is people don’t want to go through the process of making the poster,” said Kelly.

“I just thought why not do it within Kirklees and get the happiness out there? It’s just a gesture, it’s the idea of community spirit, getting people talking and combatting loneliness.

“We’re hoping that people will see the benches and then put a poster up in their local park or community.” 

Kelly said: “I’ve seen lots of positive feedback on social media hailing it as a fantastic idea. 

“When I see those kind of comments, coming from people who I’ve never met, that’s a lovely thing.” 

She is encouraging people using the benches to share pictures to the Spread A Little Sunshine Facebook page, using the hashtags, #happyfriends and #spreadalittlesunshine. 

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