What is The Friendly BenchⓇ?
Reconnecting people back to their community
The Friendly Bench CIC is a social enterprise which aims to tackle loneliness, social isolation and build community cohesion using our innovative, purposely designed outdoor social spaces that reconnect people back to their own community.
Specially designed outdoor social spaces
Specially designed, constructed and adhering to DDA guidelines, The Friendly BenchⓇ are safe, easily accessible mini-community gardens with integrated seating and sensory planting which are situated within communities for people to meet, chat, connect with nature, build friendships and a sense of belonging.
Active social hubs
The Friendly BenchⓇ are active, social hubs where free, community-led activities and events are regularly held to encourage everyone to participate, have fun, feel accepted, valued and develop a support network.
Every The Friendly BenchⓇ is independently managed, funded and run by it’s own voluntary group / organisation for their own community. As a member of The Friendly BenchⓇ network, each group receives free advice, support, sharing of best practice, marketing resources, publicity and promotion from The Friendly BenchⓇ CIC team.
Tackling loneliness, social isolation and increasing community cohesion
Every The Friendly BenchⓇ, wherever it is based in the country, aims to reduce social isolation, increase community cohesion and help reconnect people back to their own community.
The Friendly BenchⓇ can positively improve a community's quality of life.
"The Friendly BenchⓇ is such a creative but wonderfully simple idea to help combat loneliness. It was by far one of my favourite schemes to hear about during my time as Minister, not least because it seems an incredibly cost effective way of creating connections within a micro-community. I would love to see many more Friendly Benches across the country."
Tracey Crouch MP for Chatham & Aylesford,
Former Minister for Loneliness
The Friendly BenchⓇ has been featured in the media, including the following publications.