Our first The Friendly BenchⓇ opens in Naval Air Station
In the beautiful summer sunshine of July, our southern-most The Friendly BenchⓇ was officially handed over to Royal Naval Family People Service in Helston, Cornwall.
Located in the heart of Royal Navy’s service family accommodation at Culdrose Community Centre, the scheme is headed up by the Royal Naval Family People Service who's focus is to support naval families, particularly younger members of their community, who experience loneliness and social isolation, through nature-based activities and social events.
The handover, which was officiated by Cdr Rob O'Kane, Commander of the Merlin Helicopter Force, and Base Warrant Officer Douglas, was watched by members of Cornwall Council, and the Naval Families Federation’s South West Families Advocate Pete Hawley.
Three weeks later at the grand opening, The Friendly BenchⓇ was formally opened by Capt Stuart Finn, Commanding Officer of Culdrose watched on by many service families and civilians from across the community.
Cathy Sherlock, The Friendly Bench Culdrose project lead said, “The Friendly BenchⓇ is great for our community.” She went on to say, “The main point of the project is to help reduce social isolation, support mental health and wellbeing as well as provide opportunity for community engagement. The Friendly BenchⓇ will become a great asset.”
Lyndsey Young, Founder of The Friendly BenchⓇ said, “We are thrilled to welcome Culdrose Community Centre to The Friendly BenchⓇ network. This is our first partnership with military community and we know The Friendly BenchⓇ will provide a vital community hub for Naval families who are new to the area and those who feel socially isolated. Giving people of all ages a beautiful outdoor space to socialise, connect with nature and get to know their community is essential for everyone’s mental wellbeing.
This The Friendly BenchⓇ has been made possible thanks to players of the National Lottery and is one of 10 The Friendly Benches supported by The National Lottery Community Fund which are being installed across the England.
More information about what will be happening at The Friendly BenchⓇ Culdrose can be found on their social media pages Twitter: @RoyalNavyFPS, Facebook: @Culdrose Royal Navy Community.