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Oyez, oyez, oyez, our second The Friendly BenchⓇ opens in Suffolk

A sunny Wednesday 7th July saw the official handover and opening of our second The Friendly Bench in Suffolk, this time to the north of the county, in Brandon.


Headed up by the dynamic Brandon In Bloom, The Friendly Bench is located right in the heart of the community and will be a welcome hub for people of all ages who have limited places to meet and socialise.


The opening ceremony, officiated by Town Crier Brenda Wilson, was very well attended with Brandon’s community coming together with members of Brandon In Bloom, the local police and members of Rural Coffee Caravan to hear a poem from the Town Crier (see below), a blessing from the local clergy and speeches from Sam Skinner, Brandon Town Council and Mike Chester vice-chair of West Suffolk Council.



Rachel Sobiechowski project lead said “The Friendly Bench is a fabulous asset for Brandon, and every village, town and city should have one. It is certainly amazing to be reconnected with the community today.”


Lyndsey Young, Founder of The Friendly Bench said, “It is fantastic to welcome Brandon to The Friendly Bench network. This is our first partnership with an In Bloom group and we know this The Friendly Bench will play a vital role in reconnecting people of all ages and backgrounds back to their community and will also help tackle loneliness and social isolation which is and has been experienced by so many, particularly through the pandemic.


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Ⓡ Brandon can be found on their social media pages Twitter: @BrandoninBloom1, Facebook: @brandonsuffolkinbloom or email them at info@brandoninbloom.co.uk


To hear Town Crier, Brenda Wilson’s poem dedicated to The Friendly Bench, here’s a short video, here's the transcript:


Oyez, oyez, oyez!


Sometimes I'm happy, but sometimes I'm depressed,

And I'm not the only one, it happens to the best.

The natural world is wonderful - it's beauty unsurpassed,

It lifts you up when you are down, and better thoughts are cast.

So here in Brandon this Friendly Bench is where you can reflect,

To sense your place in nature and help you reconnect.

Rekindle friendships and caring sitting here for free,

Talk, listen to each other, it will help everyone you'll see.

Brandon in Bloom created this wonderful scheme,

To improve your mental health as you sit and dream.

Covid 19's been a trial for us all,

It's damage to minds the cruellest of all.

So, let's treasure this Bench for all it's glories,

For time spent here will improve our stories.

God Save The Queen.



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