'HAPPY to chat' signs have been popping up on benches across Gwent.

Gwent Police has joined forces with the Senior Citizen Liaison Team (SCLT) charity to launch their existing ‘Chat Bench Initiative’ throughout Gwent.

The purpose of these signs is to encourage people to be able to sit somewhere and have a chat to a stranger. A set of laminated signs have been sent out to all Neighbourhood Teams to be placed on benches across their area.


Sgt Jon Williams of the Newport West policing area said: “The purpose of the bench is to simply get people to take the time to chat. Saying ‘hello’ to someone takes moments of your time, yet it could genuinely be the best thing that happens to vulnerable or elderly people that day!

“Since the SCLT launched the Chat Bench initiative in spring, the initiative has grown at an enormous rate, there are now ‘Happy to Chat’ benches in London, all over the UK, including Scotland and even in Australia, New York, Washington and Canada.

“The interest has been incredible and it’s such a simple little idea!”

You can follow the initiative on Twitter following the handle @chatbench