‘Happy to Chat’ benches: “Would you stop and chat?”

Over 1 million older people say they always or often feel lonely, according to Age UK. At Guild Living, we want to tackle loneliness head-on. Supported by leading gerontological research into the social, cultural, psychological, cognitive, and biological aspects of ageing, we will create intergenerational later living ‘communities for life’ in the heart of towns and city centres.

In this BBC video, we see how simple design changes can help communities to feel inclusive and age-friendly.

Allison Owen-Jones created designated ‘Happy to Chat’ benches in her local community to encourage strangers to strike up conversations. ‘Happy to Chat’ benches are now appearing across the UK, and have even been seen in the US and Australia.