PEOPLE can drop by and ‘say hello’ at 15 spots around the Dudley borough during Loneliness Awareness Week.

Benches across Dudley borough will be ‘adopted’ for fun and conversation during the week, from Monday June 10 to Sunday June 16).

There will also be are activities run by Just Straight Talk which will be focusing on loneliness awareness.

People can simply drop by for a chat, advice or to take part in an activity at one of the benches decorated and staffed by a local community group.

The ‘Say Hello’ benches were inspired by the work of comedian John Bishop, who launched the Say Hello campaign in 2021 as part of Month of Community. The campaign aims to combat loneliness and encourage people to just say hello to each other.

Following the success of the benches across the borough in 2022 and 2023, more places and activities have been added this time round.

Benches will be located in:

Brierley Hill town centre

Silver Jubilee Park, Coseley

Dudley High Street

Grange Park, Dudley

DY1 Community Centre, Dudley

Abbey Street Park, Gornal

Hagley Street, Halesowen

Long Lane Library, Halesowen

Jasmine Road Community Gardens, Dudley

Dell Stadium

Stevens Park, Quarry Bank

Russells Hall Park

Vicar Street Gardens, Sedgley

Dudley Street, Sedgley

Wollescote Park Sensory Garden

Activities and times vary between benches, but include a choir, gardening activities,  book swaps, exercise sessions, crafts, sight awareness activities, local information and support.

For details on what is happening and where visit the Dudley Public Health website

Mayada Abuaffan, Dudley's director of public health and wellbeing, said: “The ‘Say Hello Benches’ project continues to grow in strength and ambition each year. We’re really grateful to the community groups who have adopted these benches for the week and their thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit in taking part.

“I hope our residents make the most of this week and drop by their local ‘Say Hello’ bench for a friendly natter and shared sense of community.”