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'Happy to chat' benches unveiled in Diss town centre



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Several benches in Diss have been repurposed as ‘happy to chat’ benches – where people can sit down and have a chinwag with like-minded strangers.

The idea was thought up by Roella Trudgill, a volunteer at Park Radio, following a trial run on a bench in Eye just before the pandemic.

While the idea had to be put on ice for 18 months due to the subsequent lockdowns and social distancing measures, Diss Town Council has unveiled three new benches, which can be found at Mere’s Mouth, Market Hill and Diss Park.

Organiser Roella Trudgill and Diss Mayor Eric Taylor at one of the benches outside the Diss Town Counicl Offices in Market Hill. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.
Organiser Roella Trudgill and Diss Mayor Eric Taylor at one of the benches outside the Diss Town Counicl Offices in Market Hill. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.

Mrs Trudgill said: “If anyone has got a spare half hour, the idea is for them to sit on the bench and, if anyone is passing and fancies a chat, they can join them.

“It’s not an official counselling service but just an excuse to chat, which is all some folk need to give them a lift, especially since we haven’t been able to get out and chat for the last 18 months.”



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