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TBUK Team

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Sarah

Press & Social Media

Co-ordinator

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Stuart

Co-ordinator

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Andy

Founder

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Russ

BenchWorks

Co-ordinator

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Rachel

Commercial Partnership

Co-ordinator

Hi, I'm Andy Watts, founder of The Bench UK. I'm an ex-frontline Paramedic. 

 

In my professional life, I have dealt with many life-threatening emergencies. Over-time, I developed coping mechanisms to process my emotional response to trauma and maintain good mental health.

 

During Covid-19 I worked as a medic for the NHS. It was a tough time. I'm not ashamed to admit there were times when I felt broken as my coping mechanisms were stretched to the limit.

I feared that Covid-19 would leave deep emotional scars on people. One of the reasons was the lack of time to form coping mechanisms. And worse, Lockdown presented a new threat to mental health; social isolation.

I have teamed up with Sarah, Stuart, Russ and Rachel to challenge loneliness and encourage healthy conversations around the United Kingdom. Small steps can lead to recovery. 

Best wishes, Andy & TBUK team.

 

Image by Papaioannou Kostas

Our aim

We want to inspire people to have healthy conversations with us and others.

Our conversations are filmed and published on YouTube, with the aim to inspire others to talk about their mental heath. Talking can be healing.

Image by Timon Studler

Our goal

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We intend to embed 100+ benches in communities throughout the UK.

1000 videos, that's 1000 people sharing their stories and inspiring others.

Events

  • 28 Aug 2023, 09:00 – 20:00
    Blickling, Blickling, Norwich NR11 6NF, UK
    Fun, Food and Farming for All the Family. The Aylsham Show 2023 is shaping up with everyone’s Norfolk farming favourites as well as food and countryside themed attractions.
  • 20 Jul 2023, 14:00 – 21 Jul 2023, 20:00
    Southwold, Henham Barns Nr, Southwold, Beccles NR34 8AQ, UK
    We are going to be at Latitude this year to spread the word about The Bench UK and encourage healthy conversations. We will be located in the 'Forest' which is a fantastic place full of performers, artist and local initiatives like ours. Please come and say hi - we'd love to have a chat with you!
  • 13 Jun 2023, 12:00 – 12:20
    Reepham, Market Pl, Reepham, Norwich NR10 4JJ, UK
    The theme this year is “Connections” and speakers will be looking at the connections between people, community, place, and material items.
  • 08 Jun 2023, 09:00 – 9:10
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0fnstb2
    Breakfast show, hear the latest about The Bench UK, plus Norfolk news and weather.
  • 05 Jun 2023, 13:00 – 14:00
    Reepham, Market Pl, Reepham, Norwich NR10 4JJ, UK
    The Bircham Centre, Reepham, Norfolk is the first recipient of our benches! We will be officially handing them over to Dr Ian Kenvyn, Bircham Centre Trustee.
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The Bench in Reepham Marketplace where The Bench UK concept was conceived.

Teamwork

As I talked to people about the concept of The Bench UK, I received an overwhelming amount of support.

Friends, family, colleagues and even strangers have been instrumental its development.

Amazingly it has been the very concept of encouraging conversation, that made The Bench UK possible.

There are many people I can not thank by name, some were the passers-by. Hopefully they will read this one day and know who they are.  Andy.​

A special thanks to: Stuart. Mike. Neil. Steve. Rachel. Tim & Cheony. 

Press / Media

We invite enquiries from the press and media. Contact us for the access code. 

Access here.

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