Read about the accessibility of The Bluecoat on our Contact page.

The Friendly Bench CIC provides safe, accessible outdoor seating areas that create connections to people, places and nature. The benches are so much more than just seating, they are meeting points where people can get together, build friendships and be in nature as the benches have a mini-garden featuring integrated sensory planting. This in turn can bosost mental health and reduce isolation.

In August 2020, The Friendly Bench launched in Chester, led by local group The Friends of the Countess of Chester Country Park. The bench was made possible by funding from a variety of organisations and individuals, including the National Lottery and The Chester Bluecoat Charity who contributed £500. The Friendly Bench was dedicated to the staff at the Countess of Chester Hospital for all their commitment to the community during the COVID pandemic.

Situated in a Green Flag park, numerous events and activities are run from the space, of which all are free. They cater for all ages and a wide variety of interests and include parent groups, art workshops and exercise activities.

The Chester Bluecoat Charity aims to tackle the causes of inequality and as such supports schemes that help to combat loneliness and help mental health. The Friendly Bench unites people and spreads positivity and as such, we were delighted to support the initiative.

Pictured: Morag Scargill of the Friends of the Countess of Chester Country Park and Lyndsey Young who set up The Friendly Bench CIC