Between the 9th and the 15th of May it is Mental Health Week with the main theme for this week being loneliness. Across Gwynedd Bridging the Generations and Llwybrau Llesiant has worked with several partners and there are now over ten benches across the county through the Friend-ship Bench scheme. The three most recent benches are funded by Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig through the LEADER scheme and the three benches are located in Porthmadog town.
Three local artists have worked on the benches,
The Fiorella bench is located in Porthmadog park and is inspired by the natural history of the area. Sian Elen's bench can be seen near Boda-wen Park and Sian has teamed up with the Clwb Ni, Llwybrau Llesiant to gather ideas and inspi-ration from the Glaslyn nature scene. Llyr was inspired by the crew of Hafod y Gest, Grŵp Cynefin as they discussed what was important to them in Porthmadog and this bench can be found next to Portmeirion's Siop Fawr.
We have worked closely with the Highways Department, Gwynedd Council and with Councillor Nia Jeffreys and former Councillor Selwyn Griffiths on this project who said:
"As a former Gwynedd Older People's Champion and current vice chair of Porthmadog Town Council I would like to thank everyone who has worked with the project here in town. The work done on the benches is of a very high standard and I would like to thank the three artists for their colorful and fitting work for the character of the town of Porthmadog. The public response has been ex-tremely positive and has certainly encouraged people to go and see them and have a chat. I would love it in the future if we could build on this work by having benches in other areas of our community painted.
We hope that these benches will provide an opportunity for Porthmadog residents to sit and chat and forge friendships. If you sit on the benches when you are feeling a bit lonely it is inviting someone to join you for a chat and following two years apart what better than benches to bring people together.”
This project was funded through the Welsh Government's Rural Communities - Wales Rural Development Program 2014-2020, which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.