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When the Audley Foundation was launched the aim was “making a lasting difference to the lives of older people” who live near Audley Villages.
It quickly became accepted that one of the major problems facing local residents was that of loneliness, so in order to tackle this, the very first project funded by The Foundation was the provision of seating close to villages where local people might chat and perhaps form friendships to ease their loneliness. Otherwise know as “Chatty Benches.”
In school playgrounds through the country, you will find seats, usually called friendship seats, where any pupil who needs comfort, a chat or simply reassurance can sit; the child will soon be joined by someone able to offer support and help. Our Chatty Benches aim to extend this type of seating to the more mature, and our aim was to install a bench near to every Audley village.
And so, the fundraising began………
The very first Chatty Bench was installed early this month, in May 2023, in the Chalfont Saint Peter Memorial Garden, situated close to the Audley Chalfont Dene. The bench bears the logo of The Foundation, together with the engraved words “making a lasting difference to the lives of older people” and the written invitation to passers-by to “rest awhile for conversation and good company”. There has already been enthusiastic feedback from locals and recognition of the charity.
The Owners of properties at Audley Chalfont Dene are proud to be the first to lead this project. Other Audley villages have now taken to the challenge to install their own benches in their own localities.
This is just a small start, but one that has already made such a difference and due to its success, the fundraising efforts continue.
Thank you to all of the owners at Audley Chalfont Dene that have supported this project and special thanks to Mrs Foster, owner and trustee of the Foundation for leading.