Project "Ben Chairs"

Ben Chairs is an initiative to provide a lasting legacy in memory of my son, Ben Healy, who sadly took his life Jan 26th 2020. This is a collaboration between like minded people in honour of Ben and others who are fighting battles of their own. Alfie goes into further detail in his introduction. In addition to this initiative, we have also set up- My eldest son Liam and I decided that Ben’s loss would not be in vain and that we would try our hardest to let others in Ben’s situation know that there are people that care about them. We want them to know that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. 

Liam and I are due to attend a 2-day workshop in September ran by Papyrus. Papyrus are a national charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide in young people.  The course we are participating in is called ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) which will provide both Liam and I with the skills to recognise when someone may be having thoughts of suicide, enabling us to have the ability to engage with them in a safe and non-judgemental way. Along with developing plans and carrying out reviews to help keep them safe from suicide, it will also provide us with the safety commitments regarding signposting them, as mentioned before. Hopefully we may also be able to direct them to other resources that are available within the local community.

I first met Alfie via my sister, Dawn. Dawn is friends with Alfie’s mum, Jaynie. I was invited to Alfie’s one evening late last year to meet Jaynie and Alfie. Unbeknownst to us, we already had a connection between us that would only come to light upon losing Ben. That connection was Ben.  Jaynie quickly got in touch with me to express her and Alfie’s sympathies and we chatted about Ben and how small a world it was. When Spare 10 For Ben was born, Jaynie immediately offered her and Alfie’s support and so ‘Ben Chairs’ came about.

Hi I am Alfie, known as Alf the Kid. I am shy and reserved but I am compassionate and care. I love the world around me and where I live. Nature and the environment are important to me, we should all take a little time to enjoy and appreciate the small things around us as they are part of the greater world. I appreciate everything that I have and live a comfortable life, but some dont which is why I feel it is important to help and support others - its not just about giving its about making others feel, and know they matter.

I have been working in the community and supporting them with my initiatives since I was eight. Through my work I cover positive mental health, environmental, educational and nutritional support issues. I began A.H.H.A, Alfs Happy Homework Academy, a homework support group for kids to aid mental health in children(a very high level of attempted suicide in this country is between 9to12 year olds) and support in extra help with many issues not just homework, we also have A.H.H.A2 known as Natureworks.

I was due to start a project with Sam Lonsdale, conecting people with nature to aid positive well being at my local nature reserve, but covid put that on hold. Ben, was my cousin Liams best mate. Ben's mam started a project called Spare Ten for Ben. Take 10mins to reach out to others or do self care It was important to me to somehow include this idea as a tribute to Ben, so then I thought... along with Sam Lonsdales skills,why not make *BenChairs*. Sam is a fabricator, and on the day I'd been talking to him before lockdown he was making a Bench so I thought give people a place to sit to take care,name it after Ben- Ben Chairs.I wanted people to know that hope and love is always there And these are the words that came to me *Someone you may never meet, cares more than you will ever know* I asked mum to speak with Sam, get it organised, then we called Claire with the idea to honour Ben, and reach out and support others. And here we are, BenChairs will offer people a place to sit, to rest and to care for yourself in that moment.

Hi, I'm Sam Lonsdale, I've worked in fabrication for a few years now. I recently decided to go self employed and I set up Creative Ape Fabrications in South Hetton. Jaynie approached me to work on a project that her son Alf was doing based around nature and well being, making a quest and markers for a local nature reserve I liked the idea, the project was very positive, unfortunately it was put on hold due to covid.

During lockdown I received a call from Jaynie, Alf had an idea... BenChairs. When I heard about the whole background to the project, and its initiative I was only too happy to be involved. I look forward to seeing BenChairs out and about, giving people a chance to rest physically and mentally. And it feels good to know I will be involved in helping that happen. Thanks, Sam


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Fundraising team: Spare10forben (3)

Claire Dale 
Raised £5 from 1 donation
Easington Village, North East England, United Kingdom
Claire Dale 
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