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Restoring Mental Health - One Bench At A Time

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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 that there were times when I felt broken as my coping mechanisms were stretched to the limit.

​As we entered and left the numerous Lockdown periods, 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.

Social isolation removes a key element of a person's coping mechanism; the opportunity to talk.

I recognised my mental health had declined due to social isolation, so when Lockdown was finally over I did exactly what I needed to do; sit on a bench and talk to people!

It became a talking point in itself! I would drop my son off at school, then head to 'The Bench' and have healthy conversations with people like me; who were seeking social interaction.

​In the months that followed, my anxiety disappeared and my mental health improved.

A part of my coping mechanism to emotional stress, talking, was once again operational.

I founded The Bench UK to raise awareness of the importance of talking to promote good mental health.

​By encouraging people to talk, we can show people an element of a coping mechanism and improve people's mental health; and we already are!

OUR AIM: We want to inspire people to have healthy conversations with us and others on The Bench UK.
Each conversation is filmed and published on YouTube.

​OUR GOAL: To produce 1000 videos, that's 1000 people sharing their stories and inspiring others to talk.
To embed 100 benches in communities throughout the UK, as a symbol to encourage conversation.

Donations will help us achieve our goals.


Follow our story via our website:, Instagram, YouTube and GoFundMe.

Make a donation or nominate a location for a bench and join us for a conversation.

We would love to hear from people who want to be involved.

Please engage with us. YOUR SUPPORT IS OUR SUCCESS!


  • Bronze Sponsorship
    • £350 (Offline)
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £2,000 (Offline)
    • 8 mos
  • Ann Goreham
    • £50 
    • 9 mos
  • Adam Rix
    • £30 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £50 
    • 10 mos


Andy Watts

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