A chatty bench has been installed outside Winifred Kettle in Westhoughton to get people talking.

Senior Solutions Westhoughton asked Westhoughton Town Council for a couple of benches for people to sit and chat, or just sit and rest.

One of those has been placed outside Winifred Kettle.

And as her final task as Mayor of Westhoughton, Cllr Deirdre McGeown helped to make it happen and officially ‘opened’ the bench on Tuesday, May 7.

Cllr McGeown, said: “I was Mayor of Westhoughton last year and one of my charities was Senior Solutions Westhoughton.

 "I have attended a few functions with them and they mentioned they wanted some benches, the chatty benches, somewhere people can sit and have a chat and just rest for a while and they asked if I could do something about it.

“I put it forward to Westhoughton town council for them to look into how much it would cost, whether we had the funds for it and whether the councillors would approve it and they did.

“It has taken some time for it to happen with the weather being bad and they have now managed to do it, on the day I stepped down as mayor.

“It was my last event opening the bench for them just outside the Winifred Kettle where they attend and get together and it was lovely and delightful.

“The benches will bring people together and it's not just sitting and waiting for a bus or sitting and having a quick rest if you’re walking.

The Bolton News: Cllr Deirdre McGeown, Neil Maher and people from Senior SolutionsCllr Deirdre McGeown, Neil Maher and people from Senior Solutions (Image: Cllr Deirdre McGeown)Read more top stories here:

“It is also encouraging people to sit and chat and especially since Covid people are staying indoors more and this is encouraging people to get out there and sit in the fresh air and have a chat with somebody.

“People have been delighted with it and there has been a very positive response.

“Senior Solutions Westhoughton are so pleased with it.

“It is a difficult world we live in at the moment and it can be negative, and this is a way to give positivity and happiness to people.

“If you can spread happiness, it is a little bit of light in a dark world that we have got at the moment.”

Cllr McGeown has also reflected on her time as mayor.

She said: “It was an absolute honour to be mayor, I have met so many nice people and lovely charities that are doing a lot for the people of Westhoughton and I am still keeping in touch with them.

“It won’t be as mayor, but I will still volunteer, and I will go back and visit them.

“There are charities like Ladies Connect at the hub, it’s a place where women can go and have a chat, some of them are just lonely, some of them have mental health issues but there are services there to help them.

“And it has just been so nice to meet so many positive people and people who want to make a difference and help other people because I want to help other people too.”

A new bench will also be put up in Central Park in the next week or so, dedicated to the Queen.

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on X @chloewjourno.