Mar 03 2022

Hope is everything

Photo of Warden Nicky sitting on the bench. There's an "After Life" brass plague on the back rest.

You may have seen social media coverage recently about a special bench at Lightwater Country Park in Surrey. Known as the ‘After Life’ bench, it’s one of a series across the country designed to focus on mental health and wellbeing. An inscription on the bench reads ‘Hope Is Everything’. The bench is a place to sit and relax and perhaps strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know. We can all experience loneliness at some point in our lives and the idea of reaching out can be daunting. For some, owning a dog is fantastic companionship and a reason to venture into the countryside. A simple smile and ‘hello’ to someone you pass can make a big difference if that person is feeling ‘invisible’.

I love my job as a Thames Basin Heaths Partnership warden, chatting to heathland visitors about how amazing these places are. Spending time in the great outdoors enhances my own mental health and along the way I have met some truly wonderful people. I genuinely do care about both people and wildlife.

Talking of nature….stopping to listen to bird song, or watching a beetle going about its business, or a butterfly feeding on flowers – these are all moments of mindfulness that help us engage with nature. Give it a go! You may just find that a passing person stops and reaches out to ask “what’s so interesting there?”. And who knows where that chat will lead 😊

Can we help?

Thames Basin Heaths Partnership run FREE events throughout the year so keep an eye on our What’s On page. Why not come and meet us? Look out for our friendly wardening team out on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area or join our friendly, community dog walking group at Heathland Hounds, where we run regular group dog walks and social events!

Brass plaque reads "Life can be tough, but there's always hope. Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is by your side."

Warden Nicky


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