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H&F installs new bench in Ravenscourt Park to boost mental health

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has secured and installed a new bench in the walled garden of Ravenscourt Park.

The new engraved bench was donated for the Hammersmith park by suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably and Netflix, the makers of Ricky Gervais’s hit show After Life.

The new bench is inscribed with the wordings “Hope is everything” and “Life can be tough, but there’s always hope”. It also has a QR code to enable people to get support from Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

“Park benches support mental wellbeing – we know how much residents enjoy using them for a calm moment, a chat or watching local wildlife,” said Cllr Ben Coleman, H&F Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care. “We’re most grateful for the donation, particularly in the run-up to Great Mental Health Day.”

The new bench has been placed in Ravenscourt Park’s walled garden near the Paddenswick Road, W6 entrance. It replaces an older bench that will now be renovated and reused in another of the borough’s 58 parks and open spaces.

The bench is one of 25 being donated to boroughs across the UK to mark the release of the final season of After Life.

After Life is known for Ricky Gervais’s character, Tony, visiting a bench at his local churchyard, following the death of his wife Lisa. It serves as a place for Tony to reflect, share, listen and, ultimately, to grow and find hope for the future.

CALM is a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, which is the biggest single killer of men aged 20-45 in the UK.

Friday 28 January is London’s first ever Great Mental Health Day, with a range of activities to boost mood and improve resilience.

You can find out about support in H&F for people with mental health problems here. The local NHS’s free mental health helpline is also open 24 hours a day on 0800 328 4444.

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Image caption: Image 2: Ricky Gervais pictured on the bench that serves as a place of reflection for his After Life character, Tony. PICTURE: NETFLIX

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