Young people have developed a new project to create community benches and locate them across the county as part of a mental health campaign stemming from the TV programme ‘After Life’, created by actor Ricky Gervais.

Over the past few months, Ceredigion County Council’s Community Youth Work and Prevention Team have been working closely with Inspire, a group of young people post-16, who are not in education, employment, or training, to create bespoke benches in various communities.

The project aims to provide a place for people to speak and reflect in a peaceful, open and safe place.

The team worked closely with Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training to be able to create and build every bench. The group of young people had the opportunity to plan, varnish, maintain and deliver the benches to various community groups.

A Ceredigion Youth Service plaque has been placed on each of the benches and they have been donated to Cardigan Bowls club, Llandysul Community Council, Llangrannog Welfare Committee, Cyngor Cymuned Landisiliogogo and Cyngor Cymuned Troedyraur

Ethan, a young person who attends the Inspire group, said: “I enjoyed being part of this bench project because it got me out of the house and it was a fun activity. It was good going with Adrian, our Youth Worker, as he was easy to talk to and explained how everything worked.”

Gwenllian Morris, Ceredigion’s Team Manager for Community Youth Work and Prevention, said: “It is fantastic to see projects such as this where youth workers can support young people by giving back to their community. We are delighted to be able to provide the benches to different communities in Ceredigion where people can sit and talk.”

Cllr Wyn Thomas, Ceredigion's Cabinet Member for Lifelong Learning and Skills, said: “They have shown great craftmanship whilst planning and building these wooden benches. These benches will enhance the locations in which they have been placed, and give pleasure to people in the communities.”

Inspire aims to engage with young people who seek support to re-enter education, employment or training.

The Inspire groups are available in Aberystwyth, Aberaeron and Cardigan on a weekly basis.