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17th May, 2022

'Hope is everything' - After Life bench installed at Cofton Park in Rednal to get people to talk about their mental health

Tristan Harris 20th Jan, 2022 Updated: 21st Jan, 2022

A ‘HOPE is Everything’ bench inspired by the Netflix hit show After Life has been installed at Cofton Park in a bid to get people to talk about their mental health.

Netflix has teamed up with Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to roll out 25 benches across the country, coinciding with the third series which became available to stream last week.

After Life – written by and starring Ricky Gervais – centres on newspaper reporter Tony who has lost his wife Lisa (Keri Godliman).

The bench plays a pivotal part in the show as it is where he speaks to his graveside confidante Anne.

They have both experienced loss and grief and meet up regularly – Anne is the one person Tony feels he can speak to about his inner-most thoughts and feelings.

Ricky said: “We hope the benches will create a lasting legacy for After Life, as well as become a place for people to visit, and we are thrilled to be associated with CALM and the great work they do.”

Simon Gunning, CEO, CALM, said: “Park benches provide opportunities to reflect, talk to someone, sit shoulder to shoulder with someone and get things off your chest.

“We’re delighted to team up with Netflix to put benches in parks across the country – inscribed with that crucial line from the show, “Hope is everything” – to help people have those conversations and to show it’s normal to have those feelings.”

Coun Simon Morrall, who represents the Frankley Great Park Ward, is a patron of CALM and campaigned for Birmingham City Council to adopt a Suicide Prevention Strategy back in 2018 after losing his friend to suicide.

He said: “I’m absolutely overjoyed to see Netflix working with CALM to recognise Cofton park as an ideal place for one of these benches.

“I do hope the important message this sends will allow people to reflect, find headspace and most importantly talk to one another.

“Mental health affects everyone, it’s everyone’s battle and everyone’s business, we can all do our bit and little gesture like this go a long way to make a big difference.

“Thank you After Life for the kind generosity.”

Visit thecalmzone.net for more on CALM, the benches and for mental health help, support and a webchat service.

Anyone experiencing feelings of loss and grief can call the CALM helpline on 0800 58 58 58.

It is available every day between 5pm and midnight, with free, confidential and practical support.

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