Ricky Gervais poses with a dog behind a bench.
Ricky Gervais poses with his character's dog from the show in front of one of the benches in Hampstead Heath. (Photo: @rickygervais)

Netflix, inspired by Ricky Gervais show, installs benches in Cardiff parks

The initiative, celebrating the new series of After Life, aims to promote better mental health

TWO benches will be installed in Cardiff tomorrow by Netflix and the Campaign Against Living Miserably, to promote mental health and celebrate the new series of After Life.

The top trending show, starring Ricky Gervais, follows a newspaper’s writer battle with grief, suicide, and depression after his wife dies from breast cancer. He often sits on a bench in his local graveyard to reflect on his loss.

The benches will appear in Victoria Park, Canton, and Parc Cefn Onn, Lisvane, tomorrow inscribed with a quote from the third series, “Hope is everything”. They will also feature QR codes leading to online resources.

Photo: CALM

“As humans, we’re not meant to be alone. We’re social creatures, so having these benches to encourage more people to talk to one another is such a good idea,” said Matt Callanan, 46, of Roath, who founded the kindness project We Make Good Happen.

“It might help people who are lonely, it might create new friendships and it may even stop someone taking their life.”


Julie Morgan MS said on Twitter: “I’m thrilled that one of these benches is going to be located in Parc Cefn Onn in Cardiff North. 

“They are designed to highlight the struggles people face coping with bereavement, loneliness and mental health issues.”

Canton Councillor Stephen Cunnah said: “I’m delighted that Victoria Park in Canton is to have a brand new wooden bench and plaque.

“Many residents really appreciate our local parks, places they can relax in and meet up with people, and which have a real benefit for mental health. Having places to sit down and contemplate and take in the natural surroundings is really important.

“Diolch for the donation Netflix, Ricky and the team!”

Netflix partnered with suicide prevention charity CALM, which commissioned the benches.

A spokesperson for CALM said: ‘We know benches are a place where you can reflect, talk to someone, sit shoulder to shoulder with someone and get things off your chest.

“So we’ve worked with Netflix to put benches in parks across the country to help people have those conversations and to show it’s normal to have those feelings.”

Photo: Ricky Gervais

A total of 25 benches have been donated to councils across the UK, including Bath, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, and London. 

Gervais 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.”

The third and final series of After Life was released on Netflix on Friday, January 14. It is currently the top trending show on Netflix UK.

  • If you’re experiencing feelings of loss and grief, you can contact the CALM helpline every day from 5pm to midnight at 0800 58 58 58.