Credit: Chantal Weller

Netflix donates bench to local park

Netflix has donated a bench to Victoria Park in Ashford to support the message behind the popular show, After Life.

Ricky Gervais’ Netflix show After Life is about the struggles of losing a loved one, with the key message ‘hope is everything.’

After Life bench. Credit: Chantal Weller

Benches to commemorate the message behind the show have been scattered across the country with the aim to give a place for people to reflect.

The bench in Ashford was installed yesterday and has a plaque reading ‘This bench has been donated by Netflix to commemorate Ricky Gervais’ ‘After Life’.’

Plaque on bench. Credit: Chantal Weller

The show stars Ricky Gervais who plays the character of Tony – a man who has just lost his wife, Lisa, to cancer.

Tweet from Netflix showing clip from After Life season three

Series three of the show was released on 15 January and is currently the number one television show in the UK. The show also won Best Comedy at the 2021 National Television Awards.

Tweet from Ricky Gervais showing season three After Life trailer

25 benches have been donated to different counties across the UK.

Tweet from Ricky Gervais showing map of where the 25 benches are.

The benches have been commissioned alongside the suicide prevention charity, Campaign against living miserably (CALM). On every bench there is a QR code which goes to a section on their website dedicated to After Life and the benches. Click here to view it.

QR code on bench. Credit: Chantal Weller

CALM have teamed up with Netflix for the launch of the third and final series of the brilliant After Life. Over the next few days we’ll be sharing exclusive chats with the cast, a film about the way the show deals with grief – and news on how we’ve put up 25 benches around the country to encourage people to talk. Most importantly, we also have help and advice if you’re struggling. 

CALM website

Ricky Gervais told CALM “I don’t think any harm can come from discussing taboo subjects – if we don’t, they stay taboo because people are scared to talk about them. After Life let people talk about grief, and it was so good to start the conversation.”

The page also shows a video of the cast of After Life talking about grief.

Everyone, whether they know it or not, or whether they’re going around the houses, or whether they’re looking for it in the wrong places, they just want to feel happy.

Ricky Gervais in the video below.
Source: Still Watching Netflix on YouTube

When we meet Tony in series one, he is at an all time low after losing his beloved wife Lisa, and is considering suicide. But, as the show goes on, Tony realises that making other people happy is a reason to keep going.

He regularly visits his wife’s grave where he meets Anne, a widow to her husband Stan, and they talk about the loved ones they have lost.

The show truly captures how it feels to lose a loved one, and we see this in the scenes where Tony watches videos of himself and Lisa in the past with his dog by his side, as he simply wants to feel that happiness with Lisa here again.

Tony works as a journalist at the Tambury Gazette where his friends and colleagues support him, and recognise the pain he is going through.

It is all these people around Tony, and his dog, that keep him going and help him see that ‘hope is everything.’

People have flooded social media platforms with thanks to Ricky Gervais for creating such a raw television series, and these heart-warming benches.

Tweet from Jo Hartley
Tweet from @dwilliamsartist
Tweet from @nat_machin

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.

Ricky Gervais, sourced from Kent Online

Park benches provide opportunities to reflect, talk to someone, sit shoulder to shoulder with someone and get things off your chest. That is why 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.

Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM, sourced from Kent Online

The bench in Ashford. Credit: Chantal Weller
Victoria Park, Ashford. Credit: Chantal Weller

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