A BRADFORD woman on a mission to make the world smile is encouraging people to sit down with a stranger on one of the district's 'Happy Benches'.

Kelly Williams, the face of the Spread A Little Sunshine campaign, wants those affected by loneliness to be reminded about "love and happiness" by saying hello to someone new.

The Happy Bench project, which asks people to "sit here if you don't mind someone stopping by and saying hi", has already travelled overseas to Malta and Australia.

Benches close to home include Wilsden, Wyke, Haworth and Oxenhope.

Kelly, who used to work as a post lady, first decided to make the extra effort to greet elderly residents on her round with a smile and make conversation.

She said: "I'm in my 40s and I get lonely sometimes.

"People are scared to just say it.

"We get worried about what people will think so we hold these thoughts within us.

"Sometimes it feels like that whole community spirit that we used to have has been lost. But I feel if we put in place chat benches we could bring that sense of community back.

"I think when you watch the news we can get very scared by all this going on in the world.

"I believe what you focus on grows. If you can focus on the good stuff then I feel the more energy that we give to that will grow.

"If you do want to have a conversation with somebody it's ok to stop.

"I'm hoping people realise it's ok to just say 'Hi'."

But Kelly's campaign for goodness doesn't stop there with the creation of a new social group to get people out of the house.

The 42-year-old knows firsthand how isolation can affect all generations after breaking up with a long term partner.

Happy Friends Bradford, a public group on Facebook, encourages people to post events in the group and ask if fellow Bradfordians would like to join.

The group ranges from those in their 20s, people adjusting to life without a partner through to the elderly.

So far the group has gone on a country walk in Haworth, toured round Skipton and visited Christmas markets.

Kelly told the Telegraph & Argus: "When you've been in a relationship for 20 years you find yourself a bit on your own.

"It's really taken off and helping people feel they're not on their own.

"I wanted to come up with an idea which helps people to use the power of the internet but as a way to create human connection.

"It's about bringing the community together."

If you'd like a Happy Bench in your town, email happybenches@gmail.com.