The Buddy Bench or Friendship Bench
Developed from an idea to prevent children feeling lonely and excluded at school.
To create greater security and contentment, the Buddy Bench for schools caring for pupil’s wellbeing idea was introduced as a means of identifying and alerting others to children’s needs at any given time.
Those feeling excluded are encouraged to sit on the Buddy Bench and that signals a need for others to respond. The school appoints Buddy monitors, either pupils or staff, to take note of any child that sits on the buddy bench and to engage with them, either by conversation or by invitation to join in play. This creates empathy, a greater sense of wellbeing and reduces children being subjected to the feelings of not being wanted or liked, excluded and the odd one out. Health care professionals have developed programs for schools which incorporate the Buddy Bench principles and are sensitive to childrens development and emotional needs. By incorporating the Buddy Bench into the program either as an internal or external feature the program is given maximum opportunity to work and enhance the childs wellbeing.
The idea was to encourage better mental health within schools where playgrounds can be a busy place and it can be easy to be left out or hide when facing overwhelming thoughts of no one cares. By having the bench clearly identified usually by bright distinct colours or added with sayings or happy stickers children can be drawn to the bench and know that it is a friendly place and that by the principles being followed they will have company and an opportunity to change their situation.
Schools that have embraced these principles have noted a higher positivity within school, a reduction in cases of bullying and a higher degree of responsibility exhibited amongst pupils. This in turn produces benefits that extend to the classroom as happier friendlier environments stimulate togetherness and facilitate better behaviour and increased attention and learning.
Pricing too is very competitive to encourage use and to aid schools wanting to use this valuable resource for the benefit of their pupils. We also offer a vinyl graphics service to add your own expressions, mottos or even your suggested shapes and designs should you wish to add these to your buddy benches.