Saint Paul’s Catholic High School has just unveiled its “Buddy Bench”, aimed at eliminating loneliness and fostering friendship in the playground. The school hopes that this will help spread the message of inclusion and kindness.
The bench was launched in the playground by three pupils: Molly, Rosie and Lily who had been commended by the school for their acts of kindness. Molly and Rosie found £120 in school and immediately handed it in. It was then reunited with Saint Paul’s Wayne Hardy. Lily stopped in the street to assist an elderly lady and help tie her shoe laces.
A member of the public, Stacey Flanagan, called the school to make them aware of Lily’s kindness: “This was the nicest thing I had seen in a long time; it was a lovely gesture and a wonderful act of kindness.”
The Buddy Bench idea was started by an eight year old boy, named Christian, who lives in Pennsylvania. He had a great idea to have a bench on the playground designated for students who aren’t sure who to play with, who to talk to, or who just want to assess a situation before joining in a group. He called it the "Buddy Bench", a place to meet and play with new friends or old friends
“The Buddy Bench reminds the pupils to be kind and to reach out to one another,” explained Mrs Angie Holland from Saint Paul’s. “We believe the bench will help eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground. We want to be a school where people help each other, cheer each other on, share with one another, think of others and focus on building a strong community.”
Deputy Headteacher, Miss Tina Wilkinson, said: “Sometimes it’s the really simple ideas that can make the biggest difference. All the children know that they can go and sit on the Buddy Bench if they are feeling lonely and that someone will offer to play with them. We want to foster a culture of kindness throughout the school.”
Buddy Bench Part 1 (Teachers)
Buddy Bench Part 2 (Lacy and Jacob)
Buddy Bench Part 3 (Maria Kimak)
Buddy Bench Part 4 (Olympia Knapczyk)