'Buddy Bench' Initiative Is Eliminating Loneliness In Primary Schools
Making playtime less lonely, Buddy Benches is a new initiative being brought into primary schools across the country. Also known as a 'friendship bench', they have been proven to help reduce social isolation and help improve mental wellbeing both here in Ireland and across the world.
The school playground can be a lonely place for some children especially if they have nobody to play with. So the buddy bench gives children an opportunity to sit on the bench to send a signal to other children in the yard that they need someone to play with.
From here other children will see the child and will invite them to play with them.
According to their website, the aim of the programme is to release "the stigma of asking for help" and to celebrate "the children who act with compassion, kindness and empathy."
Not only does Buddy Bench Ireland supply these colourful friendship makers they deliver tailored workshops designed by in-house psychotherapists about empathy led by qualified and experienced facilitators.
On the day of the workshop, each child receives a copy of an interactive Buddy Bench workbook to take home and all teachers receive an information pack.
Buddy Benches place social responsibility on children to monitor the yard to make sure nobody is being excluded giving them the power to grow inside and to grow friendships around the yard.
The creators of Buddy Bench hope to supply 2020 benches by 2020 in schools both North and South of Ireland. To date, they have supplied 247 primary schools with these wonderful friendship benches.
If your Early Years setting is interested in this beautiful child-led positive mental health programme that promotes emotional resilience and positive mental wellbeing contact them through their website.
Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of kids aged 2, 3, 4 and 8. A self-confessed procrastinator and picker-upper of things, Kellie's love include coffee, doughnuts, travel and sharing every day true to life moments on Instagram of her expanding family. Follow her on Instagram.
Image credit: Buddy Bench Ireland Facebook