Buddy bench design

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29 November 2018

Simone, Maria, Georgia, Angela, Jolene and Jotthe with the buddy bench. Photo by Dennis Manktelow, Brimbank & North West Star Weekly.By Tate Papworth,

A special place for fostering friendship has taken pride of place at St Lawrence School, Derrimut.

VCAL students at Marian College, Sunshine West, donated a ‘buddy bench’ to the school with the hope that it will help create many friendships in coming years.

Marian College students spent the past term decorating the bench as part of a project to expand their personal development skills.

Buddy benches, a concept that began overseas, are placed in school grounds so students who are feeling lonely or need someone to talk to can get support.

St Lawrence School learning assistant, Maryanne Said, believes the bench will have a positive impact at the school. ‘We’re really happy to receive the bench’, she stated. ‘It’s a great idea for students who might be struggling on the playground.’

‘We had kids sitting on it right away, which was really good to see – they get together, have a chat and probably don’t realise it’s evolving into something else.’

The bench has been placed in front of the school’s discovery centre.

‘The bench is obviously moveable, but we decided to place it in front of the discovery centre so we’d be able to keep an eye on the students who are going there and to make sure they’re doing OK’, Ms Said commented.

This article was originally published in the Brimbank & North West Star Weekly on 27 November 2018.