Buddy Benches will make a great difference

Mrs Heather Poole principal of the Limavady Central Primary School along with some of the P1 pupils are pictured receiving the first 'buddy bench' from Mags Connelly of Tesco Limavady and members of the Ballykelly Mens Shed, Andy Lee, Brian McCluskey and Barrie Jackson. INLV2216-120KDR
Mrs Heather Poole principal of the Limavady Central Primary School along with some of the P1 pupils are pictured receiving the first 'buddy bench' from Mags Connelly of Tesco Limavady and members of the Ballykelly Mens Shed, Andy Lee, Brian McCluskey and Barrie Jackson. INLV2216-120KDR

They’re called buddy benches and, if a local business and local men’s charity involved in a joint project fulfil their aim, they will soon be turning up on playgrounds in Limavady.

The buddy bench will be a place a child can sit if they feel they’re being bullied, left out, or in need of a friend.

The project involves Tesco in Limavady and the Men’s Shed in Ballykelly.

Tesco Community Champion, Mags Connolly explained: “The child can sit on the buddy bench and this lets their peers and teachers know that they need a friend.

“The benches will be made by the Men’s Shed in Ballykelly under the supervision of the Green Gym-The Conservation Volunteers.

“This is a brilliant project and, when I approached Men’s Shed in Ballykelly with my idea back in May, they were delighted to get on board and help out.

“It will make a great difference to the mental health and wellbeing of the children, and we are very proud to be part of it.”

Ms Connolly said they’re planning a “big hand over” in September with Buddy Bench Ireland “who will help us present them and deliver the training required to teachers and pupils on how to use the benches properly”.

Central P.S., Limavady, Principal, Heather Poole said the school is “delighted “to have the buddy bench.

“I think it’s brilliant,” she said.