Buddy bench beats blues

Gawler Primary School students Owen and Maddison cut the ribbon to officially launch the buddy benches while Mayor Karen Redman, Local MP Tony Piccolo and Willo’s Men’s Shed's Chris Rehn look on.

Gawler Primary School students Owen and Maddison cut the ribbon to officially launch the buddy benches while Mayor Karen Redman, Local MP Tony Piccolo and Willo’s Men’s Shed's Chris Rehn look on.

Gawler Primary School have installed four ‘buddy benches’ around the school grounds to help children identify another children who may need a friend.

The very colourful benches, have been donated by Willo’s Men’s Shed at Willaston, who either renovated old benches or constructed complete new ones for the school.

Children are encouraged to sit on the bench when they not feeling good about something, or just need a buddy to talk to.

The buddy benches were officially launched on Thursday at a ceremony sponsored by the School Governing Council.

At the launch ceremony, local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo said the benches would help those children who were not feeling good about something, to seek help without the need to necessarily verbalise their need.

“It is a very powerful non-verbal way for young people to reach out for help,” he said.

“Young people, and particularly young boys, are often reluctant to express their feelings and the buddy bench is just another way for young people to seek help.

“The buddy bench compliments the many other things the school already does to support the students in their care.

“For some young people, school can be a lonely place, especially if there are language or cultural differences, so the benches are a way of breaking the ice and facilitating new friendships.”

Mr Piccolo thanked Willo’s Men’s Shed for their contribution to the project, which demonstrated how community organisations can help our schools, and make a contribution to the wellbeing of our children.

Mr Piccolo acknowledged the work undertaken by the various School Governing Council members to bring this project to fruition.