Our friendship creates more friendships

Published: 14 November 2017

The Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) partnership is looking to help children create partnerships of their own with buddy benches installed in three primary schools.

Buddy benches have been installed at James Elliman, St. Mary’s and Claycots primary schools as part of SUR’s work to increase and improve school environments on behalf of the council.

The colourful benches, funded entirely by SUR, provide a place for children to sit and chat at break times; as well as acting as a tool to encourage children to reach out to each other.

The idea of a buddy bench is children on their own, who may be struggling to find someone to play with, can sit on the bench to let other pupils and staff know how they feel.

The benches are made from recycled plastic bottles, are easy to maintain and come in a variety of colour designed to brighten up any corner of a playground.

Rachel Cross, Headteacher at St Mary’s said: “We are delighted with our new buddy bench, which is colourful and attractive.

“As an eco-school we particularly like the fact the bench is made from recycled bottles.

“Children can be seen using the bench every day, whether to find a friend to play with, chat to an adult on duty or sit with their own friends for a chat.

“It is a super addition to our outside space.”

Ged Humphries, Training and Skills Co-ordinator at Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) said: “The Buddy Bench is a great initiative.

“It provides a simple but effective way to encourage children to reach out to others, and to be both aware and compassionate towards fellow classmates and how they may be feeling.

“It’s fantastic we have been able to install these benches across three primary schools.”

Councillor Madhuri Bedi, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “All our schools are excellent at encouraging kindness, friendship and inclusion in their pupils and these benches now give the children themselves an opportunity to step up, reach out and help fellow pupils who may be feeling alone.

“This is an example of the added extras our SUR partnership brings as not only are they providing state of the art new buildings at these schools, but adding little touches which improve the emotional as well as the physical environment.”

Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) is currently working on numerous projects across the borough, from delivering new school extensions to creating new and improved leisure facilities and new housing developments.

Slough Urban Renewal is a 50:50 joint venture between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments Limited. Its purpose is to deliver ambitious objectives to transform the borough of Slough.