A study carried out in 2015 by UWA’s School of Population Health found children’s sense of loneliness was intensified at school because they saw others with big friendship groups.
After being sent a copy of an article written by a mother whose child had benefitted by using a ‘Buddy Bench’, members of the Rotary Club of Freshwater Bay agreed to offer them to local schools.
Our Rotarians found a suitable bench which came in a flat pack and needed to be painted and assembled. An enquiry to local schools found that they favoured a bright multi coloured bench although two of the older schools preferred them to be simply varnished.
A number of members attended working bees to prepare the first 14 which had been requested by local schools.
Feedback from the schools indicate that the Buddy Benches are used regularly with more than two hundred children having used them in the first six months.
Our buddy bench project has expanded overseas with our Singaporean members donating a buddy bench to Chaoyang Special School (see Singapore Buddy Bench delivered and Chaoyang School Buddy Bench), which was inaugurated on Rotary’s anniversary on 23rd February 2023.