‘Buddy bench’ idea wins friends
Selborne pair’s plan to build bridges at school takes off
WHEN best friends Troy Woodbridge and Daniel Woodin noticed that some of their classmates did not have anyone to play with, they decided to take action to help foster friendships at their school.
To achieve this, the boys set forth to acquire a buddy bench.
The Selborne Primary School Grade 3 pupils, who say they have been best friends for nine years now, decided to do something when they noticed during break times that some boys looked lonely.
The boys, both aged nine, then came up with the idea of a buddy bench.
After playing around with the idea for two weeks, Troy approached a teacher at school who referred him to the acting headmaster, Aubrie Pepler.
“We have been best friends for nine years now and we are always in the same class at the back because our surnames are similar,” Daniel said.
“We always play with each other during break, but not all kids are fortunate like us.
“We usually see kids lonely with no one to play with and that’s how we came up with the idea of a buddy bench.”
“We play not far from the bench. When we see kids sitting on it, we approach them and ask to play with them. We have made so many new friends,” Troy said.
Pepler said he was approached by Troy, asking if the school could make a buddy bench for pupils who did not have friends, to sit on during break.
Pepler said he thought it was a wonderful idea and arranged for the bench to be built on campus.
“Troy came to see me in my office and told me that he often saw lonely boys who did not have friends on the playground and the school needed to build a buddy bench which would assist the boys to make friends.
“I thought it was a great idea. Troy is really just one of those pupils who wants to give back to the community and is always going out [of] his way to have a positive impact.
“He pestered his grandmother, Lorraine Woodbridge, to give me a call to ensure this bench was put up,” said Pepler.
CAMARADERIE: Best friends Daniel Woodin and Troy Woodbridge of Selborne Primary sit on the ‘Buddy Bench’ which aims to foster friendships at their school