‘Buddy bench’ idea wins friends

Sel­borne pair’s plan to build bridges at school takes off

Daily Dispatch - - News - By QAQAMBA MAGADLA

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.

Pic­ture: QAQAMBA MAGADLA

CA­MA­RADERIE: Best friends Daniel Woodin and Troy Wood­bridge of Sel­borne Pri­mary sit on the ‘Buddy Bench’ which aims to foster friend­ships at their school

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