Friendship bench

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A friendship bench is a special place in a school playground where a child can go when they want someone to talk to.

Friendship benches may be distinctively different from other seating in the school and may be specially designed by an artist or with the help of the children themselves. Such benches are situated in open and well-travelled areas of the school so that any child using the bench will be noticed quickly.

When a child feels the need for a friend to talk to, he or she can show this by using the friendship bench. Other children and staff will recognise this as a sign that some help, support or comfort is needed and will come to talk with the child.

The friendship bench is a means by which a child can seek support without the need to rationalise their feelings or to seek-out a particular member of staff or special friend. Because the bench is in the day-to-day environment of the school it can be used at any time and for any reason—from seemingly trivial matters to more serious concerns—and encourages children to ask for help when they are troubled.

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