Harpenden school's friendship bench encourages conversations about children's mental health

Roundwood Primary colourful friendship bench with a pupil sat at either end

Roundwood Primary pupils that may find themselves feeling overwhelmed or lonely can use the bench to connect with other children who feel the same way - Credit: Roundwood Primary School

A local primary school has used a generous donation to buy a friendship bench for their playground.

Roundwood Primary School in Harpenden was presented a donation of £830 by Redrow South Midlands, who are currently building nearby Caddington Woods.

With that money, the school purchased a rainbow-coloured 'friendship bench', designed to support their pupils' mental health and to encourage new friendships and human interaction.

Children feeling overwhelmed or lonely can use the bench to connect with other children who feel the same way. 

Headteacher Kate Hooft said: “We are incredibly grateful to receive Redrow’s donation – the bench is already a well-loved feature of our playground. 

“Children’s mental health can often be overlooked; yet, in light of the past year, it’s more important than ever to make sure they receive the emotional support they need. The friendship bench is a great way to raise awareness and break the taboo surrounding it while encouraging children to be kind and form new connections.

“We’re already starting to see friendships being born, and we’re looking forward to seeing many more being created in the months and years ahead.”

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Suzanne Irons from Redrow South Midlands said: “We are delighted to have helped Roundwood Primary School purchase a beautiful friendship bench.

“Over the past year, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding mental health, with an emphasis on promoting emotional wellbeing both in schools and workplaces.

"We’re proud to be a part of this conversation by helping to raise awareness among younger children and making sure they know how important it is to reach out when things don’t feel quite right.

“We loved seeing the pictures of children using the bench, and we’re looking forward to hearing many more tales of friendship for years to come.”