A FRIENDSHIP bench has been created to encourage children to talk openly to each other.

Barratt Homes donated the buddy bench to Sunrise Nursery in Northwich so youngsters have a special place to sit if they want to talk to someone.

The wooden bench is inscribed with the message 'We sit, we chat and ask each other questions. We leave as friends, with all good intentions'.

Barratt Homes donates a buddy bench to combat bulling


The initiative was inspired by anti-bullying week led by Anti-Bullying Alliance, a group organisations and individuals, with the aim to create safe environments for children to learn, play and flourish without judgement or scrutiny.

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Kayleigh Walton, nursery manager at Sunrise Nursery, said: “This year especially we have been focussing on supporting children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health, as the periods of lockdown have meant that many children missed out on vital early social experiences.

Children having fun on a buddy bench donated by Barratt Homes


"As a result of this, a lot of children have struggled with forming friendships and developing play skills.

“We are thrilled with the addition of the Barratt’s buddy bench to our outdoor area as a way to help children develop their social skills and form friendships.”

The Anti-Bullying Alliance recognises that a small conversation can make a big difference.

Children having fun on a buddy bench donated by Barratt Homes


Neil Goodwin, managing director at Barratt Homes, whose Dane View development is near the nursery, said: “Being open about mental health and challenging the stigma from a young age is extremely important.

"It affects many and inviting those that may be suffering to speak about their issues with their peers could make a world of difference.

“We hope that by donating a friendship bench, children at Sunrise Nursery will have the chance to talk openly to each other and staff about how they’re feeling."