Pupils ensure no one is left out with Buddy scheme
Posted on 3 Jul 2019
Caring pupils at Dreghorn Primary School are ensuring no one feels left out or lonely in the playground after the installation of Buddy Benches.
The idea behind the scheme is that children in need of a friend can sit on a bench, then other children can come over for a chat or to play with them.
The school supported local businesses by using companies close to the school to purchase the benches and signage, and Primary 7 pupils helped paint them to ensure they are a colourful addition to the playground.
The Buddy scheme also links to the school’s work with UNICEF's Rights Respecting School programme, where every child has the right to play.
Funding for the benches was secured through North Ayrshire Council’s Youth Participatory Budgeting Scheme, with the pupils’ idea qualifying for application under the Health and Wellbeing category.
Dreghorn Primary Principal Teacher Gregor Todd said: "I'm really pleased with how our benches have turned out and I am proud of the children for suggesting the idea, ensuring that everyone is able to enjoy a happy playtime.
“We work hard to teach the children to care for each other and we hope that through initiatives like this, these values will be carried with them into the wider community.”
Councillor Louise McPhater, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “This is a lovely scheme that speaks volumes about the pupils at Dreghorn Primary School, who suggested the idea themselves.
“No child deserves to be lonely at school, and as well as a boost for children who may be struggling to make friends, the scheme also helps to teach empathy and valuable social skills.
“We are pleased to have been able to help fund the project through our Youth Participatory Budgeting scheme.”
North Ayrshire Council’s Youth Participatory Budget scheme has provided a welcome boost for a host of youth groups and projects since it was launched in 2016.
In 2018, 56 clubs and groups from across North Ayrshire received a share of £50,000 through the scheme, with over 6,468 young people aged eight to 25 voting via the Young Scot website on which of the shortlisted projects they’d like to see funded in their community.
To find out more about North Ayrshire Council’s Participatory Budgeting schemes, visit www.northayrshire.community/get-involved/participatory-budgeting-in-north-ayrshire