Buddy benches for the Broch

South Park students with their yellow buddy bench
South Park students with their yellow buddy bench

Buddy benches to tackle pupil isolation in the playground have been appearing at primary schools in Fraserburgh.

They are the creation of Abbeyfield Lodge Children’s Unit- a privately run unit which has been operating for over ten years.

Pupils at Fraserburghs St Andrews School

Pupils at Fraserburghs St Andrews School

Benches have been installed at Lochpots, South Park, Westfield, North and the two St. Andrews Schools in the town.

Abbeyfield manager Lesley Carle explained: “Staff at Abbeyfield try to instill in our young people about caring for others and with this in mind we have undertaken many charity and giving projects over the years.

“The buddy benches formed our summer project to see six brightly-decorated benches going into local primary schools in Fraserburgh.

“These were decorated by staff and young people to be distributed when the schools returned in autumn.”

Pupils only sit on the benches if they need someone to play with or need a friend.

Children are encouraged to talk toanyone sitting on the bench and invite them to play.

Lesley Carle urged pupils: “If you are sitting on the bench and someone invites you to play, say Yes!”

Abbeyfield Lodge currently employes 17 staff and has provided a placement for more than 60 young people.

Over the years staff have worked with young people teaching them many life skills along the way and taking them on experiences which have enhanced their lives and built precious memories for them.

Staff at Abbeyfield take the lead from residents in what they do as well as taking on board what they want to do for fun day events. They have gone on many outings, trips and holidays as well as hosting fun days.