In recognition of Anti-Bullying Week (15th to 19th November), Barratt has donated friendship benches to nurseries across Cheshire and Lancashire.
The nurseries have received a friendship bench for children to use when they need to talk to someone. It is inscribed with the message: ‘We sit, we chat and ask each other questions. We leave as friends, with all good intentions.’
Anti-Bullying Week is led by Anti-Bullying Alliance, which is a coalition of organisations and individuals, with the aim to create safe environments for children to learn, play and flourish without judgement or scrutiny.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance recognises that a small conversation can make a big difference. The organisation has reached millions of people across England and has begun to improve attitudes and behaviours towards mental health problems.
Kayleigh Walton, Nursery Manager at Sunrise Nursery, said: “This year especially we have been focusing 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. 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.”
Neil Goodwin, Managing Director at Barratt Homes Manchester, 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 will have the chance to talk openly to each other and staff about how they’re feeling. Anti-Bullying Week is an important initiative nationwide, and we relish the opportunity to reach out to schools and organisations within our community and provide support for such a deserving cause.”