First Buddy Bench scheme

Philip McLorinan (Dunmurry Dental Practice) with his children Andrew, Kiera and Maria and Gavin Gallagher (Acting Principal) with school buddies
Philip McLorinan (Dunmurry Dental Practice) with his children Andrew, Kiera and Maria and Gavin Gallagher (Acting Principal) with school buddies

The children of St. Joseph’s Primary School in Lisburn have welcomed the first Buddy Bench to be set up in Northern Ireland.

Dunmurry Dental Practice sponsored the seat, a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground.

The Buddy Bench idea was started by a child in America – who came up with the idea to have a bench on the playground designated for children who aren’t sure who to play with, who to talk to, or who just want to assess a situation before joining a group.

It is also a place to meet and play with friends both old and new.

And it is also a reminder for children to be kind and reach out to one another.

Acting Principal of St Joseph’s Primary School, Mr Gavin Gallagher commented, “We are delighted to have received this bench as it complements the school’s ethos and builds on the buddy system we already have in place in the school for many years.

“We would like to thank Dunmurry Dental Practice for this generous donation of the Buddy Bench to the school.”

Speaking about the Buddy Bench, Philip McLorinan, owner of Dunmurry Dental Practice said, “I first learnt of the Buddy Bench initiative whilst at a fundraising event for the Paddy Wallace Fund for Autism.

“I absolutely loved the concept of the Buddy Bench and felt that it was something we would like to provide in a local school.

“We all need a buddy at some stage in life.’