CHILDREN who find it tricky to make friends at school have been given a helping hand in the form of a buddy bench.

Pupils at Crowthorne CE Primary School, in Duke's Ride, were donated the brightly-coloured bench by local housebuilder McCarthy and Stone in order to help children foster friendships outside of the classroom.

The bench is designed to promote positive mental wellbeing, by giving pupils a special place where they can go if they are looking for a companion.

Headteacher Ruth Jackson said: "Supporting the emotional welfare of our pupils is central to our school values. By having a buddy bench in the playground, our pupils are prompted to help each other when someone needs to talk or find someone to play with. We are delighted with the bench and extremely grateful to McCarthy and Stone for this kind donation.”

Georgina Akers, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for McCarthy and Stone South East, said: “We are delighted Crowthorne Church of England Primary School are enjoying their buddy bench. We understand all too well how important it is for people of any age to feel a sense of belonging, and to have a friend they can turn to when they feel the need to talk.

“A tight-knit community and companionship are among the many benefits of living in a McCarthy and Stone development. The buddy bench is an example of the many ways in which we can help to bring people together, and we hope the pupils of Crowthorne Church of England Primary School continue to develop long-lasting friendships from the bench.”