Upper Hunter Men's Shed and Scone Lions Club deliver 'friendship seats' to local schools

FRIENDSHIP: Upper Hunter Men's Shed's John Pratley and Warren Richards with the Lion Club of Scone's Maria and John Musumeci with St Mary's Primary School Scone students Myles and Amelia.
FRIENDSHIP: Upper Hunter Men's Shed's John Pratley and Warren Richards with the Lion Club of Scone's Maria and John Musumeci with St Mary's Primary School Scone students Myles and Amelia.

BRIGHT and cheerful benches are popping up at schools around Scone reminding students to look out for each other. 

The ‘Friendship Seats’ were donated by the Lions Club of Scone late last year and built, painted and delivered by the Upper Hunter Men’s Shed.

The engraved plaques on the seats were generously paid for by a donation from the owners of the Scone Sports Store.

Upper Hunter Men's Shed's John Pratley said it wasn’t the first time they had made the seats for local schools but the latest delivery included two brand new seats at Scone Grammar School and two at St Mary’s Primary School.

“We also made some for the public school a few years ago,” he said. “They were very pleased with their ones.”

Scone Grammar School students Erin, Pip and Cobin with Upper Hunter Men's Shed's John Pratley and Warren Richards and the Lion Club of Scone's Maria and John Musumeci.

Scone Grammar School students Erin, Pip and Cobin with Upper Hunter Men's Shed's John Pratley and Warren Richards and the Lion Club of Scone's Maria and John Musumeci.

He said the seats were a great initiative designed to help reduce bullying and create friendly and caring school environments. 

“We are even making a few for the Arts and Crafts Centre,” he said.

The seats were first designed under the The Alannah & Madeline Foundation’s Better Buddies program.

The foundation’s mission is keeping children safe from violence and the seats, designed for younger children, serve as a safe place for students to sit on when they find themselves with no one to play with on their lunch break.

By sitting on the seat, the students alert teachers and other students, who will then be encouraged to reach out or include the student in their lunchtime activities. 

They have been very well received by the schools, who are already requesting more benches.

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