Beautifully crafted Buddy Seat donated to St Kilian’s school
By Mary Dennehy
A VERY special piece of playground furniture called the Buddy Seat was donated to St Kilian’s Junior National School in Kingswood this week.
Beautifully crafted by the Tallaght Men’s Shed in Glenview, the Buddy Seat was donated to the school by community-led suicide awareness organisation, NINA for Life – which locally promotes suicide awareness and positive mental health alongside staging free education, advisory and training events.
On Monday, the voluntary organisation made a special delivery to St Kilian’s JNS of the seat, which will provide a safe place for children to go within the school yard if they are feeling a little sad or if they have no friends to play with.
Jean Haas, one of the founders of NINA for Life, said: “By sitting on the Buddy Seat children are seeking support and friendship from other children in the playground.
“The Buddy Seat should be monitored during playtime by an adult so no child is left sitting on the bench for any length of time.”
She added: “The Nina for Life Buddy Seat was built by the Tallaght Men Shed in Glenview.
“Nina for Life is working closely with the Tallaght Men’s Shed and our objective is to place as many Buddy Seats in schools as we can achieve through fundraising.”
On Monday, the pupils of St Kilian’s JNS celebrated the arrival of the Buddy Seat, embracing its meaning and importance.
Noreen Coll, Deputy Principal of St Kilian’s JNS, told The Echo: “The Buddy Seat is a wonderful tool to promote inclusion and positive self-esteem in young children and was launched as part of Health and Wellbeing Week.
“At the launch, the children sang The Happy Song helped by Chrissie and a group of children read The Smile poem, with the rest of the children joining in.
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse were in attendance and [Tallaght Fianna Fail councillor] Charlie O’Connor cut the balloons on the seat.”
The arrival of the Buddy Seat was part of a weeklong programme of activities at the local school which promoted physical, mental and emotion wellbeing – and was supported by South Dublin County Council’s Health and Wellbeing Office.
For further information on NINA (Need Information Need Advice) visit its Facebook page or call Jean on 087 6849399.
Check out page 68 in this week’s Echo for more pictures.