WHEN Emilia Attorre saw a friend looking lonely and left out during a school break time last January, she was determined to do something to help fellow pupils who do not have anyone to play with.

The nine-year-old, from Newport - who says she just wants to see more kindness in the world - wrote a letter to her headteacher asking the school to buy a 'buddy bench', after hearing of the idea from her mum.

And now the city's Eveswell Primary School has a buddy bench, after headteacher Catherine Barnett was inspired by Emilia's suggestion.

A buddy bench is somewhere that children who do not have anyone to play with can sit, to encourage other children to ask them to get involved.

“My friend was sat in the corner and looked really lonely,” said Emilia.

“When I came home I told my mum and she gave me the idea about the buddy bench.

“The next day I wrote a letter to the headmistress and she wrote back to me the day after saying that she thought it was a great idea.”


Emilia's letter read: “In some schools they have something at playtime called a buddy bench. If you don’t have anyone to play with, you will sit on the buddy bench. People will see that they are left out, and they would play with them.

“I’ve been wondering if we can have something like that on the junior yard. I know that if someone is at the buddy bench, I would 100 per cent go and play with them.

“It’s just that my friend has been left out and she is a lovely girl and should have more friends to go to.”

South Wales Argus:

(The letter Emilia Attorre wrote to her headteacher asking for the school to buy a Buddy Bench. Picture: Beth Attorre.)

Emilia did not realise that the bench has now been installed until a friend told her.

“My friend came running up to me and said it had been delivered," she said.

“When I first saw it, I was amazed. It was such a good feeling to see it.

“I’m glad the teachers let me do it, and hopefully people will be able to make new friends with it.

“I just wanted to see more kindness. When I see people upset and lonely it makes me feel sad. I just want them to be happy.”

Headteacher Catherine Barnett said: "We take our children's suggestions seriously and we try to listen to their ideas.

"Emilia was very kind in thinking about our children who didn't have anyone to play with. It came from a caring and kind place and she wrote me a lovely letter.

"The Buddy Bench fits in well with our mission of 'Inspire. Achieve. Respect'. Emilia has been very respectful of the other children's needs."