New school bench provides a safe space for pupils

The Kind Heart Bench at Groote Schuur High School.

A new bench which will provide a safe space for pupils who are having stressful times has been installed at Groote Schuur High School.

The bench is part of The Kind Heart Bench Project, which was launched last Wednesday, March 31, in partnership with project creator, Bradley Bailey of Perfect Fit 360.

School spokesperson Paige du Plessis says the yellow bench comes from a tree which gives life, hope, love and kindness.

The Kind Heart Bench project creator, Bradley Bailey, Sergeant Lutchmee Chetty of Claremont Police and Groote Schuur High School Principal Marius Ehrenreich.

Mr Bailey says he has seen first-hand the effects of bullying on a child and he is an avid supporter of children’s mental health. “The aim of the project is to focus on the issues that our pupils deal with on a daily basis, that affect their mental health, such as peer pressure and bullying,” he said.

Ms Du Plessis says The Kindness Bench will be a permanent reminder to students to take a minute out of their day to sit, breathe and talk about their mental health and that of their peers. “The Kind Heart Bench offers a safe space to connect with others, openly sharing their stories and ideas,” she says.

Ms Du Plessis says The Kind Heart Bench project believes “we” as a society can be that pillar, that backrest, the armrests, coming alongside our pupils who are bullied, feeling depressed, marginalised, or who feel forgotten.

“We want our learners to know that they matter and that they are acknowledged and they in return can pay it forward.”

The hashtag #youmatter will be used as part of the campaign to create awareness around the project.

Other schools which would like to be part of The Kind Heart Bench Project can call Mr Bailey on 071 962 0693 or email bradley@perfectfit360.co.za or call Ms Du Plessis on 021 674 2165 or email marketing@gshs.co.za

Groote Schuur High school pupils were present at the launch.