A PRIMARY school in Audlem has a new scheme to help foster friendship outside of the classroom.

A 'buddy bench' has been donated to Audlem St James Primary School by housebuilders McCarthy and Stone, with the intention of promoting positive mental wellbeing.

The brightly-coloured bench, which is now positioned in the playground, gives pupils a special place to go to if they are looking for a companion.

Fiona Brooks from McCarthy and Stone says the bench is a great way for children to develop long lasting relationships.

“We are delighted that Audlem St James Primary School are making full use of the buddy bench," she said.

"We understand 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.

"Loneliness isn’t just something that affects older people – it can affect everyone, whatever their age.

"We hope pupils at Audlem St James Primary School continue to develop long lasting friendships from the bench.”