Buddy benches basically provide a designated area in the environment of a school, where children can go to when they are feeling fed up, and other children recognise this and can sit with them and offer friendship and kindness. It's a symbol of respect, and a reminder of the good behaviour all schools aspire to.
So, this lady was asking me to consider making one for her child's school. I have to say I was really taken with the buddy bench idea for lots of reasons, as anyone would be. How effective it is depends a lot on the school and how they introduce and use it - there are guidelines to follow. But the very fact that it is there says that this school is doing all it can to combat bullying, and this bench is just one way, out of many - to do that - a practical, real symbol of thinking about others.
I already make bespoke benches for private customers - for patios, cafes, gardens etc - and the scope for design in schools is immense - school logos, mottos, crests, pupils' own designs, inspirational words, commemorating an event, whatever - so, it's all systems go!
Anything that helps combat bullying has to be good, hasn't it?