AN Oxfordshire homebuilder has donated a friendship bench to a Bicester school.

David Wilson Homes has given the bench to St Edburg's Primary School in a bid to help children talk and open up to each other and staff.

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The bench is inscribed with the words, ‘We sit, we chat and ask each other questions. We leave as friends, with all good intentions’.

Margaret Kunzer, headteacher at St Edburg’s Primary School, said: “On behalf of the pupils and staff at St Edburg’s CE Primary School, I would like to thank David Wilson Homes for the donation of a 'Time to Talk' bench.

“The children will be encouraged to chat to their friends and socialise whilst using the beautiful bench and it is a most welcome addition to our grounds.”

Valarie Martin, sales manager at David Wilson Homes Mercia, said: “Being open about mental health and challenging the stigma from a young age is extremely important with around 28 per cent of young people with mental health problems receiving negative reactions from others .

“We hope that by donating a friendship bench, children at St Edburg’s CE Primary School will have the chance to talk openly to each other and staff about how they’re feeling.

“Time to Talk Week is an important initiative nationwide, and we relish the opportunity to reach out to schools and organisations within our community and provide support for such a deserving cause.”

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Mental Health Awareness Week runs from Monday, May 10 to Sunday, May 16.

Time to Talk Day, which was held this year on February 4, encourages everyone to be more open about mental health.

David Wilson Homes also made a large donation of Easter Eggs to Bicester Foodbank in March which project manager Janet Ray said donations as such were 'invaluable'.

The housebuilder just built 126 new houses in Hemins Place in Kingsmere on Middleton Stoney Road and was awarded a maximum five-star rating for the twelfth consecutive year in the 2021 Home Builders Federation Customer Satisfaction Survey.

It is also set to build a selection of 148 homes in Banbury.

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