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13 November 2017

Local Schools and Youth Groups Get Ready For Anti-Bullying Week

Schools and youth groups across Northern Ireland are getting ready to take part in this year’s Anti-Bullying Week, which runs from today (Monday 13) until Friday November 17, 2017.

Under this year’s theme of ‘All Equal, All Different, All Together’, the week-long campaign aims to support schools and youth organisations to celebrate difference and diversity across Northern Ireland; bring children and young people together to celebrate what makes them and others unique; and help create welcoming and inclusive environments both off and online for children and young people.

Anti-Bullying Week has become an integral part of the school calendar with almost 900 schools, youth groups and organisations getting involved this year. Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) coordinates Anti-Bullying Week, and is supported by Translink. Rosanna Jack, Regional Anti-Bullying Coordinator, Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF), explains the importance of Anti-Bullying Week:

“Anti-Bullying Week is a time to acknowledge that bullying behaviour is an issue and affects many children and young people at school, in youth groups and other settings. It is also a time to promote awareness of the issue and empower young people within good anti-bullying policy and practice.”
Ms Jack continues: “Children and young people need to feel confident and supported in understanding and reporting bullying behaviour. They need to know that adults will work with and for them to challenge and end bullying. That is why the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum provides a free resource pack to registered schools and youth organisations across Northern Ireland, which includes presentations, assembly plans, project briefs and ABW17 themed posters. All resources are designed to help stimulate conversation and debate, empowering children to know what bullying is; how to spot it and what to do should they or their friends experience bullying.”

Anti-Bullying Week 2017 (ABW17) will be launched in Belfast City Hall today (Monday November 13). It will include a special awards ceremony to celebrate this year’s anti-bullying creative arts competition. The competition provides a platform for children and young people to champion anti-bullying messaging and convey their views on how bullying should be tackled.

Ms Jack discusses: “We were overwhelmed with the response of over 2000 competition entries of art, written word, PowerPoint and performance. Young people were passionate about the theme of “All Equal, All Different, All Together” and produced exceptional work to promote anti-bullying messages of inclusivity, respect, kindness, acceptance by celebrating equality and difference.”
Translink has actively supported Anti-Bullying Week for the last nine years. Through this partnership Anti-Bullying Week messages have been shared on the sides of trains and buses. Similar activity is being undertaken this year as Ursula Henderson from Translink explains:

“The safety of our passengers and staff is our top priority. We want everyone to enjoy safe and comfortable journeys that also support the development of young people as they travel independently. Bullying as a child can cause serious health and wellbeing issues but by supporting Anti-Bullying Week 2017 we can help highlight the importance of treating everyone with respect and adopting a zero tolerance to bullying,”

To find out more about Anti-Bullying Week log on to endbullying.org.uk

Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum is network of statutory and non-statutory organisations working together to deliver consistent anti-bullying messages to children and young people across Northern Ireland. NIABF is convened by the National Children's Bureau (NCB) NI and funded by the Department of Education.

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