Anti-Bullying Week 21, which runs from November 15-19, is back with a bang, featuring a busier schedule than ever before and a brand new award for influential local school teachers and staff who have helped stamp out bullying.

The event, which is in its 16th year, will have the running theme, ‘One Kind Word’ which aims to encourage children and young people from across Northern Ireland to speak kindly to others to break the cycle of bullying.

Odd Socks Day will kick off the week today (15 November), with children encouraged to celebrate their uniqueness by donning mismatching socks. An Odd Socks Day Resource Pack will also be shared with schools.

And CBBC and CBeebies stars Andy and the Odd Socks have recorded a brilliant new song and video especially for Anti-Bullying Week 2021 called ‘One Kind Word’.

Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated by the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) and supported by Translink.  NIABF is an interagency group hosted by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and funded by the Department of Education.

Charlene Brooks, chair, Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum said this year’s event promises a jam-packed schedule that will reinforce the theme, One Kind Word. She said:

“Our manifesto for this year is about the simple act of kindness, from small positive statements made from one child to another to acting kindly so that we can ignite a chain reaction that overpowers negativity and instils positivity.

“With our manifesto in mind, we’re asking children to ask if someone’s OK. Say you’re sorry. Just say hey.

“In a world that can sometimes feel like it’s filled with negativity, one kind word can provide a moment of hope. It can be a turning point. It can change someone’s perspective. It can change their day. It can change the course of a conversation and break the cycle of bullying.

“Best of all, one kind word leads to another. Kindness fuels kindness. So, from the playground to Parliament, and from our phones to our homes, together, our actions can fire a chain reaction that powers positivity.

“It starts with one kind word. It starts today.”

NI Anti-Bullying Forum has produced a toolkit with some tips and guidance for parents or carers who are concerned with bullying.

The main topics are:

  • What is bullying?
  • How to spot signs a child is being bullied
  • Tips for talking to your child about being bullied
  • Coping with the effects of bullying and developing strategies to stop it
  • Tips for building your child’s confidence and self-esteem
  •  Your feelings
  •  What is expected from schools?
  • Letting the school know your concerns
  •  Tips on approaching the school
  •  If your child is exhibiting bullying behaviour
  •  Tips for parents to help deal with aggressive behaviour
  • Cyberbullying on the internet and mobile phones
  • Useful organisations

View it here: NIABF Parent Carer Toolkit

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