A number of Guernsey’s schools got involved with an initiative to help tackle bullying during Anti-Bullying Week.
The national awareness week, from 11-15 November, was organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the aim was to raise awareness among children and young people, parents and carers on the issue of bullying.
The initiative was sponsored by Savills, who partnered with Youth Commission. The team went into a number of schools during the week, including Les Beaucamps, La Mare De Carteret, Ladies’ College, St Sampson’s High and Elizabeth College, to raise awareness and offer support.
As part of the initiative, they offered brochures from Guernsey Mind and Youth Commission on where to find help and how to recognise bullying, played flash card games with the children and gave out #antibullyingweek wristbands and pens.
Richard Fox, head of residential at Savills Guernsey, said: “We were pleased to have been part of this initiative. Following a quick straw poll in the office, it was genuinely alarming to note how many of our employees said they’d been affected by bullying – either during childhood or even as an adult. Education and awareness is one way to counter the pervasive nature of bullying, which can have a devastating effect on a person’s confidence and well-being.”
Dani Barnett, of Savills, who coordinated the initiative with Youth Commission, said: “We have had great feedback from the schools, with the children showing great interest in learning and talking about bullying.”
A survey of over 1,000 11 to 16-year-olds, published by the Anti-Bullying Alliance ahead of Anti-Bullying Week, found that nearly a quarter (24%) said they have been bullied once a week or more during the last six months. Nearly one child in every classroom (3%) said they are bullied every day, and one in ten children (11%) said they have missed school due to bullying.
Even greater numbers have changed their route to school (14%) and nearly one in five (19%) have steered clear of spending time with friends to avoid being bullied. A similar amount, (19%) have avoided social media and online gaming because of bullying, underlining how being bullied as a child can have serious repercussions, often lasting well into adulthood.