Schools and youth clubs across Hull are taking a stand against bullies and are highlighting where young people can get help as part of Anti-Bullying Week next week (17 - 21 November).
Hull City Council and NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) through 'HeadStart', are working with schools and youth groups across the city. The aim is to help young people to understand that bullying is wrong and that they should not put up with it.
A recent Hull City Council consultation with around 1,500 children and young people found that bullying was a huge issue with 47 per cent of young people stating that they are worried about bullying. It is also an issue that cuts across both genders and all age groups and also is identified as being a concern by parents and carers.
It was one of the largest local consultations on children and young people's emotional health and well-being undertaken in Hull and the findings will help to develop the 'HeadStart' pilot programme.
Julia Mizon, Co-Chair Hull Children's and Families Board and NHS Hull CCG Director of Commissioning and Partnerships, said:
"As the children and young people highlighted, raising awareness of bullying is massively important, so is letting them know where they can go for help.
"The HeadStart programme not only allows us to raise awareness by working with pupils but also the opportunity to provide them with the skills they need to cope with the pressures of modern life.
"Our priority is for young people in this city to be active, confident, engaged learning, who can face challengers. We know this can't be achieved in isolation which is why we are committed to working with our partners to develop the HeadStart programme."
Young people are being urged to tell someone they trust whether it's a family member, friend, teacher, youth worker or school nurses which is run by CHCP and offer a young people's drop-in service in every secondary school. The work is part of Hull's participation in the Big Lottery Fund's £25 million HeadStart project, aimed at improving the mental health and resilience of children aged 10-14.
Posters have been designed to raise awareness about bullying, urging children and young people to get help and not to suffer in silence.
Councillor Rosie Nicola, Hull City Council's Portfolio Holder for Learning, Skills and Safeguarding Children, said:
"Children and young people have identified that bullying is high on their agenda and I am delighted that there will be posters in every schools and youth clubs to raise awareness.
"Bullying is wrong and it damages young people's lives. No one should have to contend with being bullied and where it does raise its ugly head, everyone should challenge it. That is why this campaign is so important.
"Bullying can happen anywhere and has many different forms. It is a frightening experience and can seriously affect a young person's self esteem and confidence. We must do everything we can do to raise awareness about bullying and to stop people bullying others.
"We need to make sure that young people in Hull and feel safe and treat each other with respect at all times. We all have the right not to be bullied; and everyone also has a responsibility not to bully others and to speak out when we witness bullying."
As part of the HeadStart project, a digital app is currently being developed by young people at Cornerhouse in partnership with Hull City Council, NHS Hull CCG, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and organisations from the voluntary sector.
The app, which is part funded by The Big Lottery and Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner, will raise awareness of the local and national support networks available to support young people address issues as they grow-up and help build resilience to fight back.
Tish Lamb at Cornerhouse, said:
"Bullying is something that affects everyone in our communities; especially those who are vulnerable to begin with.
"A group of young people Cornerhouse supported recognised this and other issues as something that young people needed additional support with and as a result designed a digital app.
"This is currently being developed and its aim is to enable young people to access support and services through a medium which young people are actively engaged in."
Bullying is defined as the act of one person inflicting harm on another person repetitively and there are different forms such as cyber, verbal or physical.
Every year the national Anti-Bullying Week is a week where children and young people, schools, parents and carers come together with one aim: to stop bullying for all and the theme for this year's Anti-Bullying Week is 'let's stop bullying for all'.
For more information on the different forms of bullying and the support available at visit www.youngminds.org.uk and www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk
The Big Lottery Fund’s HeadStart programme ‘Head Start’ project is aimed at 10 – 14 year olds and is designed to help school pupils’ deal with their worries and problems.
Hull, along with 11 other areas around the country have been chosen to take part in a pilot scheme that will look at young people’s emotional health and resilience, supporting them to tackle a range of issues, from bullying, body image and peer pressure, to exam stress and even the pressure of moving up from Primary to Secondary School. It is extremely important to Hull as past research has shown that Hull has low levels of emotional health amongst young people.
This pilot stage of the project will run until December 2015 with 13 Hull schools taking part. Each school will deliver universal support through school based interventions with additional support for those who need it both in school and in the community.