BULLYING can have a lifelong effect. It can knock a child’s confidence, leave them scared and, for many, trigger insecurities that are taken into adulthood.
But many schools have a series of projects operating to help pupils beat the bullies.
This year X Factor stars Jedward are helping promote the rights of young people who have been bullied as part of a poster campaign.
A special website was launched last year to provide children, parents and professionals with a tool to help deal with the problem of bullying.
To date, a total of 8,589 visits have been made to www.yourhealthsunderland.com as people look for help on how to deal with the brutal abuse.
A series of hard-hitting workshops have also been held across the city, with more than 500 pupils from across the city taking part in a series of drama performances and cyber-bullying workshops.
And this week – national Anti-Bullying Week – a total of 40 pupils were presented with certificates to say they had successfully taken part in the Children’s Anti-Bullying Workshops.
City schools have also been invited to take part in a competition that has seen pupils design an anti-bullying mobile phone application.
The competition will be judged in December with winning entries made available to download on a mobile phone.
Coun Pat Smith, portfolio holder for children and learning city, said: “We have a strong anti-bullying strategy in Sunderland which we have worked hard to put in place with the support of young people, staff and families at schools across the community.
“The recent conferences held across the city, which were attended by more than 500 young people sharing their views and suggestions with us on ways to tackle the problem, are testament to their commitment to this process.
“Our strategy can only succeed with the help of our young people, and I was delighted to award these certificates to recognise their contribution to our work by taking part in these events.
“National Anti-Bullying Week helps raise awareness of the problem, but work continues throughout the year here in our city to help all those affected.”
For more information on bullying, how to deal with your child being bullied and for help and advice, visit www.yourhealthsunderland.com