The countdown is on!  Anti-Bullying Week 2017 will be launched in just under two months.  We’re busy behind the scenes organising exciting events and building upon the success of the past few years.

What is Anti-Bullying Week all about?

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 as well as promote good anti-bullying policy and practice.

What’s the theme?

This year’s theme is “All equal, All different, All together”.  The theme is about inclusivity, respect, kindness, acceptance and celebrating equality in difference.  This year, both Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) and Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) in England will have a similar theme to celebrate this idea of difference and equality for all.

What exciting events are planned?

We are delighted to announce that Anti-Bullying Week 2017 (ABW17) will be launched in Belfast City Hall on Monday 13 November.  It is an opportunity to not only kick off the week but importantly to award prizes to competition winners  who celebrated the message of “All equal, All different, All together” through their creative work.  This year, we were overwhelmed with the fantastic response to the creative arts competition, held in the last term of the academic year.  We received 2187 competition entries of art, written word, PowerPoint and performance – you can imagine how difficult it was to select prize winners!

The week also marks a time when schools and youth groups who register for ABW17 can display the free NIABF Anti-Bullying Week posters and engage young people with the fantastic NIABF teaching resources, lesson plans, assemblies and activities in settings across Northern Ireland.  This year we are delighted to have a resource in Irish as well as a resource which specifically addresses disablist bullying.

What’s new for Anti-Bullying Week 2017?

For the first year ever, we are expanding the week and creating a calendar of events!  Throughout Anti-Bullying Week, articles, seminars and events from NIABF members and other organisations will run across Northern Ireland.  The purpose of the events is to raise awareness of bullying, types and motivations of bullying behaviours as well as strategies to address bullying behaviours.  Over the next few weeks we will finalise the calendar of events which is already filling up quickly!  To name but a few events, Stranmillis University College will host a lunch time seminar to showcase the Anti-Bullying Week resources created by student teachers over the past few years, Cara-Friend will launch their “Still Shouting” report and National Children’s Bureau NI  will bring together organisations from their LINKS and Engage programmes to share good anti-bullying practice.  More details of the calendar will be released in the next few weeks so, for now,  watch this space!