• RESPECT is at the heart of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week –

Schools and youth groups across Northern Ireland are getting ready to take part in this year’s Anti-Bullying Week, which runs from Monday 12 November 2018.

Under this year’s theme of ‘RESPECT, the week-long campaign aims to support schools and youth organisations and encourage children and young people to think about what respect means to them, what it feels like to be respected and how they show respect to others. This initiative explores how respect for others can build an anti-bullying culture in schools and communities.

Anti-Bullying Week has become an integral part of the school calendar with more than 600 schools, youth groups and organisations getting involved this year.

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

Lee Kane, Regional Coordinator, Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF), explains the importance of Anti-Bullying Week:

“Anti-Bullying Week ensures that awareness of bullying is raised by schools and the wider community in order to increase understanding of its impact. The Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum provides a free resource pack to registered schools and youth organisations across Northern Ireland, which includes presentations and workshop plans, as well as themed posters.

“These resources help students to explore the nature and complexities of bullying behaviours. They are designed to help stimulate conversation and debate, empowering children to know what bullying is; how to spot it and what to do should they or their friends experience bullying.”

Mr Kane continues: “The focus of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week campaign is on the theme of respect. We will be encouraging children and young people to think about what respect means to them, what it feels like to be respected and how they show respect to others.

“As a visual representation of individual support for anti-bullying throughout ABW18, we are calling on everyone to ‘Wear Yellow 4 Respect’. It could be a yellow hat, yellow socks or a yellow tie. Perhaps a pair of yellow trousers, a yellow jumper or yellow shoes. Even yellow shoe laces – everything counts!

“Once you have dressed yellow, we are asking you to take a photo of yourself, holding up an ABW18 ‘RESPECT Board, which can be downloaded from the NIABF website: www.endbullying.org.k. Then share your photo on social media, using the #WearYellow4RESPECT and #ABW18. If you are sharing on Twitter you can tag us @niabf.”


Mr Kane concludes: “Overall, we will be exploring how respect for others can build an anti-bullying culture in our schools and in our communities.”

Anti-Bullying Week 2018 (ABW18) will be launched at Belfast Harbour Commissioners Office on Monday 12 November 2018.  It will include a special awards ceremony to celebrate this year’s anti-bullying creative arts competition. The competition provides a platform for children and young people to champion anti-bullying messaging and convey their views on how bullying should be tackled.

A series of events is scheduled for the week including a special screening of ‘Time to Stand’, a short film that Cinemagic recently developed with support from the Urban Villages Initiative*, which is a key action of the Together: Building a United Community (T:BUC) strategy. The Time to Stand film has been informed by members of the Executive’s Racial Equality Subgroup and aims to help young people tackle racism and bullying. The film will be used by schools and youth projects across the Urban Village areas and will be made available on a regional basis.

Translink has actively supported Anti-Bullying Week for the last 10 years and is once again supporting this year’s campaign by delivering key messages around the theme of respect in stations, on buses and on trains, as John Thompson, Translink Health and Safety Manager, explains:

“With record numbers of people in Northern Ireland using public transport we want to ensure everyone enjoys safe and secure journeys always respecting fellow passengers and Translink staff.

“As part of our Translink SPIRIT, we always consider the interests of society, putting safety first in everything we do. We transport around 55,000 young people to and from school every day and recognise the positive impact of the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum in supporting pupil development so that respect becomes second nature, ultimately building a more inclusive, welcoming and thriving society.

“Anti-Bullying Week continues to grow every year with more young people getting involved and we’re looking forward to making our contribution by raising awareness about this serious issue, protecting the health and wellbeing of young people, our employees and the wider public right across Northern Ireland.”

Lagan College, Belfast, is taking part in this year’s Anti-Bullying Week campaign. The school’s Principal, Amanda McNamee, explains why it is such an important week for the school:

“As one of the first integrated schools here, we pride ourselves on our student centered approach, committed to working in partnership to ensure that Lagan College continues to be a happy, caring and inclusive learning community. Fostering a sense of respect in our pupils, both a respect for themselves and respect for others, is a key priority for Lagan College, helping to build a strong anti-bullying culture across the whole school community.

“Anti-Bullying Week gives staff, parents, students, friends and directors the opportunity to reinforce the anti-bullying messages across the school. During the week we use the NIABF resources to highlight what bullying is and how we can deal with it, not only in school but at home, online and in our community.”

To find out more about Anti-Bullying Week log on to www.endbullying.org.uk


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