Winners of this year’s anti-bullying art, creative writing and movie competition have been announced at a special awards ceremony today (18th November)) in the Radar Centre, Belfast.

The competition, which attracted almost 3000 entries, provides a channel for individuals to tell a story or convey their views on how bullying should be tackled, and is an important part of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week (16-20 November 2015).

Under the theme “What Bullying Means To Me”, the week-long campaign provides an opportunity to focus on our understanding of what bullying is all about.
Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated by the 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.
Discussing the level of creativity, Dr Noel Purdy, Chair of NIABF, said:

“We’ve been delighted by the response to this year’s anti-bullying art, creative writing and movie competition, which provides a channel for young people to tell us their views on bullying and how it should be tackled. The volume of entries reflects, I believe, the desire that exists amongst children and young people to have their voice heard and to send out a very clear message ‘END BULLYING NOW’.

Dr Purdy continued: “There has been such a diverse range of entries submitted, each showing the great thought that went in to it. All the pieces are important as they are individual and unique to the person that created them. I would like to thank everyone who has spent time on preparing an entry. Your work will be shared with a large number of people and I’m sure they will find it as inspiring as I have.”

Prizes were distributed by Katrina Godfrey, Deputy Secretary in the Department of Education, on behalf of  Education Minister, John O’Dowd.

Sending his congratulations to the young prize-winners, Minister O’Dowd said:

“This year’s Anti-bullying creative competition attracted almost 3,000 entries, indicating that our young people feel strongly that bullying is an important issue.

“Bullying is damaging to individuals and their education.  It can happen to anyone and the effects of which can be felt right through into adulthood. The message is simple, bullying in any form is and will always be unacceptable and I encourage schools and pupils to continue to work together to eradicate this problem.”

Translink has been an active supporter of Anti-Bullying Week for the past number of years and helps to reinforce messages by placing anti-bullying poster displays at train and bus stations across Northern Ireland.  Ursula Henderson, Translink, said:

“Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up! The entries into this year’s competition showed just how bullying can be interpreted. Translink is pleased to join forces with NIABF and support the great work being done to increase awareness of this serious issue and tackle it effectively,”

The winners and runners-up of this year’s competition are:

Art Category:
Junior:
Joint Winner:  Cole McCabe, Jones Memorial Primary School, Enniskillen
Joint Winner: Adam Ferris, St Anne’s Primary School, Finaghy, Belfast

Intermediate:
Winner:   Andrew Burleigh, Lisnagarvey High School, Lisburn
Runner-up:  Anya Walker, Integrated College, Dungannon
Runner-up:  Darcy McGall, Friends School, Lisburn
Runner-up:  Alice Anderson, Ballytober Primary School, Bushmills

Senior:
Winner:   Meabh Kennedy, Assumption Grammar School, Ballynahinch
Runner-up:  Roisin McElhennon, St Colm’s High School, Draperstown
Runner-up:  Roisin McKenna, Loreto Grammar School, Omagh
Runner-up:  Nicole Corey, Lismore Comprehensive, Drumglass, Dungannon

Creative Writing Category
Junior
Winner:   Owen Collins, Gilnahirk Primary School, Belfast
Runner Up: Orla McGeown, St Mary’s Primary School, Granemore, Tassagh, Armagh
Runner Up:  Ellie Doran, St Francis Primary School, Lurgan

Intermediate
Winner:   Amy Hampton, Banbridge Academy
Runner-up:  Ben O’Rourke, Ballydown Primary School, Banbridge
Runner-up:  Sarah Campbell, St Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen, South Armagh

Senior
Winner:   Matthew Johnston, Ulidia Integrated College, Carrickfergus
Runner-up:  Poppy Thomas, Ballyclare High School
Runner-up:  Orla Warnock, Loreto Grammar School, Omagh

Movie Category
Winner:   Mark & Tom McLaughlin, Foyle College, Derry/Londonderry
Runner-up:  Abbie McComiskey & Rhys Quinn, Grange Primary School, Kilkeel
Runner-up:  Matthew Cairns, Friends School, Lisburn
Runner-up:  Kayleigh Bell, Jayne Kelly, Catherine O’Neill, Lucy Quinn & Caoimhe Fullen, St Mary’s Primary School, Cabragh, Dungannon

Special Merit Prizes
Conor McSherry & Ben Thompson, Tor Bank School, Castlereagh, Belfast
Zach Wallace & Jake Edwards, SERC (South Eastern Regional College), Newtownards Campus

Competition winners and runners-up will be presented with a goody bag, including shopping vouchers and a certificate.