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PCC Vera Baird praises anti-bullying campaign

16th March 2016

Young people in North Tyneside who used their acting skills to highlight the issue of bullying have been acknowledged for their involvement at a celebration hosted by Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn.

Pupils from seven schools across the borough – Christchurch Primary School, Holy Cross Primary School, John Spence Community High, Kings Priory High, Monkseaton Community High, Southridge First School and Whitley Bay High School – have produced a film which shares stories and experiences of bullying.

The film was part of a project by North Tyneside Council, which involves working with 11-19 year olds and aims to reduce and support victims of bullying. The project was able to go ahead thanks to funding from the local Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird.

It will be used as a resource in schools and John Spence Community High’s drama group kindly agreed to act on the film. All drama students played a part including acting, directing and voiceovers.

Shot in a vacant council property in North Shields, the film looks at the issue of bullying from both a victim’s perspective and a bully’s perspective and it will be partnered with a lesson plan to be used as a discussion topic within schools and to look at the consequences that can happen because of bullying.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “I know that the Young Mayor and Youth Councillors have raised bullying as an important issue after speaking with other young people in their schools and colleges so it’s great to see schools from across North Tyneside coming together to bring this anti-bullying campaign to life.

“All the young people who have taken part have done a really fantastic job at raising awareness of bullying and the support that’s available and I congratulate them on this very worthwhile project.”

The film will sit on its own website and be partnered with a poster and lesson plan within its own learning platform. The film is very accessible as it can be accessed by schools anywhere and at any time.

Sue Hall, Headteacher at Southridge First School, said: “This was an excellent way for the school to gain recognition of all the work we do on our core values and school ethos to promote friendship with our very young children.”

Teacher Kim McCaughey from  Monkseaton Community High added: “We have loved having this opportunity to participate in this anti-bullying event. Today has been an excellent way to celebrate with one another and bring anti bullying to the forefront.”

As part of the project the young people also created posters, purchased pocket size bullying survival packs for schools and youth groups and helped to develop a North Tyneside Anti Bullying Standards award to support schools in introducing the set standards produced by the project.

Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn said: “This project is a great example of North Tyneside Council’s Young Mayor and Youth Councillors listening to young people and delivering projects that will support them and address issues that are important to them. This project has also given young people across the borough the freedom to develop a film that will interest and engage their peers.

“It’s vital that we continue to address bullying and work with children and young people across the borough. This has been an extremely successful project and the young people involved have worked incredibly hard to produce some excellent work – and work which can be used in the longer term to help and support other young people.”