Anti-Bullying Week

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I was one of the lucky ones. Lucky, because the bullies didn’t get to me. I don’t really know why because I’m not the biggest of males and I didn’t really say much in school; I wasn’t the kind who’d make a song and dance about anything that bothered me. I kept myself to myself and hardly ever swam into dangerous waters. Perhaps that’s why, though. Perhaps I wasn’t even noticed.

What I find even more strange is that in my comprehensive school, there were more bullies than there were chewing gums stuck under seats and it didn’t matter to them where or when they bullied people. They were fearless. Or stupid? Either way, walking around the school was like walking through a field of landmines. One trip, one wrong step, one wrong corridor, or one wrong door and the bullies had you. And rather than experiencing the instant explosion from a landmine, the bullies had the capability to make your experience last weeks, months, years, even lifetimes. You quickly learnt to tread carefully and to avoid the bullies’ favourite spots, preferring to take the longer route to your next class or to the toilets.

Breaktime would see congregations of pupils milling around the school hall, lining the corridor walls, pacing around the car-park – sucking on a cigarette – or sat against the metal mesh fencing that circumferenced the Astroturf and also acted as a saving grace whenever a ball was kicked or thrown too hard or a body was flung against it or a head was banged against it with the laughs of the bullies echoing across the Astroturf and floating away, melting into the mountains that lined the back of the school like soldiers on guard. But the laughs lingering in your mind for eternity.

One of the worst things about not being bullied is seeing your friends being bullied. Being as reserved as I was, I didn’t say anything or do anything to stop the bullying but looking back now, I should have. I should have told someone about my friend being bullied. Perhaps if I’d said something, the bullying would have stopped.

I should have done something about it, even if it was telling a teacher but the bullies would stop whenever a teacher appeared and the teachers, as a whole, never asked questions. Strange. I would say what comprehensive I went to, but I won’t as it doesn’t matter. Every school has bullies, whether it’s in Wales or Singapore. I should have seeked more advice, from a youth worker or an anti-bullying organisation, or even a helpine.

Mostly everyone I know has experienced, or witnessed, bullying of some sort. Whether it be verbal or physical, any form of bullying is as bad as the other. It can leave people at a very low point and cause them to have confidence issues, body image issues, intellectual issues and family and relationship issues. In short, it has got the potential to ruin someone’s life.

So let’s help put a stop to it. Like I should have done all those years ago. But it’s never too late to give a helping hand so I’m going to try my best to help those out who’re suffering at the cruel, twisted hands of bullies.

This month heralds Anti-Bullying Week, on the 19th – 23rd November, and below is a list of people and organisations who you can get in contact with if you, or your friends need help. Have a read, and let’s put a stop to bullying and show the bullies that we’re not going to let others, or ourselves, suffer anymore.

Anti-bullying Week is on 19 – 23 November 2012.

To support the campaign bus interior adverts will run for 8 weeks starting on 22 October 2012. There will be 900 bus interiors to be displayed across Wales.

Mostly everybody has experienced bullying of some sort and we all know how badly it can affect someone’s life.

If you, or a friend, needs to talk to someone about bullying issues then you can contact:

Lead worker for help with mental health and wellbeing:

Judith Sandry
Tel – 07825675845

Aberdare

Alistair Cope
Tel – 07786523910

Blaengwawr

Chris Medlicott (Comm 1st)
Tel – 07769164672

Debbie Sheppard (Services For Young People)
Tel – 07799132140

Mountain Ash

Allyn Jones
Tel – 07799132142

Pontypridd

Hannah Godwin
Tel – 07799132144

Hawthorn

Ryan Strong
Tel – 07825675843

Treorchy

Steve Webb
Tel – 07717432387

Tonypandy

Lynne Jones
(Comm 1st)
Tel – 07769164671

Zoe Jenkins
Tel – 07825675855

Porth

Stacey Oliver
Tel – 07825675844

Ferndale

Lee Taylor
Tel – 07825675859

Y Pant

Leon Bansal
Tel – 07825675852

Bryncelynnog

Rachel Brydon
Tel – 07825675848

Tonyrefail

Rhian Kingsbury (Comm 1st)
Tel – 07769164677

Lucie Williams (Services For Young People)
Tel – 07825675851

RCT Wide

Tracey Webster
Tel – 07825675860

Laura Morgan
Tel – 07786523707

Anti-Bullying Alliance – www.antibullyingalliance.org.uk

Beat Bullying – www.beatbullying.org

Bullies Out – www.bulliesout.com

Childline – 0800 1111, www.childline.org.uk

Children In Wales – www.childreninwales.org.uk

MEIC is the information, advice and support helpline for children and young people in Wales. For more information, check out: http://www.meiccymru.org/

Papyrus (Prevention Of Young Suicides) – 0800 068 41 41, www.papyrus-uk.org

Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90, www.samaritans.org

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