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Sophie T

Sophie T

Name: Sophie Thorne
Age: 17
Year of the Fix: 2012
Location: Swindon
Campaign: To stop cyberbullying

The internet is a really great thing to have in the world, but it can also be used in ways to hurt others.

 

I decided to do a project on cyberbullying as it has happened to me and people I am close to. I feel it is a very serious matter and is only getting worse. I don't think people realise the emotional effects that it can have on someone.

 

It does not just have to happen on the internet – it can happen over the telephone, through text messaging, or through any other form of electronic communication. No matter how it is done, it is still bullying, and in some instances a crime.

 

I also believe that parents/teachers/family are not as supportive as they should be because they do not understand the technology and what you can do with it. I want to raise awareness of cyber-bullying and make sure that young people and adults understand what it is, and how it can be stopped.

 

Often the cyber-bullies do not think they are bullying because they can hide behind their computers or phones, but they can cause severe mental distress.

 

I hope that my film will make people understand what types of cyber-bullying are around, and how all bullying should be tackled.

Thanks so much to Carney Bonner who helped with my project by agreeing to talk about his personal experiences of cyber-bullying.

Arts Centre Swindon
The team at the arts centre support my project. They helped me find a location to screen my Fixers film.

New College, Swindon
New College are supportive of my Fix. They assisted me with my broadcast piece.


Wiltshire Police
Wiltshire Police support my campaign to stop cyber-bullying. Inspector Paul Saunders was interviewed for my broadcast piece.

 

Thanks also to Holly Adair, Paris Robin and Rhian Louise Stowell who have supported my Fix by featuring in my film 'Speak Up'.

November 2013
I held a workshop at Holyrood Junior School in Swindon. It was with a year 6 class and included interactive role plays, a presentation with discussions and quizzes (take a look at the lesson plan). I also showed my Fixers film ‘Speak Up’ - the link is at the bottom of this page.

 

Mr Forester, a teacher at Holyrood School, provided the following feedback:

 

‘Sophie made a good impact on my class.  As she is a young person talking about her own experience I think they found it interesting, although many of them don’t use Facebook yet.’

 

I also received this feedback from one of the pupils:

 

‘The lesson helped me to understand what to do if someone is cyber-bullying me. I would tell my teachers and my mum and change my number and my email address.’

 

Robert Buckland, MP for Swindon lent his support to my project, saying:

 

'Sophie's film is a powerful way of getting a message across. Victims of cyberbullying often feel they have done something wrong. It is important for parents to learn as much as possible about the devices young people use - so they can offer help and care if their child is a victim of abuse.'


I was mentioned in an article in the Swindon Advertiser. The report included details of how a local school was marking anti-bullying week. I visited the school to show my Fixers film about cyberbullying. Click here to read the article.

 

August 2013

I was honoured to receive the Diana award for being an 'anti-bullying champion'.

 

I want to use my experience to help stop other people going through the nightmare I did. This award makes me feel like I am making a difference and that is exactly what I set out to do.

 

Following this, The Swindon Advertiser published an article on me receiving my award. Click here to read the article.

 

 

My friend Nicola is on the left and that's me holding my award and certificate on the right.

 

 


A day before receiving my award, I was invited to join a discussion about the problem of cyberbullying on ITV’s This Morning on Monday, 12th August 2013. It was great to have the chance to share my story with a national audience and encourage victims of cyberbullying to speak out.

 

June 2013

My story was featured in The Times national newspaper as part of a feature on cyberbullying in the UK. You can read the full feature by clicking the image (below).

 

 

 

 

April 2013

I have been in contact with schools and youth groups in my area to distribute my film, and have received a lot of feedback from different individuals who work with young people about my film.

 

Trish Powney (Outreach Support Worker in for Swindon Children's Services):

 

'The film reminded me that there are new ways for children and adults to bully others, and I will use the film within the children services in Swindon to show young people this.'

 

Geoff Cherrill (Senior Vice Principal at Nova Hreod school, Swindon):

 

'The film was clear and made a very important point in a short amount of time. I will use the film within our school.'

 

 

8th February 2013

I hosted a workshop at Wroughton Juniors School in Swindon to teach the pupils there about the damaging effect of cyberbullying.

 

Andrew Beadnell (Deputy head Wroughton Juniors):

 

'It's wonderful to have Sophie and Carney at our school today doing an assembly on internet safety. It's always powerful to hear personal stories and those that have experienced the issue are always better advocates for the cause. The children were very engaged and loved watching the film Sophie and Carney produced.'

 

 

 

February 2013

I appeared on BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat to talk about my experiences of cyberbullying. You can read more about my story by clicking this link.

 

Here's what one listener, who works with children and young people, had to say:

 

'I heard Sophie on BBC Wiltshire and thought the project she is doing is very positive and I would love to use her film with children and young people I support.'

 

January 2013

My Fixers campaign and story was featured in the Swindon Advertiser. Click here to read.

 

Here's what one reader had to say:

 

'I read your article In the Swindon Advertiser and you have my full support. The bullying issue must be addressed and positively tackled in the formative years otherwise it festers forever!'

 

I was also a guest on Heart FM in Wiltshire, discussing my project and what I hope to do next.

 

You can read more by clicking here or you can listen to some clips from the interview by pressing play below:

 

 

 

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