‘It’s important that we get young people to take responsibility and not just turn their backs if they see someone being bullied.’
Rae Bolton, 25, from South Shields, is working with Fixers to highlight what she sees as a continuing problem of bullying in schools.
Rae, who was bullied at school from a young age, believes there is a lack of recognition about bullying and how big a problem it is after seeing younger family members encounter similar problems to herself during their school life.
‘They would pick on me for how my hair was as I had really curly hair. I felt like an outcast because I was a little bit different,’ said Rae.
‘Essentially if you didn’t fit in you would be targeted and bullied.’
Rae spoke about her Fixers campaign on ITV News Tyne Tees on March 8.
Rae wishes there had been more support available during her time at school and wants to encourage schools to do more to tackle the on-going problem.
‘The main message I’m trying to get out there is if you see something going on that you think is potentially bullying, you need to say something,’ explained Rae.
‘Speak to the person that’s being bullied, ask if they’ve done anything about it, and help them. Don’t let them just think they’re alone and haven’t got anyone to talk to.’
With the help of Fixers, Rae has made a film to raise awareness about young people’s experiences of bullying in school. In it, she speaks with young people from South Tyneside to get their views on the issue and what changes they think can be made to help put a stop to bullying.
Jan Coleman, at Children’s Services [NSPCC], is supporting Rae with her campaign.
She said: ‘I think it’s really important that a culture needs to be developed around children helping each other, coming forward and speaking to a trusted adult.
‘It is about bystanders and children who may not actually be bullying but may not be speaking out - they may be afraid, they may be too scared to come forward.’
Rae hopes her Fixers campaign will encourage schools and local education authorities to tackle the issue head on so that children who are being bullied, or who are bullying others, get the support they need.
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.