Taking a stand against bullying after seeing her sibling endure years of peer abuse, Natalie Coffey is reminding young victims, who may feel alone and sad, not let it bring them down.
The 21-year-old from Bangor, County Down says during their school years, she would regularly console her sister Caroline, who would often come home in tears after being verbally and physically abused.
Deeply affected by her grief, Natalie is calling on bullies to reconsider their actions and for victims to speak out and get help.
‘Seeing her in that state was heart-breaking to watch,’ says Natalie.
‘I remember in school, she didn’t really have any friends, so I used to go over and keep her company.
‘Despite her struggle, she’s shown unbelievable courage and is now living in America studying for a PhD.
‘I hope others take inspiration from her story and that this campaign helps to stomp out bullying for good.’
With Fixers, Natalie has helped create a leaflet, which she plans to share with local secondary schools to help victims find courage to come forward and also show bullies that what they’re doing is wrong.
Click below to see Natalie's anti-bullying leaflet.
‘Bullying can be mental as well as physical, which is what I tried to highlight.
‘I’m doing this project for my sister and the countless others out there who know what it’s like to be picked on. I hope it changes things for the better.’
Natalie’s mum Donna, who even received a letter from Bill Clinton in 2003 after bringing her daughter’s situation to his attention, says she’s extremely proud of the resolve Caroline has shown over the years.
She also applauds Natalie’s efforts in bringing the issue before the public.
‘As a parent, seeing your children unhappy is the worst feeling in the world,’ says Donna.
‘The response from President Clinton was the boost I needed to keep going for my daughter and was like someone actually cared.
‘This is why I’m so pleased with Natalie’s campaign. She’s doing something for her sister and showing that family is everything. Bullying has to stop.’
For more information and advice, visit the Beat Bullying website.
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After bullies left him feeling low and insecure,
Fixer Harley wants to stop others facing the same abuse. Watch his film.