An epilepsy sufferer who was bullied at school for being ‘different’, aims to encourage other children to come forward and express themselves through poetry.
Kat McCluskey (21) of Cramlington, Northumberland was victim of classroom bullying when she was in her teens and now wants to give a voice to people going through what she did.
Her inspiration for getting involved came, not only from her past experiences, but from a 13-year-old friend, Isabella Troy, who writes poems about issues that trouble young people.
“I understand that sometimes the way that young people feel is often dismissed by parents, teachers and friends,” she said.
“I feel it’s about time that young people can express themselves without feeling judged or different through finding sometime they enjoy.
“I myself lacked confidence and didn't fit in with most people my own age and even to this day, some of the bullying is still affecting me.
“Isabella’s poems struck me and I can’t think of a way that I expressed myself, if only I had had something like that. I want to use this method to express these problems today’s youth experience in hope that letting the problems out will raise awareness and make people feel as if they are not alone.”
Kat experienced bullying all through high school and never felt that she could talk about it.
The 21-year-old has epilepsy and found it hard to mix with other young people while at school.
As a result, Kat was bullied all through her high school years.
Kat's only escape at that time was to relive her pain through writing poetry.
Through doing this, her parents and teachers were able to see the extent of the abuse she suffered and then do something about it.
She has now spoken to young people in schools who are suffering the same abuse, giving them advice on how to ease their situation.
She added: “I want to roll out workshops which can help those achieve their goals without feeling held back.
“Both parents and youths need to have a better understanding of issues so that they can be addressed rather than just shrugged off. I was lucky, I had very supportive parents, not everyone has that privilege.”