Celebrities join Fylde pupils to fight back against bullies

Anti-Bullying schools event at the Winter Gardens.  Caitlyn Edwards, Tom Torvell and Ella- Rose Walls from Roseacre Primary with some of the celebrities at the event.
Anti-Bullying schools event at the Winter Gardens. Caitlyn Edwards, Tom Torvell and Ella- Rose Walls from Roseacre Primary with some of the celebrities at the event.
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Schoolchildren from across the Fylde and beyond have come together to fight bullying.

With celebrity support, more than 300 youngsters aged five to 18 took part in the Anti-Bullying Campaign day as part of the Diana Award scheme.

From left, Darcy Beckett, Daniel Barber and Maddie Owens from St George's High School, Marton, at the anti-bullying event at the Winter Gardens

From left, Darcy Beckett, Daniel Barber and Maddie Owens from St George's High School, Marton, at the anti-bullying event at the Winter Gardens

The anti-bullying ambassadors got hands on to help explore bullying through workshops in drama, singing, photography, rap, graffiti art and public speaking.

The sessions were attended and led by celebrity talents, including BBC and Radio 1 presenter Cel Spellman, X Factor 2014 act Lola Saunders, Waterloo Road actor Max Bowden, CBBC Friday Download presenter Molly Rainford, and 2010 Britain’s Got Talent runner-up act Twist & Pulse.

Local pupils attended the day at the Winter Gardens from Blackpool Aspire Academy, Devonshire Primary Academy, Highfield Humanities High School, Kincraig Primary, Park Community Academy, Pilling St Johns Primary, Roseacre Primary Academy, South Shore Academy, St Bedes in Lytham, St George’s at Marton and Waterloo Primary.

They were taught more about how to tackle bullying, and are being sent back to their schools as anti-bullying ambassadors with an action plan to help them to prevent bullying and ensure everyone feels safe and happy in their school.

Anti-Bullying schools event at the Winter Gardens.  Former Britain's Got Talent finalists Twist and Pulse with Leo Lavery and Ben Ross from St Cuthbert's Academy and Jasmine Anderson-Shepher and Sinead Gavin from St Bede's

Anti-Bullying schools event at the Winter Gardens. Former Britain's Got Talent finalists Twist and Pulse with Leo Lavery and Ben Ross from St Cuthbert's Academy and Jasmine Anderson-Shepher and Sinead Gavin from St Bede's

Jiya Khajuria, 10, from Kincraig Primary School, said: “I like helping people and coming here gives me a chance to do that.

“I got a little bit bulliedwhen I started school, but then as I got older, it hasn’t happened and people helped me to get through it.

“I learned that if you get bullied, don’t just leave it - tell someone and sort it out.”

Another pupil to benefit from the day was 14-year-old Abi Hayhurst, from St George’s High School.

Anti-Bullying schools event at the Winter Gardens.  Caitlyn Edwards, Tom Torvell and Ella- Rose Walls from Roseacre Primary with Molly Rainford from CBBC, X Factor singer Lola Saunders and Radio 1 DJ Cell Spellman.

Anti-Bullying schools event at the Winter Gardens. Caitlyn Edwards, Tom Torvell and Ella- Rose Walls from Roseacre Primary with Molly Rainford from CBBC, X Factor singer Lola Saunders and Radio 1 DJ Cell Spellman.

“We got to learn about so many different areas of bullying, and when and how to tackle it,” she said. “I used to get bullied a couple of years ago, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through that.

“The big message I’ll take back to school is to tell someone, and not keep it to yourself as it needs to be sorted.”

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We are delighted to be part of the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Programme and proud to host the national event in Blackpool.
“Bullying is an extremely serious issue and one that we can not just stand by and ignore. We work closely with all schools in the town and expect that any instances of bullying are dealt with swiftly and effectively.

“This training will help our young people to understand the serious impact that bullying can have on people, as well as being able to notice any signs to prevent and report it at the earliest possible stage.

“The fact that we have been chosen to hold the national conference proves just how much of a lead this council takes to make sure bullying is properly reported and followed up.”

To date, more than 16,000 young people have volunteered for and led the Diana Award Anti-Bullying Ambassadors programme in schools throughout the UK and Ireland. The Ambassadors are a network of young people who share and develop best practices and have received training to help them present bullying prevention initiatives and ongoing peer support.