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12 June 2017

Final Call For Schools To Register For Anti-Bullying Week 2017

Schools and youth organisations across NI are being encouraged to register to take part in this year’s Anti-Bullying Week 2017 (13-17 November 2017 inc) and submit entries for its creative arts competition before the deadline of Friday 23 June.

Children and young people are being encouraged to get creative and use art, film and the written word to create anti-bullying messages for this year’s creative competition.

Students can submit work produced during the school year or produce new pieces of work for the competition. Members of Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum and Anti-Bullying Week’s sponsor Translink will judge all entries this year.

The Anti-Bullying Week 2017 theme is "All Equal, All Different, All Together". It aims to support schools and youth organisations to celebrate difference and diversity across Northern Ireland; bring children and young people together to celebrate what makes them and others unique; and help create welcoming and inclusive environments both off and online for children and young people.

Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated by the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) and supported by Translink. NIABF is an interagency group hosted by the National Children's Bureau (NCB) NI and funded by the Department of Education. Almost 700 schools and youth organisations got involved in last year's event and it is anticipated that there will be even greater interest in 2017.
Encouraging schools and youth organisations to register before the deadline, in particular those who have not participated in previous years, Rosanna Jack, Regional Anti-Bullying Coordinator, Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF), says:

“This year’s Anti-Bullying Week competition is designed for children and young people to create, develop and promote anti-bullying messages through creative media, in line with the theme of ‘All Equal, All Different, All Together’. We want to celebrate the positive messages of anti-bullying, diversity, kindness, respect and inclusivity in all environments both face to face and online.”

Explaining why it is important that schools and youth organisations register for Anti-Bullying Week, Ms Jack continues:

“Last year’s creative competition attracted a high volume of quality entries from children and young people across Northern Ireland. This is an indication of the level of commitment and participation in anti-bullying initiatives. It also demonstrates the desire of schools and youth organisations to understand the nature and complexities of bullying behaviours.

“The competition provides a way of highlighting the issue of bullying to schools and the wider community in both on and offline settings. It also gives pupils the opportunity to explore ways of promoting the positive messages of anti-bullying. Competition participants have the added bonus of prizes for individual winners and a chance to win £250 worth of resources for your school or organisation. We look forward to welcoming all the creative efforts of children and young people to celebrate this year’s anti bullying week theme of All Equal, All Different, All Together.”

Anti-Bullying Week has been actively supported by Translink for the last 9 years and this has assisted in the sharing of Anti-Bullying Week messages on trains and buses. Reinforcing public awareness is extremely important as Ursula Henderson, PR and Public Affairs Officer at Translink, explains:

“We transport around 55,000 young people to and from school every day and their safety is our top priority. Public transport is used by everyone in society and, reflecting this year’s NI Anti-Bullying Week theme, we want all our passengers and staff to enjoy safe and comfortable journeys together, always treating each other with respect. We remain committed to supporting Anti-Bullying Week and raising the profile of this serious issue to help protect the wellbeing of young people right across Northern Ireland.”

Michael Keenan, Principal, St Anne’s Primary School, Dunmurry, Belfast, who were the joint winners of last year’s Anti-Bullying Week competition’s Junior category, explains why it is such an important week for the school:

“Anti- Bullying Week is a very important week in the school calendar for us. Corridors are awash with colourful posters. The classrooms, playgrounds and assembly halls buzz with children sharing anti-bullying messages through discussion, art work, media work and presentations. The whole school community uses it as an opportunity to refocus minds on the important message that bullying of all kinds is wrong and can negatively impact all involved.”

The deadline for registration and competition entries is Friday 23 June 2017. To register for, or find out more about Anti-Bullying Week 2017 go to www.endbullying.org.uk or email info@niabf.org.uk

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