BeatBullying…A World Wide Charity
BeatBullying is an international charity that has earned many awards. Its purpose is to help young people gain the confidence that they need to lead anti-bullying campaigns throughout their schools or communities. Its goal is to help children learn prevention strategies and to focus on education so that the youth will feel enabled and be able to stop bullying.
How They Started
The charity was founded in Britain in 1999 by Emma-Jane Cross. Its Cybermentors website, which is a peer mentoring service for youth, was launched in 2009.
Mindfull, which offers counseling and support to those between the ages of 11-17, came online in 2013. MindFull provides support and information to help those youth deal with life’s ups and downs. Its goal is to help them feel confident and happy and to just be themselves. The idea behind the site is to provide the tools and tips necessary to make it through those tough times. Some of the supports they offer are:
- Self-help where a person can go and look up information about certain subjects.
- Speak to a MindFull Mentor where youth can talk to other youth who are trained to help.
- Access to counselors for either group sessions or one to one support.
Parentdish partnered up with them to help provide parents with information and advice on bullying. Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do if a child is being bullied. Parents might not be able to recognize some of the signs. Having a place to go to be able to look up information to help a child is a great tool for parents.
They also have a huge social media presence. Their Facebook page has over 65,000 likes. Their Twitter feed has almost 40,000 followers. They also have a YouTube page with videos from celebrities promoting the charity to children talking about how they were helped through this program.
With all of these online resources they have been able to help over 700,000 youth in the past five years in Britain.
They use many things to help with its anti-bullying campaign. These techniques work to help engage the youth. The charity’s core work is through schools, but also with online services through BeatBullying.org. This website helps youth to meet each other through a social networking platform and they also have access to counselors. They believe that no one should be bullied.
- They train anyone ages 5-35 to become BB Mentors. This training supplies them with what they need to know to stop bullying. They are also trained to mentor other children through schools and also online. This gives those children an area where they feel that they can talk about bullying in a safe environment and where they can get the advice they need.
- They also provide training for parents and others who work with the youth. This training is designed to teach these adults some ways to prevent bullying and to take the responsibility seriously.
- They want to raise bullying awareness. They want to make people realize that bullying comes in all forms and to help change the public’s perception of it. They campaign for change that will protect children in all aspects of their lives…at their homes, playgrounds, and schools.
The skills required to be trained for a life mentor are fairly simple. The person needs great listening skills and also needs to be non-judgmental. Since a majority of the mentoring is done online access to the internet is a must. The volunteer needs to be available for only two hours each week, which can be broken up to meet their schedule.
Some of the training includes talking about what bullying does to people. And how to mentor safely with full awareness as to what situations can be brought up.
One of the main things that the program teaches is to stay safe. They teach children the steps that they can take to keep themselves, and their friends and family, safe.
With all the new online social networks and technology children might not know what to do in certain situations and they need to know where to turn to for advice. The best thing for them to do is to talk to a trusted adult, but if they do not feel comfortable doing that then charities like this one are able to help them.
Using this Program in a School setting
The goal of using this program in schools is to make children aware of bullying situations around them. They will also send people to schools to train youth in strategies that will keep them safe. Their goal is to train about 30 youth in each school as mentors to be able to do the following:
- Understand bullying
- Create safety planes
- Understand child protection and know when to make referrals.
- Be able to mentor online
- Understand their roles and take part in social Action. This will enable them to set up action plans in their own schools.
These programs have proven to reduce bullying in schools by one third. Children are learning to stand up against bullying. They are developing the confidence and skills necessary to make positive change happen.
The Results of Their Training
These statistics are from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013
- They have trained 2,328 people between 5-17 as mentors
- 786 adults have been trained as mentors
- 100% of teachers involved with the program say it is effective
- There have been 5,253 mentoring sessions
- 4,046 sessions where the adults have listened to and supported youth
- 3,140 counseling sessions to help those in distress
- Their website averages 27,832 hits per month
- 7,320 youth have registered or sought help
- 39,355 youth have registered since its conception in 2009
The idea behind their campaigns is to change attitudes and behavior in the online and offline world. One of its regular campaigns is called The Big March. This is an online “march” where people are invited to sign up and created their own avatar which can march across websites for the youth of world. It wants to promote the idea that the worlds youth will no longer live in fear of on or offline bullying. The march then ends with an e-petition to the European Commission. Some celebrities like Aston Merrygold, Little Mix, and Jamie Laing have joined this march.
The charity works with governments and other people to speak on bullying issues and to encourage change in laws.
They also host an anti-bullying week in November. The idea is to help people to get involved and stop bullying.
Another way they promote anti-bullying is by selling blue wristbands on their website. All the proceeds for the sale of these bands go directly to the charity.
What are they Saying about BeatBullying?
There are no names associated with these quotes, but this is what youth and adults have said about this program.
- “I really loved doing this; it’s really made me more aware as to bullying and its consequences.”
- “Training was outstanding! I learnt a lot of new things! I was privileged to be trained!”
- Thank you very much for coming it has helped me in so many ways and I now feel more confident as a bullying ambassador and in general.”
Some of their Awards
The charity has earned multiple awards since 2005. Some of these awards are:
- Digital Communications Campaign in 2011
- Making the Internet Safer in 2010
- Britain’s Children’s Champion in 2009
- Charity of the Year in 2006
- Children’s Charity of the Year in 2005
- Britain’s Department of Education gave them a grant in 2013 to help them continue with their program. This funding allowed them to train more mentors for on and offline support for the next two year. It also allowed them to expand their counseling services.
- Daphne III is another program that contributes to charities that promotes the protection of youth and women form all types of violence. Its goal is to prevent and fight against all types of violence from bullying to human trafficking.
- The Dulverton Trust is a charity that gives grants to British charities. Their grants range between $12,000 – $36000 US dollars.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge asked that their wedding donations to go to BeatBullying.
The Sunday Times Christmas Appeal donated to the charity in 2011.The Duke of Cambridge said this about that donation “Catherine and I are delighted that the Sunday Times has chosen BeatBullying for its Christmas Appeal. This is a charity that makes a positive and lasting change to hundreds of thousands of young lives. Every child and young person deserves the opportunity to make the most of themselves, developing their talents to full potential and, above all, enjoy doing so. Bullying prevents this from happening. It brings misery to so many. By empowering people to recognize and stand up to bullies, BeatBullying shows that this particularly nasty so of harassment-in whatever form it takes-is unacceptable. Thank you for supporting this superb organization.”
A few of the other celebrities that support this charity are:
- Dynamo, an English magician
- Emma Bunton, former Spice Girl
- Girls Aloud, a popular music group
- JLS, a British boyband
- Jodie Marsh, a model and actress
- Melanie Brown, former Spice Girl
- Melanie C, former Spice Girl
- Muhammad Ali, former boxer
- Patrick Stewart, actor…best known for X-men and Star Trek
- RyanDan, helped to start the Tal Doron Memorial Fund
- Scissor Sister, a music group
- Victoria Beckham, former Spice Girl and married to the popular soccer player David Beckham
Update: The website, Sadly went into administration in October 2014, we are still waiting for an update on the status of BeatBullying.
Ayden’s Law is an anti-bullying bill in Britain that hopefully stops bullying for good. In Britain, 44% of youth commit suicide due to bullying. Ayden’s Law is designed for those who have committed suicide and their families. Its other purpose is to help those who are being bullied.
BeatBullying is asking the Prime Minister to help get this law passes. They would like him to talk about how these things can be prevented, and to also pass Ayden’s Law.
This is a great tool for any child to help them with a bullying problem they might have. The online mentors are trained to be able to talk to these children and relate to their situation. This charity has helped thousands of children to deal with bullying issues. The have probably saved countless of lives with the serves that they offer.
One of the best things about BeatBullying is that the people who are helping are also youth. Most of today’s youth have a hard time speaking to adults and they would prefer to speak to someone that’s their own age. The volunteers who give their time to this organization do not care how big or small the problem is they care about that child. They are there to offer that child a listening ear, help, and encouragement.
Charities like these help to give children hope, children who believe that they have no one else to turn to and that suicide is their only means of escape can turn to people like this to get the help and support that they so desperately need.