Kids helping kids
BulliesOut Youth Ambassador Programme needs your school support!
Thousands of children and young people report being bullied every year, and the detrimental impact bullying can have on the physical, emotional, academic, social and personal well being of children and young people should not be underestimated.
BulliesOut run a Youth Ambassador programme that creates a sense of belonging, independence and empowerment, as well as helping young people to develop social and decision-making skills, build their sense of competence and motivating them to achieve. From leadership and teamwork, to communication and meeting new people, the Youth Ambassadors have the opportunity to develop as individuals at an intensity which suits them.
For those who volunteer with the programme, there are many benefits. In addition to learning new skills, improving their CV and engaging with their community, volunteering can help end loneliness and improve confidence and self-esteem. Volunteering is also about ‘giving back’ and supporting a cause you feel passionate about and this can have a positive effect on a person’s mental health.
“Sometime during early 2018, it occurred to me that instead of feeling sad about the issue of bullying and sitting in a stew of bad zombie movies and unfinished essays (otherwise known as the floor of my room), I could, you know, do something about it,” says Ben, 16, from Birmingham. “A quick google search later and I found BulliesOut, who are not only dedicated to dealing with the issue, but they let young people into their squad as well.
“I soon found myself making awesome friends, challenging myself to step outside my comfort zone and actually making a difference in the world, which, I’m not gonna lie, was a pretty awesome feeling.
“I’ve received professional training and some awesome opportunities and I’ve held coffee mornings, given presentations to local youth groups and spoken to local businesses about anti-bullying week.”
By engaging with young people in social action, BulliesOut can help make a huge difference to their lives and the lives of others. The work of our project is specifically designed to provide support, empowerment and personal development to young people who might not otherwise have that opportunity.
Ben adds: “BulliesOut offers me the opportunity to make a difference to a cause I am passionate about and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who wants to do the same.”
SKILLS & SUPPORT
Linda James, CEO at BulliesOut, explains: “The programme can help two groups to reach their full potential. Most Youth Ambassadors will have been directly affected by bullying in some way. Training sessions and the experience of being an Anti-Bullying Youth Ambassador can have a positive impact on the young person.
“They gain skills such as communication, problem solving and teamwork along with emotional sensitivity, confidence building – all skills that are important if they are to fulfill their potential. As they will also work within their own ‘home’ communities, they will bring young community members together through a greater awareness of bullying and how to address it. This, in turn helps reduce incidences of bullying, improving local communities.”
We live in a society that celebrates individuality and independence, but we are really interdependent. None of us can get along completely on our own. We need each other and what each of us contributes. None of us can know it all or do it all – life is just too big!
Not only do relationships with others help all of us do more, they make what we do more enjoyable. Helping young people recognise the value and power of relationships can be a way to help them see that involvement with others is all about potential, not deficits.
Youth ‘Anti-Bullying’ Ambassadors
The BulliesOut Youth Ambassadors Programme is open to applicants between the ages of 10–17 and provides a vehicle for young people to become involved in an anti-bullying campaign. The programme inspires through positive opportunities and experiences, and seeks to empower and develop young people further by providing them with the training, skills and responsibility of being an Anti-Bullying Ambassador. It also encourages them to volunteer as an Anti-Bullying Ambassador within their local school, work or community.
The aim of the programme is to empower, engage and inspire young people to realise their true potential – and by developing their confidence and skills, become role models and leaders. This will ensure the voice of the youth of today is heard by everyone. After all, they are the ones affected most by bullying so who better to speak out about it?
By empowering young people, their confidence grows and they believe in themselves. By undertaking roles such as speaking to a range of audiences, supporting outreach delivery and contributing their views to influence, they grow and develop.