What is Flip The Script Friday?

Flip The Script Friday is an event that takes place on a fortnightly basis where we invite organisations/adults onto our website/social media to answer the questions that young people have for them.

Why is it a thing?

This is an opportunity for young people’s voices to be heard and to have their questions answered. But equally, it’s a chance to destigmatize the discussion of mental health, highlight the great work that organisations are doing and to make reaching out for support from them less intimidating.

This week…

The Anti-Bullying Alliance is an unique coalition of organisations and individuals, working together to achieve our vision to: stop bullying and create safe environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn.

Q&A Time

We had so many questions sent in by young people to our Instagram @platfform4yp and here are some of the highlights!

How far has your organization come?

  1. We have been coordinating Anti-Bullying Week since 2002, and now an estimated 80% of schools in the UK take part, reaching over 7.5 million children and young people! 
  2. Some of our previous programme work has included our whole-school anti-bullying programme for schools in England, launched in April 2017, called All Together. The free programme aimed to reduce bullying, particularly of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs (SEND) and other groups research show disproportionately experience bullying. At the end of this phase of All Together, and after we had trained over 20k participants, we saw a reduction in bullying for all pupils at schools involved. We also saw improvements in wellbeing and school experiences.

Where do you want to see your organization going in the future?

We would love to see our new whole-school anti-bullying programme, United Against Bullying (UAB) succeed in having an impact on reducing bullying of children and young people. This programme particularly focuses on reducing bullying of those most at risk of experiencing it including children with SEN and Disability, young carers and looked after children. It also will focus on reducing other kinds of bullying including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying; sexual and sexist bullying; and, racist and faith targeted bullying.

What is your role and what is your typical day at work?

Working at the Anti-Bullying Alliance is a very varied job. Some days you might find us delivering anti-bullying training to teachers or organisations; others we might be working on campaigns such as #AntiBullyingWeek. We could be writing bids to secure funding; talking to the government about policies and programmes; or working with young people to develop our next project or programme.

Does your organization have any opportunities for young people to get involved in?

Every year we coordinate Anti-Bullying Week, which is an annual event to raise awareness of bullying of children and young people, and ways to respond and prevent it. This year’s theme is One Kind Word, and was developed with input from over 400 young people and school staff. 

We love it when we see young people getting involved with Anti-Bullying Week, and you can find out how to do that this year by taking a look at the information and resources on our website: https://anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/anti-bullying-week.

How has the pandemic affected your organization?

Luckily, a lot of our training programmes were already online so we could still offer free anti-bullying training to teachers and professionals. A lot of our meetings, events and training sessions have moved from in-person to online via Zoom or Teams, which I’m sure is the same for many organisations. We’re fortunate in that we have managed to continue to deliver our work to those who need it.

What advice would you give to young people wanting to seek mental health support?

Talk to an adult that you trust as soon as possible. This might be someone in your family, or someone at school. There are also some fantastic organisations out there that can support young people looking for mental health support, such as: 

Childline 0800 1111 https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/

Young Minds https://www.youngminds.org.uk/

How do you support your own mental health and wellbeing?

It’s important to make time to look after your mental health. Throughout the ABA team, we like to cycle, sing, climb, read, hike and just chill out with a good film as a way of making some time for ourselves and clearing our headspace. We also make sure to check in with each other as a team and have fun socialising (whether that be via Zoom or in-person) when we can.

How can a young person who is getting bullied make the first step in getting help?

Whether you are a boy or a girl, old or young, big or small – bullying makes you feel rubbish and it’s okay to be upset about it. The important thing is that you tell someone. If you feel you can, talk to a teacher you trust or a family member. If you don’t want to do that you can always call Childline 0800 11 11 or visit www.childline.org.uk.

There is more advice and support for young people being bullied on our website here: https://anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/tools-information/advice-and-support/if-youre-being-bullied/i-am-being-bullied

Why is Anti-bullying week important to get change for those who are getting bullied?

The most important thing is that Anti-Bullying Week helps raise awareness of bullying amongst children and young people and helps schools to tackle bullying taking place both online and face to face. Research we conducted about the impact of Anti-Bullying Week showed us that:

93% of young people told us that they think Anti-Bullying Week helps raise awareness of bullying

86% of young people told us that they think Anti-Bullying Week helps schools to tackle bullying

“Anti-Bullying Week literally saved my life” – A young person

“There was more awareness of what bullying consists of for the pupils and how they can help reduce their own and others bullying behaviours” – Teacher

How can young people get involved with the change for anti-bullying throughout the year?

The most effective thing all young people can do to stop bulling is be kind to other people and yourself. Keep up the spirit of Anti-Bullying Week in everything you do, think about how you can continue to spread the message of one kind word:

Ask if someone’s OK. Say you’re sorry. Just say hey. Because in a world that can sometimes feel like it’s filled with negativity, one kind word can provide a moment of hope. It can be a turning point. It can change someone’s perspective. It can change their day. It can change the course of a conversation and break the cycle of bullying. Best of all, one kind word leads to another. Kindness fuels kindness. So from the playground to Parliament, and from our phones to our homes, together, our actions can fire a chain reaction that powers positivity.

Want to get involve with Anti-Bullying Alliance go to there website at https://anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk and there social media @antibullyingalliance.

Missed out on asking a question this time? No Worries! Keep an eye on our Instagram @platfform4ypfor the next Flip The Script! Want to ask a specific individual/organisation questions? DM us and we will make it happen! Until next time!