A few weeks ago the Antibullyingpro team were told we were going on a work trip with a bit of twist. We had been invited by our partners Facebook to the annual Education Festival and we were going to be glamping, that’s glamorous camping for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term and many of us had never done it before!! The Education Festival is supported by the Sunday Times and brings together 3,000 people including students, staff and parents who want to make learning as fun as possible!
On Thursday we headed off to Wellington College with 6 of our lovely Youth Board members Tyreese, Jack, Kiera, Henry, Zainab and Callie. We were all pretty impressed with the school (which we decided beat Hogwarts) and with our new home for the next two nights….
We were up bright and early on Friday to support Facebook with the sessions they were delivering throughout the day which looked at what measures Facebook have put in place to reduce bullying and how Facebook can be used in school lessons. We also spent a lot of the day hanging out in the circus like Facebook tent telling people about the programme and trying out Facebook’s AWESOME Oculus Rift.
On Saturday we ran sessions all day which were centred around how young people can stay safe online and what part each and everyone of us can play in tackling bullying. We were very lucky to be joined by our Ambassadors Jodie Marsh and Will Poulter. Jodie gave a very powerful and honest talk to her audience about how she suffered at the hands of bullies throughout school and how she found it in her to fight back and have confidence in herself. She asked the audience to go away from the day and think about how they treat other people. She lives by the motto that there is no point in us all being here if we aren't going to get along.
Will Poulter gave an equally inspirational speech about how he was bullied at school and used drama to help build up his confidence. He also gave some fantastic advice during the Q & A session and stressed the importance of being proud of who you are and pursuing what you’re passionate about.
Daniel Butler gave people a great break from the hectic schedule of the day with his session on how to use spoken word to express your feelings. He also gave the audience an insight into how and why he wrote his inspirational poem Listen Up You Bullies which you can listen to here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNwC2LW56pw
Our Youth Board made us unbelievably proud by using their own experiences of being bullied to give advice to parents and staff on how they can support young people who are going through similar bullying experiences. They also had a bit of time to chill out which they spent trying out scuba diving, snowboarding and driving, I’m not joking…!
We had a fantastic two days meeting staff, students and parents who all want to make school a happy and safe place for young people, we look forward to working with them to achieve this. We were all very sad to leave although I think we’d all admit we were looking forward to being back in our own warm beds...