Posts Tagged ‘bullying’
By CraigYAB 28th February 12
Bullying is a word we all know. A word we all hate perhaps. Because if we’re being truthful, it’s something we have all probably experienced at some point. If not yourself, then chances are you at least know someone who’s being or has been bullied in some shape or form.
I was bullied. Bullied because of my size; for being someone who suffers from dyslexia; and for being someone who was a young carer. The experience of being singled out made it very hard for me to enjoy school – and a lot of time not even go to school.
I remember once after being beaten up walking home one evening, I was bleeding so I turned back to school as it was nearer than home. The teacher who looked after me said: “you have to be more confident and show that they don’t affect you.” But how do you “get confident” when all you hear is people laughing at you and laughing about you?
Volunteering was the answer
Well the answer for me was volunteering. I have been volunteering for a long time but it all started at this difficult time in my life, when an opportunity came up at school to be trained as a peer mentor, helping younger students with their problems. I went through training and before I knew it, was assigned a student to help.
What I didn’t expect was that the process of me helping others also slowly built up my own confidence – my talking skills and problem-solving in particular. I came to love being involved in this project and in the second year, a new student and I decided to set up our own drop in scheme for students to come to us confidentially before going to their teachers.
Thankfully our new scheme was well attended and the school thought me and the other student should be rewarded for our hard work. They nominated me for a Princess Diana award, and we were lucky enough to win it. To this day, it means so much to me to be recognised in this way. It was an amazing day, as I got the chance to go down to Althrop hall and meet Earl Spencer (Princess Diana’s brother).
What I hope this shows is that volunteering can be a really powerful tool in building inner strength in the face of personal challenges that come our way, such as bullying. And the recognition you get for your efforts, as I’ve been lucky enough to receive, can really give your self-esteem a boost and allow you to get on in life.
On 1 March this year, as a Youth Advisory Board member at vInspired, I’m incredibly proud that we’re supporting BeatBullying’s Big March 2012. They want people from all round the world to join an online global march on their website to make a stand against bullying.
You can also do some good for yourself and others by volunteering. Visit vinspired.com and look at what’s available in your area – if you want to help stop bullying then how about becoming a CyberMentor with BeatBullying?
Craig Preistley is a member of the vInspired Youth Advisory Board. In 2003 he received a Diana Award for his outstanding contribution to tackling bullying in his local community.