On Saturday 30th November, at the Mansion House in Dublin, the Irish Red Cross Youth Anti-Bullying sub-group officially launched the brand new anti-bullying campaign ‘Don’t be a bully, be a buddy!’ with the help of Royseven lead singer Paul Walsh.
The six member sub-group, made up of Amy Kelleher, Cormac Gilnagh, Eileen Kelleher, Gemma Dineen, Lea Pepper and Séan Lennon, introduced the campaign, its aims and the resources they have created to an audience of family, peers and friends. Proudly sporting their campaign t-shirts, the six teenagers - all under 18 years old - took it in turns to take to the stand and speak about their hopes and ambitions for the campaign.
The Anti-Bullying Sub-group was convened to lead the campaign on behalf of Irish Red Cross Youth, following a motion in which 150 young volunteers from all over Ireland voiced their ambition to combat bullying. The campaign is 100 per cent youth led with all content, resources and plans being created by the sub-group themselves.
To come up with a name for the campaign the sub-group ran a slogan competition encouraging members of Irish Red Cross Youth to submit their ideas. The winning slogan ‘Don’t be a bully, be a buddy!’ will appear on t-shirts, posters and a new information resources which the sub-group has created for distribution to branches, schools and to the public.
The information resource comes in the form of a wallet-sized card which folds out to reveal useful tips for those who find themselves or their friends the target of bullies. These tips include how to recognise a bully, how to recognise if you are being a bully and how to be a buddy. It also provides contact information for other organisations that help victims of bullying. The sub-group now plans to send out the resource card to schools around Ireland to assist teachers and students in combating bullying in their areas. They also plan to visit groups and schools to encourage other young people to choose to ‘be a buddy’.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Lea spoke of her hopes for the campaign, “Bullying is global, but hopefully we as a group can help tackle bullying on our little island. Remember. Don't be a Bully.....Be a Buddy!”
Irish Red Cross Youth is made up of members aged 5 and 25 who take part in local and national activities aimed at empowering them with skills and training in areas such as first aid, personal development and international and cultural understanding. To find out more about Irish Red Cross Youth in your area see www.redcross.ie/our-work-in-ireland/youth-services.