More than 80 children from six primary schools in the borough took part in an anti-bullying day organised by Larne YMCA.
The event, funded by Larne Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), was facilitated by the YMCA’s Princess Diana Award staff.
The day’s activities at Larne Leisure Centre was aimed at helping participants to build up their awareness of bullying and the practical skills needed to address it.
These included understanding what bullying is, different types of bullying, how to recognise bullying and naming people who could give support.
Larne YMCA’s “anti-bullying ambassadors” were also on hand to assist with the activities and small group discussions; these young people have a particular role within the YMCA to highlight the impact of bullying and develop a year long anti-bullying programme.
Larne YMCA’s youth support worker-in-charge, Dean Nutt, commented: “Whether you are an adult or a young person, the impact of bullying is immense – fear, physical and mentalpain, inability to work or study, isolation, depression and even suicide.
“We wanted to be pro-active and make a contribution to tackling bullying in our area and it was great that our PCSP supported this initiative and that six local schools participated. It has been fantastic to see schoolchildren coming together to share their experiences, build up skills and make new connections and have some fun.”
The Princess Diana Award Anti Bullying Ambassadors programme trains young people to be “anti-bullying ambassadors” in their schools and communities. Training events and ongoing support give young people practical ideas and tips they need to prevent bullying with the aim of ensuring everyone feels safe and happy in their school and community.
Meanwhile, East Antrim Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson hosted members of the Larne YMCA youth group in Stormont last week.
Mr. Dickson said: “I believe it’s important to get young people interested in politics. This is why we arrange these visits to Stormont so they can see what actually goes on up here.”
“I enjoyed hosting the young people in Stormont; I hope they took a lot from their visit. If any other youth organisations or schools are interested in such a visit, please do call my constituency office on 028 9335 0286”.s