Students from Medina, Cowes and Carisbrooke colleges, and also from Ryde and Sandown Bay academies are becoming the first teenagers on the Isle of Wight to receive training to help young people beat bullying as a part of an anti-bullying initiative called CyberMentors.
Beatbullying, which launched the award winning www.CyberMentors.org.uk in 2009, is the UK’s leading bullying prevention charity and has been working with the Isle of Wight Council and Hampshire Constabulary’s PC Joe Finch to set up CyberMentor training sessions on the Isle of Wight.
Ninety students across the schools will join eight thousand youngsters from around the UK who have already received specialist training from Beatbullying staff. The training is designed to enable young people to help and support their peers with any bullying issue, whether on or off-line, within the safe environment of the CyberMentors.org.uk website.
The students will have to pass a five-stage training course before they become CyberMentors on the Isle of Wight.
Events are being held at Medina College on Saturday 10th March and at Ryde Academy on Sunday 11th March with representatives from Beatbullying and Hampshire Police Constabulary. At Medina College, the Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet member responsible for children’s services, Dawn Cousins, will present the students with their graduation certificates.
Emma Jane Cross, chief executive officer of Beatbullying said “We are delighted to bring CyberMentors to the Isle of Wight for the first time.
“It is very encouraging that students from Medina College, Ryde Academy and Sandown Bay Academy are all volunteering to provide support and guidance to other young people in a bid to tackle bullying.
“CyberMentors forms a crucial part of our ongoing battle to crack down on bullying and is the direct result of feedback given by the young people we have worked with across the country for the past seven years.
“We are hoping that the CyberMentors training sessions on the Isle of Wight will be the first of many.”
Dawn Cousins, Isle of Wight Council cabinet member responsible for children’s services, said: “Bullying is not just physical; it can be verbal as well as through text messaging and social media websites.
“It is encouraging to see a scheme that encourages young people to help their fellow peers and tackle bullying head on.
“Any initiative that is aimed at combating bullying is a welcome one and I am very pleased students on the Island are supporting the CyberMentor scheme.”
PC Joe Finch, from Hampshire Constabulary who helped bring the scheme to the Isle of Wight said “From a police perspective, this scheme is essential for two reasons. Firstly, it provides those people who are being bullied for whatever reason the opportunity to talk to someone and get support.
“I would always encourage these people to report the matter to their school or to the police. I do appreciate that often young people can be worried about reporting bullying so this website provides them with another method of being able to talk about what is going on and how it’s affecting them.
“Secondly, it provides empowerment to young people on the Island to challenge inappropriate behaviour and start talking about bullying; sending a clear message to those who think it is acceptable to be a bully that it will not be tolerated.”
Beatbullying launched CyberMentors.org.uk in 2009 as the first nationwide peer-to-peer mentoring service that harnesses the power of social networking for good and features many celebrity ambassadors and supporters, including Aston Merrygold from JLS and Pixie Lott.
Since its launch, over 1.5 million children and young people have visited the CyberMentors.org.uk site to seek help, support and advice for bullying issues and other wellbeing issues too. Beatbullying hope that their continual training around the UK will encourage more young people to sign up and use their own personal bullying experiences to help others through the mentoring scheme.
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