The theme of Anti-Bullying Week this year (15-19 November) is ‘One Kind Word’ - which makes sense given the difficult 18 months we have all had. Run by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, the annual week of action is hugely popular in schools, with more than 80% of schools in the UK taking part. That’s more than 7.5 million children and young people having their awareness raised and learning that bullying is never OK.
Research shows that children who are bullied suffer a range of ill effects in later life, including being more likely to earn less money, suffer from mental health issues, be unemployed, be obese, or to leave school with no qualifications. In addition, 30% of children say they have been bullied in the past year, with 17% experiencing online bullying. Clearly, the week is needed.
You may have come across ‘Odd Socks Day’ which is one of the fundraising and awareness raising activities that takes place during the week (this year on 15 November), which encourages young people to wear odd socks to signify inclusiveness for anyone and everyone. They don’t have to be high fashion or new – just any pair of odd socks can be worn to take part in supporting the week.
Many celebrities take part in the week of action, including Ant &Dec and Anthony Joshua, and it is mentioned on everything from CBeebies to the 10 O’Clock News; it always trends on Twitter with the hashtags #antibullyingweek and #oddsocksday. You can find out more about the week of activities, and the Anti-bulling alliance, here.