O2 has announced it has joined forces with the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) ahead of Anti-Bullying Week 2019 (11-15th November), in recognition of the fact that all parts of society have a role to play in preventing and eliminating bullying.
As part of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week activity, O2 has worked with ABA to create free cross-curricular resources for primary and secondary schools, featuring tips from O2 Gurus, to help them bring about change. O2 and the ABA have also created a social media toolkit which will be available to other organisations and charities interested in getting involved in Anti-Bullying Week.
Together with O2, ABA has commissioned a survey of young people to inform a new report – Change Starts With Us – that will outline specific recommendations that stakeholders (including schools, Government, social media companies, the mainstream media and influencers) can take to reduce bullying, both on and offline. The report will be launched to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week 2019.
Teaming up with the ABA builds on O2’s already strong commitment to helping people live better with tech, which includes longstanding work with the NSPCC. Earlier this year O2 and the NSPCC relaunched NetAware – a website designed for parents to learn more about the latest apps, sites and games their children are using, along with technical and safeguarding tips to help them feel more confident about talking to their children about their online activity.
Studies have shown that online bullying creates very few new victims, and that 9 out of 10 adolescents who report experiences of cyberbullying are also bullied offline. O2 believes working collaboratively with other stakeholders involved in shaping children’s experience on and offline – from young people, parents and schools to Government, technology companies, the media and influencers – is essential in helping protect young people against bullying, and avoid the long-term detrimental effects it can have on their mental health.
Nicola Green, Director of Corporate Affairs at O2, said: “We are proud to be working with the Anti-Bullying Alliance this year to help encourage a collaborative approach in the fight against bullying, and start those important conversations that we all need to have before we can make a real change. This Anti-Bullying Week activity is the latest in our ongoing work to help 20 million people live better with tech by 2020, and making use of our extensive expertise, we are urging industry peers and the general public alike to join us in helping tackle the scourge of bullying head-on.”
Martha Evans, Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, part of the National Children’s Bureau, said: “We’re delighted that O2 are supporting Anti-Bullying Week and hope the campaign will be bigger and better than ever this year. Being bullied is an all too common part of children’s everyday lives, and the pain of these experiences can undermine a child’s health and happiness, lasting well into adulthood. Preventing cyberbullying is a vital contribution to addressing the problem, but it must go alongside measures to prevent face-to-face bullying. To meet the challenge we need a commitment from young people and adults, from schools, tech companies and influencers, to create a shift in our attitudes to bullying so we can prevent it in the first place. We all have a part to play: ‘Change Starts With Us’.”