SCHOOLS, workplaces and community groups across Cheshire are being urged to come together to tackle bullying.

A new report into bullying among under-25s in the county has found that more needs to be done to not only protect victims of bullying, but also manage the behaviour of bullies themselves.

The Cheshire Anti-Bullying Commission has now developed an anti-bullying charter as a commitment for organisations to challenge bullying and protect people.

Alan Yates, who was head teacher at Great Sankey High School in Warrington for 14 years, is the chairman of the commission.

"Cheshire’s Anti-Bullying Charter clearly outlines that bullying will not be tolerated in our communities," he said.

"It is designed to complement the same principles and standards of anti-bullying work which is already being carried out by education establishments and organisations across Cheshire.

“The signatories commit to doing all they can to not only tackle bullying in their organisations but also helping to raise awareness of the types of bullying that most commonly occur and promoting how to report incidences of bullying safely and without stigma.

“I believe that by working together collectively we can achieve a caring society in which all individuals are afforded the tolerance, respect and support needed to achieve their full potential and live a happy and fulfilled life.”

A number of organisations have already signed the charter, including Cheshire Police.

David Keane, police and crime commissioner, launched the Cheshire Anti-Bullying Commission to look into how public and private sector bodies can do more to tackle bullying.

Since May 2019, it has spoken to hundreds of people who have experienced bullying, as well as reviewing academic research, serious case reviews and coroner’s reports on suicides where bullying has been a factor.

Mr Keane said: “Through the work of the commission we have heard some heartbreaking cases of how being bullied at a young age has severely affected people in later life and in some cases, has resulted in suicide or self-harm.

Winsford Guardian:

“What our findings have outlined is that tackling bullying is everyone’s business – the only way we are going to halt this bullying epidemic among all generations in our society is by working together to change behaviour and make it unacceptable to target someone simply just for who they are.

“It is crucial that we work together to ensure these are not just words in a report but actions to make a difference for our communities.”

The new charter calls for:

  • A multi-agency approach to provide early-intervention support for bullying victims and perpetrators of bullying
  • A free and anonymous online counselling service for young people across Cheshire
  • Schools and local authorities to offer increased education around bullying
  • Police to increase their engagement with schools and to raise awareness of when bullying becomes criminal behaviour
  • Improved internet safety to make it harder for people to search and access information on self-harm
  • A Cheshire-wide campaign to raise awareness of the effects of bullying which includes organisations committing to an anti-bullying charter.

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