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Keith Duffy launches Irish Autism Action Anti-Bullying Campaign


Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 13/06/2013. Tags: Parenting Teachers News

text re imageKeith Duffy launched Irish Autism Action’s Anti-Bullying Campaign today in a bid to stamp out bullying in primary schools. Backed by Irish company Swapkit, the Boyzone star has teamed up with the autism charity for a nationwide campaign aimed at bringing anti-bully action packs to 1,000 schools across the country in the next school term.
In order to participate, primary schools can register online this month at www.autismirelandantibullying.ie, collect old phones for recycling over the summer, and then trade these for a CHASE anti-bully pack that teaches kids how to recognise, deal with and stop bullying.

Father of two Keith warned that children who are being bullied often feel helpless.   “Victims of bullying can feel trapped, that they can’t do anything about it.  They’re terrified that if they tell anyone the bullying will get worse.  But these anti-bullying packs teach children how and where to get the help they need to stop the bullies for good.”

Using specially created software by www.e-chase.ie , the action packs teach children how to identify common bullying scenarios and what to do if they ever fall victim to bullies.  Schools can sign up now before term ends or join online when they reopen in September to register for the 2013/14 campaign.   And although it’s run by Irish Autism Action, Keith said the campaign is for all children.

He said, “The horrible fact is that anyone can be bullied.  A recent ISPCC report found 23% of nine to 16 year-olds reported being bullied, either online or face-to-face.  That’s nearly a quarter of all the children in Ireland; it’s a horrific figure.  Bullies often get away with what they do because their victims just don’t know how to make it stop.  Hopefully these action packs will give children the tools they need to speak out and stop bullies for good.”
He added:  “The summer is a great time to get out there and start collecting phones.  Don’t forget, you can still sign up in September, and by then you should be well on the way to earning your action pack.”

Each pack contains a special computer animation to teach children about bullying.  Accessible cartoon characters talk about bullying in a non-threatening manner, and teach children there’s no shame in admitting you have been a victim of bullying.

Kevin Whelan of Irish Autism Action said the charity’s previous education campaign to swap old phones for iPads, which helped over 2,100 families, was so successful they decided to launch a new campaign this time aimed at tackling bullying from an early age.
He said, “Kids that are a little bit different, such as those with autism, tend to suffer more from bullying. But it can affect all children.  All schools have to do is register online at www.autismirelandantibullying.ie to receive a recycling pack.  As soon as the school collects its required amount of old mobile phones it will receive its CHASE anti-bully reward pack in the post.”

The campaign is in association with Irish company Swapkit, a forerunner in supporting Irish Autism Action through its recycling campaigns

[Picture: Pictured at the launch of Irish Autism Action’s Anti-Bullying campaign were Boyzone’s Keith Duffy, Brian Egan of Swapkit, One Direction star Niall Horan and Olympic boxer John Joe Nevin, who recently won gold at the European Championships. ]


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