STUDENTS have been recognised for their work in helping to tackle bullying after making a hard-hitting DVD that has been seen by over 1,000 young people.
Teenagers from the Be Safe and Happy group based at St Hild’s School in Hartlepool produced and starred in the film which has been shown in every secondary school in town.
Based on a real-life story it shows how teasing can quickly develop into physical assault and encourages youngsters to report incidents.
The group was presented with certificates by town mayor Stuart Drummond at a celebration event for the Young Victims Steering Group which the students are part of.
Peter Lowe, steering group co-ordinator, said: “Bullying really does blight children’s lives and ripples across the whole community and to families.
“Young people are often seen as the cause of crime and anti-social behaviour, but they are more likely to be victims and less likely to report it.
“The DVD has reached over 1,000 people from all the secondary schools in Hartlepool.
“Young people often get a bad rap, but I think this shows that young people are doing really positive things and trying to make things better.”
The event at St Hild’s, King Oswy Drive, was held to celebrate the work of the Young Victims Steering Group since it formed two years ago.
It also looked ahead to new projects including the creation of an anti-bullying toolkit for primary schools which will include the DVD.
Mr Lowe added: “We know from the workshops that people feel safer and more confident in reporting bullying.
“If we can take that to primary schools and get to children at a young age and get them involved in things that’s going to safeguard them into adulthood it can only be a good thing.”
The victims group is supported by members of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, Children’s Society in Billingham, Barnardos, police and Victim Support.