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CELEBRITIES JOIN FORCES WITH THE DIANA AWARD AND NATIONWIDE BUILDING SOCIETY TO HOST THE SECOND ANNUAL ‘THE BIG ANTI-BULLYING ASSEMBLY’ ON 4TH OCTOBER 2021

Children and parents fearful of return to school as social development is impacted by lockdown. Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Tom Daly, Rupaul and Ariana Grande most influential celebrities who are inspiring young people to support each other and feel ok about being different.

 

1 September 2021

 CBBC Newsround presenter De-Graft Mensah and Sky Kids FYI TV presenter, bionic model and inspirational speaker Tilly Lockey host the assembly and are joined by famous faces including presenter and YouTuber Nikki Lilly, actors Sam Retford and Will Poulter, The Vamps’ James McVey, and television personality and UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador for the Department of Education Dr Alex George.

 In 2020 over 2 million primary school children watched the inaugural assembly with 10 thousand educators signing up.

 Primary schools nationwide can sign up to watch ‘The Big Anti-Bullying Assembly 2021’ at www.thebigassembly.com

 Download campaign assets here.

CENSUSWIDE POLL, COMMISSIONED BY THE DIANA AWARD AND NATIONWIDE BUILDING SOCIETY, REVEALS:

 Almost a quarter of young people (24%) and over a third (36%) of parents have said they are worried about the return to school in the new academic year, with fear of being bullied (31%) and being put back into a situation with people who have bullied them in the past (23%) topping the main concerns amongst these young people.

 40% of young people confirmed they have been subject to bullying behaviour in the past. Parents said that most instances took place at school (80%), however it also extended to social media (22%) and text messaging services (20%). Parents of girls were more likely to say this bullying behaviour happened on social media (27%) and via text messaging services (24%) compared to parents of boys (both 17%). With parents of boys twice as likely to say this happened on online gaming platforms (20%) compared to parents of girls (11%).

 24% of parents said their child had been bullied due to their race, 18% because of their sexual orientation; 28% because of a disability or learning needs and 68% felt this had had a negative impact on their child’s mental health and wellbeing.

 Over half (58%) of parents believe that Covid-19 has had a negative impact on their child’s social development and nearly a third (30%) are worried about how their child will adapt to real life interaction when they return to school.

 44% of young people said that in spite of school activities being done virtually over the last year, they did not feel more protected or guarded from bullying behaviour.

 Almost half (48%) of parents have had conversations recently with their child about racism, while a third (33%) have discussed sexuality, disability (32%), homophobia (24%), politics (21%) and transphobia (14%). However, almost a third of parents (32%) haven’t discussed any of these topics with their child recently.

 Children and young people surveyed said that seeing celebrities and influencers talk openly about subjects like bullying, racism, sexism and homophobia has given them a better understanding of these topics (29%) and has made them feel more confident (23%), inspired (18%) and empowered (11%).

 Children cited the likes of sporting stars Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Tom Daly, and Paralympians and Olympians, alongside American drag queen RuPaul, singer Ariana Grande and YouTubers like James Charles, Unspeakable and Preston, as having inspired them the most in the last 12 months – making them feel it’s ok to be themselves or be different.

As 10 million children prepare to start the new academic year, with many joining senior schools or new classes, research commissioned by youth charity The Diana Award and Nationwide Building Society reveals significant concerns about returning to school amongst young people (24%) and their parents (36%). Almost a third (31%) of young people who are worried have fears about being bullied, while 37% are concerned they have fallen behind in their schoolwork. Over a third (33%) fear making new friends (33%) or reconnecting with old ones (26%) and over a quarter (26%) are scared of getting Covid-19, while others fear leaving the safety of home and their ‘bubble’ (19%).

The survey, which targeted 1,000 parents of 6-16-year-olds and 1,000 young people aged 6-16, revealed that over half (58%) of parents believe that Covid-19 has had a negative impact on their child’s social development and nearly a third (30%) are worried about how their child will adapt to real life interaction when they return to school.

40% of young people confirmed they have been subject to bullying behaviour in the past. Parents said that most instances took place at school (80%), however it also extended to social media (22%) and text messaging services (20%). Young people confirmed the evolution of the problem during lockdown with a worrying number (44%) saying that in spite of school activities being done virtually over the last year, they did not feel more protected or guarded from bullying behaviour. One in five (19%) said that in the last year they haven’t participated in school activities (in person or virtual) because of fear of being bullied.

Cultural events of the last 12 months have clearly had an impact on young people and their parents. Positively, almost half (48%) of parents have had conversations recently with their child about racism, while a third (33%) have discussed sexuality, disability (32%), homophobia (24%), politics (21%) and transphobia (14%). However, almost a third of parents (32%) haven’t discussed any of these topics with their child recently.

Children and young people surveyed said that seeing celebrities and influencers talk openly about subjects like bullying, racism, sexism and homophobia has given them a better understanding (29%), has made them feel more confident (23%), inspired (18%) and empowered (11%).

Children cited the likes of sporting stars Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Tom Daly and Paralympians and Olympians, alongside TV personality RuPaul, singer Ariana Grande and YouTubers like James Charles, Unspeakable and Preston, as having inspired them the most in the last 12 months – making them feel it’s ok to be themselves or be different.

The stats come in advance of the second annual ‘The Big Anti-Bullying Assembly’ from The Diana Award and Nationwide Building Society. This celebrity packed virtual event will be beamed into primary school classrooms and homes across the country on Monday 4th October 2021, as well as being made available to view on The Diana Award’s AntiBullyingPro YouTube channel.

The assembly will bring together hundreds of thousands of children, empowering them to tackle bullying with a host of celebrities including CBBC Newsround presenter De-Graft Mensah, Sky Kids FYI TV presenter, inspirational speaker and bionic model Tilly Lockey, actors Will Poulter and Sam Retford, YouTuber and television presenter Nikki Lilly, musician James McVey, and TV personality and UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador for the Department of Education Dr Alex George.

Viewers will enjoy a host of celebrity personal stories, messages and special performances, as well as key information and guidance on how to recognise and handle bullying behaviour, and the support available. Celebrities will join together and invite children, teachers, parents and guardians alike to ‘put their hands up’ and pledge to put an end to bullying.

This initiative is part of a landmark three-year partnership in which Nationwide Building Society and The Diana Award will work together to train over 10,000 young people as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in primary schools across the UK and build mutual respect.

As Britain’s biggest building society, Nationwide is committed to investing in and improving communities across the UK. Nationwide hopes it can use its position as a mutual organisation owned by its members and one of the UK’s largest financial services providers to support The Diana Award’s anti-bullying campaign.

“Millions of young people are returning to school, meeting new teachers and classmates and navigating the anxieties of finding their place in a new environment. Add to that the significant events of the last year – both in terms of Covid-19 and the impact cultural movements – and it’s easy to see that it is more important than ever to ensure young people are safe and free from harmful bullying behaviour. Last year’s Back to School campaign was a massive success and we’re so excited to be working alongside Nationwide Building Society to bring The Big Anti-Bullying Assembly to thousands of young people once again.”

Alex Holmes, Deputy CEO of The Diana Award

We’re so pleased to bring back The Big Anti-Bullying Assembly after a successful launch in 2020 where we reached 2 million primary school children. Our partnership with The Diana Award brings great opportunity to spread the anti-bullying message and reach our goal of training 10,000 new anti-bullying ambassadors. We hope this next assembly will be a big success again and reach more young people than ever before, building mutual respect throughout society.

Paul Hibbs, Head of Advertising at Nationwide Building Society

To date, over 35,000 young people have been trained as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in 4,000 schools throughout the UK and Ireland by The Diana Award. This network of young people develops and share best practices and have been trained to provide ongoing peer support to their cohort. The programme, which has backing from England’s Department for Education, has received hundreds of positive endorsements in Ofsted school inspection reports reducing bullying and increasing safety and wellbeing. ‘The Big Anti-Bullying Assembly’ from The Diana Award and Nationwide Building Society will be beamed into primary schools and homes nationwide on 4th October 2021 before being made available on The Diana Award’s AntiBullyingPro YouTube channel. To sign up, download free resource packs and for more information visit www.thebigassembly.com. The Big Anti-Bullying Assembly 2020 video can be viewed here. Further campaign assets are available here.

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