A MUM who was bullied at school has launched a campaign to crack down on the problem in Swindon.
Sarah Calvert has joined forces local schools an effort to tackle the issue.
Her campaign was inspired by the Big Anti-Bullying Assembly 2020 campaign run by Nationwide and The Diana Award, a youth charity set up in the late Princess Diana’s name to put an end to bullying in schools through ambassadors, training, and education.
The charity has created a range of materials for schools and parents to use, including advice for students, digital packs explaining the different ways people can be bullied and graphics.
Sarah is planning to go into schools and talk to children and teachers at sessions.
The 37-year-old told the Adver she still think about her experience at secondary school when she was bullied by fellow students.
And she hopes to prevent any children in the borough from going through the same journey.
She said: “I walked down the school corridor and my picture was defaced on the floor, ripped off the wall.
“That’s just one event that I specifically remember.
“Over the years as a kid you get bullied. I used to get bullied for having big eyes. I used to get called frog eyes all the time.
“There was this feeling of being scared of the people that were doing it.
“When I look back at it now all these years later, I know it was jealous, because I was really sporty and quite successful in the sport I was doing.
“As a child, you can’t understand why these people are being horrible to you and it makes you not want to take part in sport, not want to be successful.
“Because when you are successful you get bullied for it.”
Sarah, from Coleview, added: “At the time there weren’t a lot of resources available to do something about it, which is why I guess I am more passionate about this now because there are so many resources available now to help children.”
Sarah, who work at Nationwide, added: “I want to get these materials into schools and get schools to use them. And make children aware of what is available to support them.”
As a mum, she said she is taking to time to have a conversation with her six-year-old son Finley.
She said: “These days with all the social media and all the platforms that these kids have, when you think about cyber-bullying, it makes me more aware.”
The campaign is supported by Matt Fiddes, the Swindon-born former bodyguard and advisor to some of the biggest stars in the world.
He said: “It’s an honour to be asked to help such a great cause. I know what it’s like to be bullied as a child and have given so much of my career to stop bullying.
“I tour schools to inspire children that they can achieve their goals no matter what their academic background.
“I’m very passionate about this cause and it has my full backing as well and my organisation’s. If we just stop one child getting bullied it’s worth it. I am looking forward to working with everyone involved.”
Coun Russell Holland, Swindon Borough Council cabinet member for commercialisation, education and skills said: “Bullying is not acceptable and can have a real negative impact on our young people.
“Swindon schools have a good track record of building cultures that promote good behaviour to tackle bullying and support children.
“This often goes unstated because it is part of day-to-day life in school. However, we can always do more and we will be working with our schools to share the great resources of this campaign and discourage bullying in our schools.”