A SOUTHAMPTON teen who made peace with her childhood tormentor wants people to realise that bullies often need help too.

Amy Payne, 19, says their relationship helped her to understand that there can be a multitude of reasons why young people resort to picking on their classmates.

So working with the charity Fixers, Amy has made a film to raise awareness of the need for support for both bullies and the victims of bullying.

“Bullying is an important subject for me because of my past experience,” says Amy. “With this one girl in particular it started in around year four with her calling me names and then it progressed to her pushing me around.

“Being bullied isn’t nice for anyone. It makes you lose your confidence and you become a different person.”

It was after her former bully joined the same secondary school as Amy several years later that the pair became friends.

“I learnt that there were quite a few reasons behind the way she had treated me,” explains Amy.

“Things weren’t working at home, she was struggling at school and no one was listening to her.

“I was a goody two shoes at the time so she decided to pick on me. I was doing well at school and she wasn’t basically.

“Finding out the reasons behind the way she treated me really made me think.

“With our Fixers film we want to get the message out there that bullies often need help too as nobody ever really listens to them.

“They get sectioned off and people assume they’re just angry.”

“We thought this was a good opportunity to show the different perspectives that can be going on in the background when bullying occurs.”

The film shows two young people in counselling, discussing the difficult lives they had growing up. One was bullied constantly while the other struggled at home.

It is only at the end of the film when they meet in a group session that they realise that one of them was responsible for bullying the other in the past.

Amy is sharing her film on social media in the hope that it will be seen by as wide an audience as possible.

“I hope that watching the film will give anyone who is being bullied the confidence to speak out,” adds Amy.

“Hopefully it will encourage bullies to say I need help too.”

Fixers works with young people aged 16-25 across the UK by providing them with professional resources to help them campaign on issues they feel strongly about.

The charity has helped more than 20,000 youngsters across the UK to have a voice in their community on issues such as cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide or transphobia.

For more information or to make a donation to fund more Fixer projects, visit www.fixers.org.uk

Amy’s project has been supported by The Blagrave Trust

Since 2008 more than 20,000 young people have become Fixers and created over 2,200 projects. With a £7.2 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, Fixers extended from England into Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland as well in 2013.

“Fixers started in 2008 as just an idea… an idea given a voice by some 20,000 young people over the past nine years,” says Margo Horsley, chief executive of the charity.

“They have reached thousands of people with their work, on a national stage as well as in and around where they live.

“They choose the full array of social and health issues facing society today and set about making their mark.

“Fixers are always courageous and their ideas can be challenging and life-changing, not just for themselves.”