ANTI-BULLYING WEEK (Monday 16th November) provides a timely reminder that bullying can happen anywhere, to anyone, and be about anything.

Every year thousands of children contact Childline about their experiences of cyberbullying and tell us it can feel impossible to escape.

Lockdown has exacerbated these feelings for many young people and from April to October our trained counsellors held more than a thousand counselling sessions with young people about online bullying.

As we enter another national lockdown in England, many children will now face the prospect of spending more time online.

Bullying can have a significant impact on their mental health and wellbeing and this can be felt long into adulthood, so it is vital that we are here for them and that they know who they can turn to for help and support.

If a parent thinks their child is being bullied online, it can be hard to remain calm, but it’s crucial not to overwhelm a child with questions.

Taking their device away is likely to make them feel like whatever has happened is their fault; instead it’s helpful to listen to their worries, suggest they take some time away from certain apps, and provide them with reassurance.

Adults can call the NSPCC helpline for advice and support on 0808 800 5000.

Our Childline service provides a safe, confidential place for children who feel they have no one else to turn to, whatever their worry, whenever they need help.

Children can contact Childline on 0800 11 11, all year round.

Rachel McCourty

South East Volunteer Childline Counsellor