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8 July, 2005

Islington pupils Anti-Bullying Massif receive Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award

A group of young boys from Islington, known as the Anti-Bullying Massif (ABM), received a prestigious Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award for their work against bullying in their school, the Central Foundation School for Boys, Islington, on July 7th. With currently reported increases in bullying nationally, it is noteworthy that these young people are trying to address this issue themselves.

ABM came together during a taster event run by a Citizenship Foundation project, Youth Act! in May 2003. The group of boys which increased from six to nine boys, from the Islington School, felt strongly about the issues and damages of bullying. As a result, they applied to take part in a six week Youth Act training programme to learn how to campaign for change.

Comments Carrie Supple, Youth Act! project director, “We are delighted that ABM has received this accolade as the group really took the challenge to heart and dedicated a great deal of time and energy to their campaign.”

“They increased their members, did additional peer mentor training and even met in their free time at weekends, during holidays and after school to further their campaign. Their approach to the project was inspiring.”

Some of ABM’s activities, progressing from school based to international activities, since September 2003:

• Poster campaign/slogan creation in school

• Articles in school magazine and devised a website

• Presentations to all school staff and to a youth participation seminar

• Ran weekly lunchtime counselling sessions for referred pupils

• Planned and delivered assembles to raise awareness and recruit new allies amongst hundreds of their fellow pupils

• Spoke at Islington deputy headteachers’ training day

• Invited to join cross-London anti-bullying conference planning group. (I Power I)

• Two ABM members invited to run workshops for headteachers and interview young people at national DfES conferences on anti-bullying

• Helped make an anti-bullying film for the DfES. Involved visiting nine regions of the U.K visiting different schools, including Birmingham, Bristol, Norwich, Leicester, York, London, Manchester, and Newcastle

• Planning British Council bid for international links with other anti-bullying initiatives.

ABM members comment;

“Youth Act! has changed who I am” (Jarrell, aged 14)

“It has meant to me that small people do have powers and sometimes grown-ups don’t realise, but we small people do!!!” (Zak, aged 14)

Citizenship Foundation’s Youth Act! project is a scheme which aims to increase young people’s ability to bring about social and political change in their community. Youth Act! is an active citizenship and political literacy project for 11-18 year olds, funded by The Bridge House Estates Trust Fund, Deutsche Bank and the Carnegie UK Trust.

The anti-bulling award recognises the contribution of children and young people up to the age of 18, tackling the problem of bullying in their schools and communities. It was set up in partnership with the Anti-Bullying Alliance and was launched by Ivan Lewis, MP, in July 2004. The award was open to all primary and secondary schools and will initially ran for one year only i.e. September 2004 - July 2005. Schools were able to make one nomination during that time.

The awards ceremony took place on July 7th at CEA@Islington offices, Lough Road, Islington N7 8RH, from 10am – 12pm.

To find out more please email:

Notes for editors:

About the Citizenship Foundation

The Citizenship Foundation is an independent charity (no. 801360) which aims to empower individuals to engage in the wider community through education about the law, democracy and society. Founded in 1989, we focus particularly on developing young people’s citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding. www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk

Our work includes:

• A comprehensive range of citizenship resources for a wide audience from teachers to young offenders.

• Nationwide and international training programmes.

• National active learning projects for secondary schools.

• Community projects to develop citizenship education as a collective responsibility.

• Research to advance our understanding of best practice in citizenship education.

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