National Anti-Bullying Youth Board's #AlwaysBeKind Campaign
As a member of the 2018 Diana Award Anti-bullying Youth Board, I want to use my voice to raise awareness of disability-based bullying. I also want to convey the message that we should all be kinder and more tolerant and accepting of each other - no matter what our differences. It is this message of tolerance and acceptance that led to the creation of the Youth Board's #AlwaysBeKind photo campaign.
Our #AlwaysBeKind photo campaign will feature photos of members of the Youth Board (and my younger sister Kiera), wearing our Youth Board sweatshirt / t-shirt with the slogan "Young People Can Change the World." We will be taking photos of the slogan on our shirt in different locations and cities in the UK and the world. Our campaign aims to convey that no matter where you are and no matter what you are doing, always be kind.
I have been bullied at school for most of my childhood, because I am autistic, dyslexic and dyspraxic. Sadly, I am not alone. According to Ditch the Label’s The Annual Bullying Survey 2017, 75% of autistic students reported being bullied. My bullying experiences mirror the experiences of countless other autistic students, many of whom, like me, were eventually forced out of school and into home education. I firmly believe that all children have a right to an education and a right to feel safe at school.
A simple act of kindness can have a tremendous impact on a person's life, especially on the life of an autistic student. We hope our photo campaign empowers young people to be kinder to one another. If we support each other and build each other up, our generation has the potential to change the world for the better.
Although we just started our #AlwaysBeKind campaign, we have already received requests to purchase the "Young People Can Change the World" sweatshirt. The Diana Award will shortly be selling the shirts online. If you would like to join our #AlwaysBeKind movement, please purchase a sweatshirt, send us a photo of the back of your sweatshirt and we will include it on our Instagram page.