Movement to tackle bullying gathers momentum
A COMMUNITY-wide initiative in Skerries to tackle bullying is gathering momentum and is building on a massive turnout last month at a town hall meeting on the subject at the Little Theatre.
Speaking at that meeting was Dr Stephen Minton, a chartered psychologist who discussed the up-to-date research on bullying and the work undertaken as part of the Erris Anti-Bullying Initiative, on which the Skerries Anti-Bullying Initiative (SABI) is based.
In Erris, the initiative has succeeded in reducing the incidence of bullying in that committee, and SABI hope the same can be achieved in Skerries.
There was representation from local schools, community groups and sporting clubs at the meeting, where Dr Minton encouraged everyone to give feedback on their own experiences with regards to bullying and what kinds of bullying were of concern in the community.
Armed with that information, he said the community can begin to devise a programme suited to its needs.
According to an SABI spokesperson: 'The aim is to develop a community-wide, anti-bullying culture across the entire community, there will be anti-bullying training programme consisting of a weeks training for the action groups made up of teachers, group and club leaders, parents etc. in the Summer of 2014, and following that there will be a launch of our anti-bullying initiative next October.'
The meeting was attended by most school and local clubs and societies and SABI stressed that all are welcome to future meetings and they are still looking for more representatives to be involved.
Dr Minton stressed that an important point is to encourage all those already doing good work in this area to continue and the programme will build on whatever foundation have been laid already in any School, Club or Group.
SABI's current focus is to encourage all of the community to get involved and also to start fund raising.
Caoimhe O'Grady Tegart, who is a life-coach specialising in working with children, is involved in SABI and she told the Fingal Independent: 'We had a great turnout at the town hall meeting. The initiative is really gathering momentum.
'It was a great start for us. We are following the Erris Anti Bullying Initiative model and it's at its very early stages but we have got the ball rolling.'