Ormiston Venture Academy hosts Diana Award anti-bullying training session

Ormiston Venture Academy this week welcomed over 100 secondary school staff and students from across six different counties to an event designed to provide the knowledge and know-how required to become Anti-Bullying Ambassadors, as accredited by the Diana Award Anti-Bullying Campaign.

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The Diana Award Anti-Bullying Campaign, supported by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, is a programme designed to promote peer to peer support and help students and staff recognise signs when someone is being bullied, both online and offline.

15 pupils from Ormiston Venture Academy from Years 8 to 10 were involved in this training and are now on their way to becoming peer mentors at the academy.

Run by Paul Hanmore and Patrick Kerrigan from the Diana Award, the day comprised of many different workshops and activities covering everything from cyberbullying to bullying in the classroom and workplace.

The Ambassadors were trained to develop a range of preventative measures to keep their peers safe, including delivering online safety techniques to parents and staff. Ambassadors were also advised on how they can help rewrite their school’s anti-bullying policy through implementing measures such as smile and compliment days, drop in support sessions, and anti-bullying patrols.

Owen Cooper, Head of Upper School at Ormiston Venture Academy and event organiser, said:

"This is always such an insightful and educational day for both students and staff. It helps empower young people to work together to make not only their school but their community a better place. This training, led by The Diana Award, helps to ensure schools and communities have the dedicated up-to-date training needed for staff and students in both online and offline anti-bullying strategies."

Paul Hanmore, the Anti-Bullying Training Manager for The Diana Award, said:

"We have been coordinating with Owen Cooper for over 6 years and he has been able to help us bring this campaign into his new school. We were impressed at the commitment of the young people in being able to engage in positive social action to make a real difference to their schools. We feel confident in their ability in carrying on Princess Diana’s legacy of compassion, kindness and service to others in their campaigns they will be running themselves."

Erin French, a Year 10 student at Ormiston Venture Academy who attended the session, said:

"It was an extremely well-structured day and kept us engaged with the tasks that were set, as they were each unique and intriguing. Everyone was so friendly and encouraging, making us feel confident with our opinions and ideas about how to deal or prevent bullying."

Tamzin Lockyer, another Year 10 Ormiston Venture student who attended the session, said:

"It was truly inspiring to see how enthusiastic children are towards wanting to change people's lives by preventing bullying"