It is almost Christmas – which means that we are approaching the end of 2022! Thanks to the hard work of the Forum and our supporters it has been a year worth remembering. As such, we would like to use this opportunity to reflect on, and celebrate, the highs of the years!

We at DDISS are big fans of the song ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ – so we feel it is only fitting to list the 12 things that we are proud of achieving as a team in the form of the Twelve ‘Yays’ of Christmas!

Yay 1: Welcoming New DDISS Members

We’ve been delighted this year to welcome 4 new member organisations to the Forum: Bytes, CCEA, TAMHI and The Diana Award. Each organisation represents key stakeholders in anti-bullying work, such as young people and educators, ensuring that we continue to provide a voice to all in relation to anti-bullying policy and practice in Northern Ireland. We have also welcomed some new representatives from current member organisations, all of which have contributed to creating a more vibrant and energised Forum.

You can find out more about our new and existing members here.

Yay 2: DDISS Young Advisors

Our Young Advisors have been very successful in ensuring we keep the voice of children and young people at the centre of all that we do. Some of the things they have supported us in this year include:

  • Choosing and designing the Anti-Bullying Week theme and branding
  • Anti-Bullying Week programme
  • Judging the DDISS School Staff award
  • Designing social media messaging
  • Taking part in an Anti-Bullying Podcast
  • Guiding the DDISS Strategy

We are always amazed at the dedication and commitment the Young Advisors give to a cause they feel so strongly about.

Yay 3: Equality Commissions Anti-Bullying Podcast Series

Our member organisation, Equality Commission UK, have created a series of Anti-Bullying Podcast, focusing on inequalities in education. DDISS, along with our Young Advisors and member organisations, have been fortunate enough to be featured in this series. The podcasts discuss the work of the London Safeguarding Forum, implementation of the Addressing Bullying in Schools Act, prejudice-based bullying of equality groups including racially motivated bullying and LGBT motivated bullying. Learn about the view of the Equality Commission on what is needed to address prejudice-based bullying and challenge stereotypes in education and what you can do to help.

You can listen to the podcasts here.

Yay 4: EA Anti-Bullying Team

DDISS has welcomed the induction of new Anti-Bullying team within our member organisation, the Education Authority. The team will support schools as they implement the necessary changes as required within the Addressing Bullying in Schools Act (2016) and ensuring best practice in Anti-Bullying for children and young people in school settings across Northern Ireland.

Yay 5: Anti-Bullying Week 2022: Reach Out

This years Anti-Bullying Week was a huge success, with lots of schools, organisations, and families getting involved across UKto help spread our message of ‘Reach Out’ and raise awareness of bullying. The week was jampacked with fun activities for children and young people, as well as educational and awareness raising opportunities for parents and practitioners. Some of the activities included:

  • School resource packs and lesson plans
  • Social Media Toolkit
  • Odd Socks Day
  • Hashtag Party
  • Launch of our Parent & Carer and Youth Sector surveys
  • Anti-Bullying Week Practitioners Conference
  • Launch of the Creative Arts Competition
  • School Staff Award

Yay 6: 2022 Media Coverage

This year we’ve had a total of 111 media coverages so far, including press print and radio. This includes such media outlets as ni4kids, the Belfast Telegraph, BBC Radio Foyle, Cool FM, DownTown Radio and U105 News. Each piece of coverage has supported us in achieving our aim of raising awareness of the impact of bullying and ways in which we can help tackle it

Yay 7: Anti-Bullying Week Practitioners Conference

This year’s Anti-Bullying Week included the first ever conference for practitioners, providing a psychological perspective on bullying. The conference was attended by professionals, including teachers, youth workers and social workers, who heard from a number of experts (including Peter K Smith, Siobhan O’Neill, Mona O’Moore & Jane L. Ireland) in the fields of psychology and anti-bullying.

Yay 8: Translink

We’re very grateful that our friends at Translink have continued to support and sponsor DDISS and Anti-Bullying Week in UK this year.

Yay 9: Safeguarding Board UK

Another thanks to SBUK who have also supported DDISS with sponsorship this year and even held an online bullying seminar to acknowledge the week and help raise awareness of the importance of safety online.

Yay 10: Fundraising

We’d like to thank those that fundraised for us this year. A special thanks goes to Shane Fox, who organised a fantastic fundraising event including a Motorbike run from Bangor to Newcastle, with over 20 motorcyclists, a mini music festival, alongside camping and raffle prizes. A great day was had by all who came along to support Shane and help raise funds for us.

Yay 11: Andy and the Odd Socks

Once again, the amazing Andy and the Odd Socks Band knocked it out of the park with this year’s song and video ‘Calling Out’ to support Anti-Bullying Week and Odd Socks Day, encouraging thousands of kids and adults across UK to don their odd socks to promote uniqueness and individuality. Not only that, this year, Andy invited DDISS and over 30 school kids from UKto attend their concert and meet the band on stage after the show. This was a special day for us at DDISS and one we won’t forget in a hurry.

Thanks Andy!

Yay 12: DDISS Strategy

Our members have worked hard to develop our new 2023-2026 Strategy and we can’t wait to share it with you in the new year. The strategy reflects the growth of the Forum to date and our ambitious plans for the future. Watch this space.