A TEENAGE hero has been helping Rotherham take on the bullies in schools at a special youth summit this week.
Sixteen-year-old George Foster, winner of a Diana Anti-Bullying Award, organised the conference on Tuesday at Wath Comprehensive School where he is a pupil.
George said: “This is an invaluable opportunity for young people and professionals from all sectors to unite collectively in participation of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week theme, Taking Action Together.
“There is a simple aim of this regional anti-bullying summit bullying destroys lives and we are here to stop it.
“I feel that our society is losing its passion and enthusiasm for creating change, but this is a chance to do something worthwhile regarding an issue that affects so many.
“Together, our calls for action can make a difference. Our event is dedicated to realising this difference.”
With almost a third of young people reporting bullying in school, according to recent evidence, youngsters and professionals across the UK agree that more needs to be done to tackle bullying.
The summit brought together students and members from Rotherham Borough Council and the community.
George invited the Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Rose McNeely, and representatives from the Diana Award organisation, Beatbullying, Young Anti-Bullying Alliance (Young ABA), Safe Havens and National Strategies along with students from Wath Comprehensive and other local schools to discuss anti-bullying strategies.
George received a group Diana Anti-Bullying Award in 2009 for his outstanding work in setting up Safe Havens, which provides young people with support, particularly in tackling bullying.
The group of 15- to 19-year-olds advises local government on anti-bullying policy and practice.
George has joined the Young ABA, every member of which has received a Diana Anti-Bullying Award.
The Mayor said: “I am delighted to support the anti-bullying youth summit in Rotherham.
“I think it is wonderful that a young person has taken the initiative to set up a summit to encourage the council, community and schools to work together to tackle bullying.
“I am sure together we will devise effective processes to help reduce bullying in our community.”
Maggie Turner, chief executive of the Diana Award organisation, said: “We are immensely proud of George and our 13,000 Diana Anti-Bullying Award holders.
“It is important to highlight the wonderful work that young people across the country are doing to confront bullying.
“They represent a growing community who will act as a force for good and help build a positive society in which we would all like to live.”