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Danny Lawson/PA Wire
UK News

Christians have ability to help bullied kids, says youthworker as schools restart

by Cara Bentley

The figures were released ahead of the start of the new school year by anti-bullying charity The Diana Award, which is supported by the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex and was set up in memory of their mother.

The survey, which polled more than 1,000 11 to 16-year-olds, also suggests that 40% of young people are worried about going back to school because of bullying, while only 23% think their school is good at tackling the issue.

However, not all bullying takes place in school and two in five young people (40%) said they have been targeted via social media.

Liam Moore, a Christian youthworker, told Premier: "When you look at some kids who are caught in the poverty track - they can't afford trainers, they can't afford the latest clothing, they can't afford the latest kind of gimmick or whatever - the next minute they're starting to be pointed out and started to be to put upon and vilified and castigated.

"You can see there's just a lot of issues that are going on and obviously it's increased through the years and the social dynamics have changed as well. Peer pressure and unemployment, families who are really struggling with universal credit and unemployment and all these  punitive measures, I believe, from the government are having an impact on families and having an impact on the children more than anything."

Moore added that it was an area Chrsitians could make a difference, saying that was what changed for him when he was bulled: "For me, I'm really grateful for Christians who are in the workplace and in the schools, in the community and they are reaching these kids - these people are reaching the lonely. You know what Jesus did, he reached out to the woman at the well, he reached out to bling Bartimaeus, he reached out and for me, the greatest fulfillment is reaching those kids because you sow the seed of hope, you sow the seeds of love, sow the seed of grace and that to me is the real gospel."

Nearly a fifth (17%) of bullied children say they have been made to feel suicidal.

Of those who have been picked on, 54% have avoided social events because of it, 35% have skipped school and 20% have either changed schools completely or started home school.

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