MP meets the CyberMentors who are tackling bullying online

November 2, 2009 12:48 PM
Howarth meets CyberMentors

David Howarth meets the CyberMentors

Cambridge MP David Howarth has met pupils at Chesterton Community College who have become the city's first qualified CyberMentors to help beat bullying.

The youngsters offer support to their peers in a unique online social networking site developed by leading bullying prevention charity Beatbullying.

Nine other Cambridge schools have followed their example and signed up to the idea which involves pupils undertaking a five-stage training course before being able to volunteer as a CyberMentor.

Mr Howarth said: "This is an excellent programme. It gives youngsters the opportunity to discuss their problems with people of their own age online in an environment where they feel comfortable.

"It is a fact of life that bullying is taking place in schools and it is often difficult for victims to know where to go to seek help. Hopefully this programme will encourage more to come forward and schools can make real headway in stamping out the problem."

The programme, which is running nationwide, is actively supported by boxing champion, Joe Calzaghe, athlete Dame Kelly Holmes and MOBO award-winning hip hop group N-Dubz.

Chesterton Community College head, Mark Patterson said: "Everyone is incredibly proud of the students who have become CyberMentors.

"As a school we take bullying very seriously and believe CyberMentors in an invaluable extension of school based strategies to deal with this problem."

Emma Jane Cross, chief executive of Beatbullying said: "CyberMentors forms a crucial part of our ongoing battle to stamp out bullying and is the direct result of feedback from young people we have worked with across the country for the past seven years. Sixty per cent say they would actively seek advice online from their peers."

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