Kindness is more important today than it has ever been.
The isolation experienced by many over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic has underlined how even small acts of consideration can break down barriers and help bring cheer to those who may have been struggling in our communities and neighbourhoods.
Across different parts of the UK, this week (15 to 19 November 2021) is ‘Anti-Bullying Week’. ‘One Kind Word’ has been chosen as the theme for this year’s campaign.
It aims to put kindness at the heart of activities which will raise awareness of the positive things we can all do to halt hurtful behaviour in its tracks.
In support of this campaign, our Local Coordinator for Lanark, Iain Mulholland, has been working with school pupils to explore what behaviours constitute bullying, and what can be done to tackle it successfully.
Encouraging respect and promoting positive relationships
Part of the work CNS carries out in the neighbourhoods we serve involves having children and young people prioritise the things they deem most important to living happy and healthy lives.
Over the past week, the team have met primary seven pupils from a number of schools in Lanark, to discuss issues highlighted during previous survey sessions.
With the schools in the area promoting a positive focus on wellbeing, the theme of kindness featured regularly on the lists of priorities that emerged from the sessions.
Bullying had been identified as an issue for some, and so Iain, our Local Coordinator for Lanark, planned some sessions to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week.
The children played some games which reinforced how unkind words and actions impact others, and how they cannot be taken back easily. There were also group discussions around what actually constituted ‘bullying’.
Iain shared some personal experiences from childhood and his teenage years, expressing how the impacts of bullying can remain with people throughout their lives.
The young people who participated this week really engaged with the sessions positively.
While the majority understood the importance of kindness, and what bullying is, some made the realisation that particular actions can have a real impact upon the wellbeing of others, even unintentionally.
Certain forms of teasing, if it is done repeatedly for example, can hurt and upset people – and can be something that stays with them for a long time.
The pupils also discussed how it is important to be respectful to other people’s opinions, while not dismissing others because you believe you are right, and that they don’t matter.
One of the children summed it up well at the end of one of the sessions, expressing that it is important to always be kind to other people, and to treat them how we would also like to be treated.
Anti-Bullying Week, 15-19 November 2021
Join thousands of schools, organisations and individuals this Anti-Bullying Week, 15-19 November 2021, by getting involved in our ‘One Kind Word’ campaign.
Together, with #OneKindWord, let’s start a chain reaction of kindness this #AntiBullyingWeek.
The year’s campaign theme has been co-designed with young people before being adapted by the UK’s leading anti-bullying organisations including respectme.
For more information on how to get involved, or to download a range of resources for activities with children and young people, see the ‘One Kind Word’ campaign site.