Called Being Me, the series of resources is designed to give children across the UK an insight into the life of their classmate, and a better understanding of what it is like to be them.
The project, the first of its kind, sees Carers Trust team up with national anti-bullying charity Kidscape, as well as Diversity Role Models, Potential Plus UK and The National Autistic Society - charities representing children who are at the end of an unacceptable level of bullying in Britain's schools today.
Dr Moira Fraser, interim chief executive of Carers Trust said:
"We know that bullying can be a big issue for young carers and can have a major impact on their self-confidence and self-esteem. Being Me will equip teachers to work with pupils to tackle bullying in a fresh way.”
Research by Carers Trust and the University of Nottingham showed that a quarter of young adult carers surveyed have been bullied at school because of their caring role.
Nearly half of respondents (42%) did not have a staff member to confide in at school. The most common reason the young carers gave for not telling a staff member about their caring role was that they felt there was ‘no point’ in doing so.
Peter Bradley, Kidscape's Director of Services who led the five-charity partnership to launch this initiative, said:
"Thousands of children are bullied simply because they are different and, crucially, because those differences are not appreciated and understood.
"This year’s Anti-Bullying Week aims to stop bullying for all, and one very powerful way to do that is to encourage children to celebrate difference."
The series was developed and produced for Kidscape, Carers Trust and their charity partners by journalist Jenny Hulme who met with children and charity ambassadors during its making, hearing their stories - the way they are hurt by cruel words, social exclusion or physical abuse - and their hopes for how they might better fit into their class.
Being Me allows those children to tell their story via both a diary-style 'day in my life' and a fictional story that shares a powerful message with their peers. The series is free to download from today by schools and professionals who work with children and young people.
“Many teachers are doing excellent work to promote empathy and kindness, however, much more needs to be done," says Peter Bradley.
Being Me is a resource that they can use to start conversations about difference and tolerance. We want it to be used to give all children the skills and understanding to respect difference, to feel included and to get to better know their peers.”
Pears Foundation provides £1 million funding for unpaid carers across the UK
Carers Trust is delighted to announce it is to receive £1 million in funding over the next two years from the Pears Foundation.