Ever had someone assume something about you because of the way you look or dress? Do others sometimes use the colour of your skin, your gender, sexuality or hobbies to pigeon hole you… or worse? If not, then you are very lucky indeed. Did you know that 69% of young people in the UK experience bullying before the age of 18? Over 2.5 million youths are bullied each year and 550,547 are bullied every single day. Do you think that is acceptable? No, I thought not.
Ditch the Label is a Brighton based anti bulling and discrimination charity working to reduce the causes and impact that bulling has on young people in the UK. Through their work both online and offline, as well as extensive research into the topic, they believe they can create a more tolerant and understanding society for today. Ditch the Label believes that everybody is unique, despite the kinds of social labels they fall under. Regardless of race, sexuality, gender, religion, age, education or physical ability, everyone deserved to be treated like the person they are rather than the person others assume them to be. You can’t tell what someone is like from their interests either. Whether you’re interested in sports, work in a salon, feel good in drag and/or aim to own your own business, Ditch the Label thinks that you are amazing and are working hard to ensure that everyone else sees that too.
Since relaunching with a new vision and strategy in 2012, their campaign for equality has soared in popularity, establishing them as an authority within bullying intelligence and resolution. They are now working with other organisations – schools, colleges, media and celebrities – to promote the message that it is not just okay to be different; rather it is something that should be embraced and celebrated. So far they have provided support to thousands of vulnerable young people both online and offline. They currently operate their own social network where the victims of bullying to come and share advice and support, and are hoping to launch an online professional counselling service in the next few months once we have enough funding. Our social network currently has over 35,000 members.
Working closely with British schools and colleges, providing them with research and consultancy services, Ditch the Label has also completed their first Annual Bullying Survey where a sample of over 2,000 British students were asked about their experiences of bullying. The report is available via their website. As you might imagine, with such an important message, many people support this anti-bullying charity. Ditch the Label’s celebrity ambassadors include Gok Wan, Dr Christian Jessen and Paralympian Hannah Stodel, plus they’ve been featured in The Independent, The Telegraph, Radio 1 and Attitude Magazine.
“I think it’s great what you are doing. When I was younger there was no real services available and so I think that Ditch the Label is highly appropriate and a much needed outreach for teens across the UK. There is an incredible sense of community and I like it a lot.” – Gok Wan
If you believe that teenagers should be shown a prejudice free future and would like to support this inspiring charity, you can visit the Ditch the Label website, ‘like’ them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
Bullying statistics via the Ditch the Label survey report. Images via their Facebook page.