ZAP workshops for bullied children

Chloe came to a ZAP workshop in Birmingham with her mum, who shares her experience of the day


Photo: Young people taking part in a ZAP workshop

The workshop gave Chloe* [9] such a boost of confidence. She feels less guilty and she feels like she belongs to a group of other children who have suffered as much as her, so for her I think it was such a relief... it's helped her overcome what has happened in the past. For us it was a recovery, she is now in a good school where she's not bullied anymore, but she still feels the impact of the bullying which lingers on; because it takes some time to recover from that.

She is trying all of the tools [she learnt at the workshop] depending on the situation. I've got to remind her to use them and we practise at home because you know children, they just forget.

The most useful thing was interaction with the other children - to see how they were reacting and how they were using the tools... Because she observed others at the same time, I think that gave her the confidence to use the tools as well.

For me as a parent, it was a summary of what has happened over the past year. It's great now, I can move on and I'm getting the right support for her, because at the end of the day you often don't get the support you need at the right time when your child is being bullied. It's quite tricky as a parent and can feel quite isolating but now I'm getting where I need to go, so it was just a realisation that things are moving forward in a nice way.

I didn't have any reservations about going, because I had already heard about it the year before... I think the workshops at that time were in London and then you put some new ones in Birmingham which was perfect for us as we're quite local.

We wish we'd known about Kidscape much earlier

We wish we'd known about Kidscape much earlier but she was so young when the bullying started (she was 6), that she probably couldn't have attended because she didn't understand half of the things. So your age range [9-16] is very good because I think at 9 they are more aware... anything before that I'm not sure they would understand how to use the tools. They need to grow up a bit and they can deal with it better.

It will take a long time for her to recover, for us it was important [to come to the workshop] - anything she can get her hands on, to move on. It gave her the confidence to just be herself and say, okay it's fine, it's going to be okay. Before the workshop, she didn't feel like she was of the same calibre as some of her girlfriends. But now she thinks of herself as an amazing girl like them. She's come out of her shell and decided to join some after school activities which is a big step forward... despite us explaining to her that many other children get bullied, the extent of what happens to others hadn't sunk in. It's only now that she says okay, it's actually happened to so many people, it is not the end of the world and it's only when they grow up that they can take a step back and start to think this way. It's not when they are in the middle of it and they are too young.

* Name has been changed

To find out more about our ZAP workshops, click here. If your child is under 9, you can also contact our Parent Advice Line.

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