Tools for life
We recently heard from a young man, Louis, who took part in one of our ZAP anti-bullying and assertiveness workshops exactly four years ago. From suffering severe bullying then, he has now been chosen to become head boy of his new school, and his mum told us that, ‘the confidence and self-belief that Kidscape gave him has stayed with him’. We are incredibly proud of him and delighted that he’s doing so well.
At Kidscape we strive to give our young people life skills and resilience. Indeed, we aim to leave a continuing legacy so that abused or bullied children can grow into happy adults able to fulfil their potential.
We also aim to equip professionals and parents with the tools to prevent bullying and abuse from occurring in the first place – this is our safeguarding work. Sadly, many of the children we work with are suffering from existing child protection issues. In such cases, our training programmes focus on how to support these young people.
Of course, in the context of our work with professionals, ‘tools for life’ doesn’t mean we’re a one-stop shop, or that there are any quick fixes for these complex issues. For example, anyone who works in the education sector will know it’s mandatory to update child protection training every two years. We find that the same professionals return to us again and again to update and complement the knowledge we’ve given them, which shows that they trust Kidscape to provide effective tools for combatting bullying and abuse.
Kidscape prides itself on equipping young people, parents and professionals with anti-bullying and safeguarding tools that will stay with them for life.
This will be the last annual review letter I write to you as CEO of Kidscape, as I will be retiring in early 2017. I have been with the organisation for 15 years, and led it since 2009. It has been a huge honour and privilege to steer Kidscape through some stormy seas and significant achievements. I am proud of the fact that we have retained our place as one of the UK’s leading anti-bullying and child protection charities whose campaigning voice and very effective programmes have made a huge difference to thousands of children and their families across Britain and beyond. In particular, I am thrilled with the massive success of our primary Bullying Intervention Training (BIT), which between 2013 and 2016 delivered anti-bullying sessions to more than 20,000 children across 250 schools. The past year has also seen the realisation of one of my dreams, as our seminal ZAP project has expanded from its London base to the Midlands and the North East.
For the first time in several years we have reported a healthy surplus, which means that I will be leaving Kidscape in a very positive financial state. I would like to stress that none of our successes could have been achieved without the commitment and hard work of our dedicated and highly experienced team, determined to protect children from bullying and abuse. It is with great sadness that I have made the decision to retire from Kidscape. My time with the charity has been the most fulfilling of my professional life. Kidscape and its vital work will always be in my heart and I will endeavour to support those who will continue our mission in any way that I can.
Thank you most sincerely for all your contributions to our vital work.
With warmest wishes to you all,