A Corby teenager is calling on pop group One Direction to help in the battle against cyber bullying.
Kirsty Davies, 14, is one of 30 mentors at The Kingswood School who have been trained by the organisation BeatBullying.
She has launched an online petition calling on the band to dedicate one of the songs on their new album to the campaign against cyber bullying.
So far more than 11,000 people from all over the UK and abroad have signed the petition.
Kirsty, who was a victim of bullying, said: “I think I was picked on because I didn’t have much confidence.
“I was nominated by my school alongside a group of other students to complete training about becoming a cyber mentor for the worldwide online support group BeatBullying.
“When I was on its site I noticed that there was a post that was mainly aimed at fans of One Direction to help raise awareness about cyber bullying.
In order to do this the aim is to get One Direction to dedicate one of their songs to cyber bullying.
“Bullies target many young people on the internet. This year I was bullied online and at school.
“It was really hard and I didn’t speak to many people about it, not even my parents. But then I trained to be a BeatBullying mentor.
“It helped me learn what to do to cope and now I speak to other young people who are going through the same thing. It’s really great to know that I’ve been able to help other people.”
Kirsty, a One Direction fan, hopes the band will support her as some of its members have been victims of bullying.
Megan Plowman, 17, head of the school’s Well-Being Council, said: “We do a great deal at Kingswood to combat bullying and in the new term we will be holding drop-in sessions, as well as one-to-one meetings with students who are concerned about bullying.”
Anyone who would like to sign Kirsty’s petition can do so by visiting www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/one-direction.
Getting the message across
The BeatBullying website offers young victims the chance to talk to trained young mentors and get help straightaway.
Research shows that one in every three children has been bullied, inside and outside of school and it is the biggest problem faced by young people and their parents.
At least 20 children every year commit suicide because they are being bullied.
Cyber bullying is also a growing concern, with 30 per cent of 2,000 young people surveyed saying they had been a victim.
For more details visit www.beatbullying.org.