Kidscape, a national children’s charity, runs free ZAP workshops for young people aged 9-16 who have experienced bullying, funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
It’s a fun, interactive day that encourages the development of assertiveness skills and raises young people’s confidence so that they are able to deal with bullying situations effectively.
Parents also attend a separate workshop on the day where they are given expert knowledge of how to effectively support their child.
From Jill Halfpenny (Kidscape ambassador and currently appearing in BBC1’s ‘In The Club’):
“I have been working with Kidscape for many years now and have been lucky enough to see the amazing work they do.
I was especially fortunate to be able to attend one of their ZAP sessions which had a huge effect on me. I was able to watch the transformation in the children in just one day as they realised they weren’t alone and that other children felt the same as them. They suddenly had hope in their eyes and their faces began to smile as they realised it “wasn’t just them”. I witnessed the incredible power of sharing and identification between them. It was truly moving and uplifting. I was also given the honour of being able to listen to the parents’ stories and hear how incredibly painful it can be for families, because bullying affects loved ones too and it’s important for the parents to share their experiences with others so they don’t feel alone.
ZAP sessions are safe and comforting, they are not there to find blame or point fingers.
ZAP sessions give hope and allow you to connect with others who are in your position.
ZAP sessions give you tools to take with you through life, to be able to handle and cope with those days at school that just feel desperate and hopeless.
If anyone reading this is either being bullied or has a child who is being bullied, please reach out and get in touch with Kidscape. It’s a very special opportunity which is safe and supportive and life enhancing for both child and parent. Give your child (and yourself) the chance to go to school without fear or dread of what might happen. I know this feeling and if ZAP had existed while I was at school it would have been a true gift.
Hope this helps someone or makes you reach out.
Upcoming workshop dates in the North East:
- Newcastle: 2 June (12-16 yr olds)
- Sunderland: 1 July (12-16 yr olds)
- Stockton: 23 June (9-11 yr olds) and 14 July (12-16 yr olds)
- York: 19 May (12-16 yr olds) and 16 June (9-11 yr olds)
Interested parents should visit kidscape.org.uk/zap for more information.