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Baking to beat the bullies 24 November 2008

Buddies at Ballakermeen High School are specially-trained peer supporters who offer a listening ear and sometimes advice to their fellow students. BHS buddies cake sale

To mark Anti-bullying Week last week, they organised a number of activities designed to remind the school that their help is available to anyone who needs it.

They operated a cake stall at morning breaks and took 'friendship photos' for display.

Assemblies have focussed on dealing with cyber bullying and celebrating diversity and difference.

Teacher in charge Gemma Higson said:

'We know that every school has bullying, but we are determined to make our school as bully-free as we can. Students are encouraged to tell someone if they have a problem.'

Ballakermeen Buddies began five years ago. Initially they were trained by Childline, but there is sufficient expertise to teach volunteers in-house.

They learn listening skills, empathy and confidentiality and are highly thought of in the school community. A number of Buddies have had their efforts recognised with national awards.

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