The most important thing is having the confidence to tell someone

Harvey MortonHarvey Morton
Harvey Morton
Splat! The carton of orange juice landed on my back and slowly started to trickle through my school shirt.

It was just one of the times I experienced bullying incidents as a child and teenager in Sheffield.

I was born prematurely, and as a result my hand-eye coordination was affected.So PE was not my favourite subject and bullies would enjoy seeing the reaction they could get when they kicked a football at me or threw objects.

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In the main though, they would make fun of my physical appearance. I had thick black hair and glasses - I still do - so they said I looked like Harry Potter.

Have the confidence to say somethingHave the confidence to say something
Have the confidence to say something

My very slow speech and thick accent was another reason for people to bully me, right from the end of primary school through my years at secondary school. Why am I telling you all, perfect strangers, about these horrible experiences which I would like to forget?

Because this week is national Anti-Bullying Week and it is so important to raise awareness.

While it is sad that we need a week to remind human beings to be kind to each other, it is also heartening to see people united against bullying.Schools across the country take part and this year the theme is Reach Out.

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The week began with Odd Socks Day encouraging people to celebrate what makes them different.

Harvey Morton's first day at schoolHarvey Morton's first day at school
Harvey Morton's first day at school

It goes without saying that the campaign aims to encourage people experiencing bullying to speak out and others to challenge the behaviour.

Bullying is a problem which affects people of all ages and thanks to the digital age, can come home with those being targeted too. For many people there is no escape from the cruel taunts and name calling.

Bullying is also more common than you might think - it’s often not talked about due to the stigma attached to it.

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Figures from the Office of National Statistics showed around one in five children between 10 and 15 experienced at least one type of online bullying behaviour in the year ending March 2020.

When I was last at school less than a decade ago, a lot of social media platforms had yet to be launched.

But I did experience a very early form of cyber bullying.

I used to make film reviews on YouTube which the bullies of course found, so they would print off my photograph from that and draw stuff on them to place around school.

I also launched my first business selling keyrings at school and when I started having success with enterprise competitions there seemed to be some jealousy around that, which led to even more bullying.

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For a very long time I felt like I couldn’t put anything of myself out there.

It did have a long-lasting impact on my life - while bullying is soul destroying at the time it occurs, the effects can also last a lifetime.

I initially wanted to go into radio but was very self-conscious as a result of the bullying so I took a different path instead.

Now I try my best to help others who may be in a similar situation.

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I’m able to give talks to schools through my company, and work with The Diana Award charity’s anti-bullying scheme.

Sometimes people at the talks do laugh at the bullying stories but if I help even one person each time it has been worth it.

I’d also like to share my tips for people experiencing bullying below.

The most important thing is having the confidence to tell someone about what is happening, whether that is a teacher or a relative.

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Review your social media followers and remove and block anybody who is part of the problem.

Try not to respond to any kind of bullying. It can be very hard not to defend yourself but bullies thrive on a reaction.

Remember that bullying is more about the person doing it than their victims, they often have their own issues which come out through bullying

Believe in yourself. It can be hard to keep going but there is support out there and the bullying will end.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance organises Anti-Bullying Week.For free advice and support visit

Written by Harvey Morton, founder of Harvey Morton Digital in Sheffield