Anti-bullying and harassment mentor programme is going to help students in Doncaster schools

The programme is designed to educate young people about issues such as bullying and harassment and encourage them to speak out when they see the negative behaviour.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 9:53 am

The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit is funding the Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme (MVP) which is available free of charge to secondary schools in South Yorkshire from September 2021.

Graham Jones, head of the South Yorkshire Reduction Unit said: “The Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme is aimed at young people from 11 to 16 years old in educational settings.

“As young people come out of the lockdown period and face some uncertain futures, there has been no better time to have these discussions and try to understand their thinking and provide open discussion in making positive choices.

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“The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction unit is taking a public health approach to preventing violence and the programme is one way of engaging with our young people at a time when it is extremely important to do so.”The MVP is a leadership and bystander programme which is designed to educate school teachers, staff and pupils on the bystander model.A bystander is somebody who sees or knows about a certain situation such as bullying that is happening to someone else.If a bystander does nothing about the situation, they can be seen as condoning this behaviour.The programme aims to educate young people so that they can do something to stop the situation and not be a bystander.MVP included three digital sessions for any South Yorkshire school.It will also include lesson plans and scenarios around domestic abuse, bullying, harassment, sexual violence, weapons carrying, child sexual explotation and different forms of hate crime.US educator Dr Jackson Katz developed the programme and it is delivered by Graham Goulden from Cultivating Minds UK.

Dr Alan Billings South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I have been to Glasgow and seen young people acting as mentors to their peers, teaching them how to be more proactive in stopping others being bullied or harassed.

“There is no doubt that young people are more likely to take notice of other young people and so this programme is one important way in which we can train them to be mentors to their fellow students.

“If we are to reduce violence in all its forms in our society, the younger we can help people to understand how damaging bullying and harassment can be, the better.“At a time when school budgets are stretched I am pleased we can offer this programme at no cost to schools.”For more information click here.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.