AS THE country marks Anti-Bullying Week, which began on Monday (November 15), councillors in Andover have called on residents to do their bit to help address the issue in the town.

Posting to Facebook, Andover Town councillor Stu Waue shared resources produced by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.

He said: “I sincerely hope that ALL schools in the area will be supporting this initiative.

“I would also like to see parents get involved too. Take the time this week to talk to your sons and daughters about bullying.

“Have they been suffering in silence? If so, contact the school to tell them what's been happening - I recommend doing so by email as it creates a record which you may need later on.

“Do they regularly witness others being bullied? Ask them if there's any way they could help. They don't need to get in the middle of it. Sometimes all it takes is to make sure the victim doesn't feel alone.

“It is often the lonely, or those that are just a little bit different that are singled out by bullies for their unwanted attention.”

He continued: “You may even suspect that your son or daughter is a bully. If so, please try to get them to see things from their victims' perspective and get them to stop their bullying activities.”

Cllr Waue added: “It's a sad truth that bullying still happens - in schools, workplaces, and even out in public.

“We ALL have a part to play in stopping it.”

Meanwhile, Cllr Iris Andersen (TVBC, Andover St Mary’s) told the Advertiser that she has had experiences of her children being bullied at school and within the workplace, and has herself suffered with poor mental health in the past as a result of bullying culture.

She echoed Cllr Waue’s calls for a community-wide approach to the problem.

“I think the message of anti-bullying is one for everyone, not just in schools,” she said.

“I feel that people are bullying on social media and I think it’s really bad. [The bullies] do not realise what they are doing to people’s mental health.

“To be able to say something kind, it makes a big difference.”

She added: “Bullying isn’t tolerated in our schools, but the issue is that a person who is being bullied may be scared to speak up. If they could, it would help, instead of staying silent and suffering in silence. That’s like torture, really.”

For more information and access to the resources available, visit: