Couple take to web to tackle bullies
A COUPLE have launched a nationwide anti-bullying network after a four-year campaign to prove their daughter was being bullied while at the Queen s School, Wisbech. Hughie and Christine O Neill started Bullystop with £3,000 in grants from the National Lot
A COUPLE have launched a nationwide anti-bullying network after a four-year campaign to prove their daughter was being bullied while at the Queen's School, Wisbech.
Hughie and Christine O'Neill started Bullystop with £3,000 in grants from the National Lottery, social entrepreneur group UnLtd and Community Champions.
The campaign is supported by Malcolm Moss, MP for North-East Cambridgeshire, and comedian Joe Pasquale, for whom Mr O'Neill has written material.
Mr O'Neill said: "Through our sad experiences with the school we decided to create something positive to benefit the community."
The couple, who live in Main Road, Elm, have learned counselling skills to help parents in a similar situation, as well as teachers.
"I am really hoping that when the Queen's gets back on its feet we will become redundant," said Mr O'Neill. "They will recognise bullying exists and will sort it out themselves."
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The O'Neills say their daughter was first bullied between September 2001 and April 2002. And a formal investigation at the school proved this to be the case.
It is the events that followed, and the couple's long fight to establish proof that she was bullied, that finally drove them to launch Bullystop. They have compiled a massive dossier of their complaints - and even at one time invited Mr Moss to attend a meeting at the school where the issue was being discussed.
"Mr Moss gave us the confidence to continue," said Mr O'Neill. "He gave us the help to take it as far as he can."
Both Mr and Mrs O'Neill, members of the Magic Circle, would like to teach children about bullying through comedy and magic.
Mr O'Neill said: "Being trained entertainers we are going to do workshops in schools and youth clubs about bullying and the consequences."
They hope their campaign will help eradicate bullying even though it is too late to help their daughter. On Friday she left Queen's for the last time.
n For more information about Bullystop, visit www.bullystop. net, or e-mail bullystop @aol.com