Alex Holmes, Deputy CEO of The Diana Award and Charlie Kristensen, Anti Bullying Ambassador.

Nine year old Charlie Kristensen was beaten up by boys at his school because he wants to be an actor in the West End. Now he’s helping others as an Anti Bullying Ambassador after his #CheerUpCharlie campaign went viral.

A school scuffle became a life changing event for Charlie Kristensen – but not in the way you may think.

“One day they were chasing me and I locked myself in the toilet and they were trying to bust the door down whilst I was laid on the dirty floor and crying because I just couldn’t deal with it anymore,” he said.

Horrified by his ordeal, Charlie’s singing teacher Jacqueline Hughes tweeted asking for some messages of support:

This led to a flurry of messages from the West End theatre community, including the casts of Come From Away, The Book of Mormon and Wicked.

Reacting to the support, Charlie said:”When I started getting all the messages, I felt less alone,

“Now that I’m an Anti Bullying Ambassador, I can help other Charlies all around the world.”

Charlie is speaking in front of six hundred people at the Anti Bullying Week Conference, an event organised by The Diana Award, a charity which was set up in the legacy of Princess Diana.

Video: Charlie Kristensen speaks at the Anti Bullying Week conference, Alexandra Palace

Hundreds of young people are attending to take part in workshops in art, drama, public speaking and musical theatre. The aim is to get them to think about how they can tackle bullying more creatively.

“Bullying still needs to be taken seriously and prioritised.”
Alex Holmes, Deputy CEO of The Diana Award

CBBC Presenter Lauren Layfield is fronting a TV presenting workshop which aims to build the children’s confidence through teaching them public speaking and presentation skills.

She said: “Bullies try and take away people’s voices and they make the victim feel silly for speaking up. So today I’m helping the children find their voice.”

Vocal coach and TV presenter Carrie Grant is holding a Celebrating Difference workshop and the cast of West End Musical ‘Everyone’s Talking About Jamie‘  are teaching young people a dance routine from the hit show.

 

Over 33,000 young people are trained as Anti Bullying Ambassadors in the UK and worldwide. They are trained to spot the signs of bullying and create a safe environment for their peers.

Alex Holmes, Deputy CEO of The Diana Award said: “Bullying still needs to be taken seriously and prioritised. As a young person you spend 11,000 hours of your life in school so we think it’s the ideal time to teach young people how to protect themselves but also protect their peers from harmful behaviour.”

  • Over half (57%) of young people have been bullied at some point in their lives
  • 40% of children bullied said that they avoided social media
  • More than a third (36%) of parents are worried that their child is behaving in a bullying manner
  • Over half (54%) of young people who have been bullied have avoided social events

Source: The Diana Award