Pressroom

IAN WRIGHT BACKS CARTOON NETWORK’S ANTI-BULLYING CAMPAIGN

- Cartoon Network launches national anti-bullying initiative in partnership with Childline

- Ian Wright reminds kids that you don’t need to have a special skill to be a hero

- Bullying was the #1 reason children 11 and under contacted Childline this year

LONDON, UK, 13th November 2017: British football legend, Ian Wright has teamed up with Cartoon Network to launch the channel’s annual international anti-bullying campaign, CN Buddy Network which kicks off today to tie in with National Anti-Bullying Week in the UK. The initiative encourages kids and young people to have each other’s back, speak out against bullying and most importantly, “Be a buddy, not a bully”.

Cartoon Network is collaborating with Childline, the leading UK helpline for children and young people to provide immediate advice and support for those in need. Over the last decade bullying remains a top concern amongst children 11 and under with the service carrying out 5,903 counselling sessions about the issue.  - a 7% increase in the last year.  Furthermore, bullying and cyberbullying was mentioned as an additional concern in 980 Childline counselling sessions with children in this age group. *

The most common types of bullying trends Childline reported included emotional, peer pressure and blackmail abuse followed closely by cyber-bullying and physical acts of violence. This year sports related bullying also made the top 10 list of main concerns faced by children 11 and under from 2016-2017. *

Ian Wright appears in an on-air campaign on Cartoon Network premiering today (13th November) which also includes an original series of animated shorts addressing the viewpoints of the bully, the bullied and the observer.  Kids affected by bullying – whether directly or indirectly – can immediately access professional advice, relevant tips and support tools online at Cartoonnetwork.co.uk/beabuddy.

Ian Wright says: “’I teamed up with Cartoon Network and Childline to launch CN Buddy Network this year because I don’t believe that bullying at any stage of your life is acceptable. I think it’s important that children have somewhere to go so they don’t have to suffer in silence.

I remember getting bullied back when I was new on the football scene, I was only twenty-two and people were intimated by that. My advice to kids is to speak up against bullying; that’s the first step to showing others you’ve got their back.” 

Marnie Winter-Burke, a Childline counsellor says: “We know it can be very difficult for young people who are being bullied to tell someone what’s happening to them. Many are simply too scared to speak out or believe it’s their fault. However, over the years we have learned from Childline callers’ bullying doesn’t stop if it’s left alone - it gets worse. That’s why CN Buddy Network is an important reminder to those who witness bullying to help the person being targeted by encouraging them to tell a trusted adult or Childline.”

Kids can visit Cartoonnetwork.co.uk/beabuddy for more information, resources, professional advice and tips and visit Cartoon Network UK’s YouTube channel to watch the original animated shorts and video messages from Ian Wright and previous CN Buddy Network ambassadors, including: Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Tom Daley, Tinie Tempah and ChildLine ambassador and volunteer counsellor, Anna Williamson.

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PR Contacts:
Jakki Chrysler - jakki.chrysler@turner.com 
Penny Crook - penny.crook@turner.com 

Notes to editors:
*All stats from ChildLine in the period 2016/17

About Cartoon Network:
Turner’s Cartoon Network is a universally appealing boy focused, girl inclusive channel driven by its exciting slate of surprising comedy and adventure. The programming line-up explores the relatable themes of humour, friendship, imagination, action and adventure. Cartoon Network targets boys and girls aged 6-12 and aims to champion kids being themselves through its rich mix of entertaining and globally successful content. The programming slate includes leading comedy animations The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time, Regular Show, Clarence, We Bare Bears, Steven Universe and Uncle Grandpa and action-adventure shows, The Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10 and Teen Titans Go!

About ChildLine
ChildLine offers children and young people aged 18 and under free, confidential advice and support 24 hours a day – no problem is too big or small. Our trained volunteer counsellors can be contacted through our helpline 0800 1111 or on www.childline.org.uk for online chat or email. ChildLine is a service provided by the NSPCC.

Worried about a child? Don’t wait until you’re certain. Contact trained NSPCC helpline counsellors for 24/7 help, advice and support on 0808 800 5000