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Swindon New College teen's film aims to net the cyber bullies
“CYBER BULLYING may make you feel isolated. Speak up, you are not alone.”
This was the message behind a film made by New College student Sophie Thorne, who self harmed after being targeted by cyber bullies.
She also wanted to highlight the growing problem of cyber bullying to adults, including teachers, who may not realise how much it can affect young people.
Sophie, who started self harming after receiving hate messages including death threats, made the film entitled ‘Speak Up’ with a company called Fixers, a charity project which supports 16 to 25-year-old’s throughout the country to take action and change things for the better.
She said: “In the film, I tried to show the causes and affects of cyber bullying, and how isolated it can make you feel.
“My aim is for the older generation to understand that they need to be supportive, and even for the young people who are going through it, to understand that there is someone you can speak to about it.
“I hope that teachers will realise the need to be more supportive. A lot of people aren’t aware of it but it happens so often.”
During the film showing, Sophie was joined by Carney Bonner, who featured on a Channel 4 documentary about when he was cyber-bullied.
He has now started up his own charity to support young people who are being bullied.
“I decided to make an animation because to me, it was the best way to get across my point of how people are affected by cyber bullying,” said Sophie.
“Doing a project with Fixers has really boosted my confidence with speaking out about my personal experience.
“I have met some lovely and inspiring people along my journey.
“I hope that it will go far and help lots of other young people going through it.”
Before the film, Sophie talked about her experience and how she hopes the film will impact others to take action and recognise the signs of someone being cyber-bullied.
She now hopes to take the film out to local schools and share her experiences even further.
To read more about Sophie’s story, you can visit online at www.fixers.org.uk/news/ 5056-11226/beating-the-cyber-bullies.php.