Anita Dennison

Age 20, Newry, Co. Down, Northern Ireland

When I was younger, I was a victim of bullying. I became involved in social action because I wanted to make sure that no one ever felt the way I did.

My inspirations are Alex Holmes, the head of AntiBullyingPro, and Kieran Stanbridge, the head of the Being Me campaign. People told me that I was too young to have my own anti-bullying campaign, but this only made me even more determined to follow Alex and Kieran’s example. I set up an online campaign (@bully_dont) which has helped young people going through the same situation as I did. I became my school’s anti-bullying mentor, and I’ve done TV and radio interviews and spoken at events including TEDx Omagh and Cycle Against Suicide. In October 2016, I had the privilege of speaking at Zeminar, Ireland’s largest ever youth event with over 30,000 attendees.

Social action has given me the opportunity to make real change to people’s lives. Parents have even contacted me to tell me that my advice has helped them look out for signs of bullying and cyberbullying as a result of my radio and TV interviews. I’ve had some incredible opportunities to have my story heard – social action has given me the voice I never thought I had when I was being bullied.

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