Anti-bullying art achievement

Holly Downes (age 14) from Antrim Grammar School - the winner of the post primary Y8-Y10 category of the anti-bullying creative competitionPicture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye
Holly Downes (age 14) from Antrim Grammar School - the winner of the post primary Y8-Y10 category of the anti-bullying creative competitionPicture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye

Artistic pupils from Ballymena and Antrim have excelled in this year’s Anti-Bullying Week Creative Arts Competition.

Fourteen-year-old Holly Downes from Antrim Grammar School has been annnounced the winner of the post primary Year Eight-Y10 category for her piece of charcoal work which showcases that everyone should have a vision of equality in difference when it comes to anti-bullying work.

The P1-P7 classes from St Mary’s Primary School, Portglenone, were revealed as the runner-up in the P1-P4 category for their Performance Art entry at a special awards ceremony in Belfast City Hall on November 13.

The competition has always been a significant focal point for Anti-Bullying Week and this year’s theme of “All Equal, All Different, All Together” aimed to support schools and youth organisations to celebrate difference and diversity across Northern Ireland; bring children and young people together to celebrate what makes them and others unique; and help create welcoming, respectful, kind and inclusive environments both off and online for children and young people.

Speaking at the awards event, Rosanna Jack, Regional Anti-Bullying Coordinator, Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF), said: “Anti-Bullying Week is an opportunity for children and young people across Northern Ireland to talk about the complexities of bullying behaviour with teachers and youth leaders, parents, carers and amongst each other.

“It’s important that young people know how to spot bullying behaviour and know what to do should they or others experience bullying behaviours. It is by young people, parents/carers, teachers and youth leaders working together to respond and resolve bullying behaviours that we will create a safer society where young people can live free from bullying. This year we were blown away by the powerful anti-bullying messages that young people created through the media of art and written word in line with this year’s theme.”