Wednesday, 15 September 2010



Brands and companies stand up to be counted in the first ever online demonstration
Leading bullying prevention charity Beatbullying is joining forces with private sector companies, brands, media, charities and celebrities, to hold the world’s first ever virtual march on
The Big March will be a digital first - a truly groundbreaking collaborative campaign hosted entirely online and culminating at No. 10 where marchers will sign a petition asking Government for help to protect kids from bullying, violence and harassment.
Beatbullying is further encouraging Government to set up a Big March Bullying Commission. It is hoped that the commission will investigate how Government, schools, families and communities can reduce incidents of bullying and give children a life free from violence and harassment.
Companies and brands including Google, TOTAL Little Learners, Robinson Fruit Shoot, Barry M, Piczo, Stardoll, Habbo, Pom Bear, Girlguiding UK, Mumsnet and the National Union of Students and the Metropolitan Police have joined forces with charities Action for Children, Chance UK, and Office of the Children’s Commissioner to allow the Big March to make a stand on their websites.
Media brands such as MTV, Facebook, First News, Bliss magazine, News of the World, Real Radio, Jazzy Media, M&C Saatchi and The Sun have also lent their support, with MediaCom working alongside Beatbullying to liaise with global media owners to secure free advertising space and promote the activity worldwide.
To mark the launch of Anti-Bullying Week (Nov 15) The Big March will see avatars of children, parents, teachers and celebrities march across computer screens, via partner websites, to take a stand against bullying, with tens of thousands of parents, kids, teachers and adults expected to participate.
Pivotal to the campaign is the partnerships which Beatbullying has formed with both private sector companies, brands and third sector organizations, marking the first time the media industry has worked collectively with a charity to persuade Government to address children’s rights.
Companies and brands have allowed marchers to walk across their homepages or have taken their commitment a step further and built interactive content areas on The Big March website. These areas take the form of sponsored tents which host a variety of educational and fun activities promoting children’s wellbeing.
Celebrities and opinion formers as diverse as Beatbullying ambassador Aston Merrygold, Freddie Flintoff, Sir Michael Parkinson, CyberMentors president Professor Tanya Byron, Alesha Dixon and top girl band The Saturdays have joined the ranks of corporate and brands to sign the petition to end bullying.
Separately the Big March Bullying Commission Beatbullying is proposing would spend the next 12 months leading up to 2011’s Big March researching how best to tackle bullying, harassment and violence against children. We hope the commission, made up of Government representatives, university and charity delegates, young victims of bullying, parents and children, will report their recommendations back to Government.
Emma-Jane Cross, CEO of Beatbullying, comments:
“It is absolutely vital for charities such as Beatbullying to constantly seek innovative new ways to engage Government, as well as the public.
“The Big March represents a completely new way to campaign in the 21st century, giving vulnerable children a voice and an opportunity to be heard, as well as an initiation into how to campaign for social change.
“The March will culminate at Number 10 where Beatbullying hopes the petition will be presented virtually to Prime Minister David Cameron by children, teachers, celebrities, charity and industry: an inspirational example of all strands of society working together to eradicate bullying once and for all.
“Essential to this campaign is ensuring that the proposed Big March Bullying Commission continues on the good work begun by all the marchers by continuing to research the best way to tackle bullying over the next 12 months, ready to present their findings back to Government.
“This way the Big March’s legacy will truly be felt by children everywhere – hopefully in the form of legislation which explicitly renders bullying, violence and harassment against the law.”
Richard Allan, Facebook’s Director of European Policy, said:

“Facebook is proud to support Beat Bullying’s Big March by donating advertising impressions to help raise awareness of the event to Facebook users over the next two months.”

With more celebrity, corporate and charity partners set to be announced, as well as further components to the activity, the Big March will see people from across industry, showbusiness, media and the third sector stand together with parents, teachers and young people to fight against bullying and champion the wellbeing and rights of children and young people.
Any company interested in partnering with The Big March should get in contact with Beatbullying to join in.
For more information, a map of the March 'route', interviews, quotes, wristbands, or to take part in the Big March, please contact Frank PR on 020 7693 6999

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Notes to Editors:

About Beatbullying &
Beatbullying is the UK’s leading bullying prevention charity. Founded in 1999, Beatbullying empowers young people to lead anti-bullying campaigns in their schools and local communities, and builds the capacity of local communities to sustain the work. Beatbullying has directly and indirectly worked with 700,000+ young people over the last seven years, assisting and supporting young people that are being bullied, re-educating and changing the behaviour of young people that bully and preventing bullying in schools and communities across the UK. is a safe, social networking site providing information and support for young people being bullied or cyber bullied. Young people, aged 11-25, are trained as CyberMentors, in schools and online, so that they can offer support to their peers. Encapsulated by cutting-edge technology, it is a safe website where young people can turn to other young people for help and advice. CyberMentors are also supported by trained counsellors, available online if needed. CyberMentors is a Beatbullying project.

Big March partners include:

- JLS official homepage
- The Metropolitan Police
- TOTAL Little Learners
- Robinson Fruit Shoot
- Barry M
- Stardoll
- Piczo
- Habbo
- Girlguiding UK
- Pom Bear
- News of the World
- C4 Battlefront
- The Sun newspaper
- Bliss magazine
- First News
- Children & Young People Now
- MediaCom
- Jazzy Media
- M&C Saatchi
- Frank PR
- Google
- Facebook
- Action for Children
- Chance UK
- Office of the Children’s Commissioner
- Demos
- Hansard
- Mumsnet

The Big March Bullying Commission Beatbullying is proposing will be made up of Government representatives, university and charity delegates, young victims of bullying, parents and children, and will report its recommendations back to Government as part of 2011’s Big March. It is hoped that the commission will investigate the best means of tackling bullying, violence and harassment against children.
Beatbullying believes, subject to the commission’s findings, that legislation is needed in order to tackle bullying and for children to be given the freedom to live a life free from bullying, violence and harassment.
It should be explicitly against the law to hurt, harass or bully children in schools online. This is what Beatbullying refers to a Schools Safety Bill and a cyber bullying law. These laws would give children protections from bullying and a refuge in the law but also empower headteachers and parents to take swift and decisive action, knowing the law is on their side.

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