Anti-bullying charity Kidscape is set to launch a new telephone helpline in 2016. Thanks to funds raised by Specsavers from its Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition, and a final fund-raising push in Specsavers stores during anti-bullying week, Kidscape will be able to offer this vital resource to vulnerable children and their families.

Support for families affected by bullying

Staffed by trained counsellors, the helpline will offer support to families affected by bullying. Callers will be able to receive guidance and advice via phone and email to help them combat the negative effects of bullying and direct them to other sources of support specific to their child’s situation. Kidscape helped 16-year-old Patsy Elliot Kidscape supporter, Patsy Elliott, knows how damaging bullying can be. The 16-year-old endured severe bullying for eight years and turned to Kidscape at a very dark time in her life. She attended a free anti-bullying and assertiveness training workshop and quickly learned how to cope with the difficulties she had been facing. In the future she hopes to become a counsellor herself so she can help others.

Words from Patsy Elliot

Patsy says: ‘Without Kidscape I don’t think I would be here now, I can honestly say Kidscape saved my life. I want to spread the word and let everyone know about the fantastic work it does. The new helpline will help save the lives of kids who were as desperate as I was two years ago, and who don’t know where else to turn.’

TV personality Joey Essex a victim

TV personality Joey Essex, a victim of bullying at a young age himself, who met Patsy at the Spectacle Wearer of the Year Grand Final, comments: ‘It’s brilliant to think that children like Patsy and their families will have this helpline to fall back on. I know that I would have really benefitted from this type of help when I was a victim of bullying. Kidscape does fantastic work and I am delighted to be able to support this wonderful charity.’

Words from Kidscape

Kidscape’s CEO Claude Knights adds: ‘We are so grateful to Specsavers and celebrities like Joey Essex for their continued support. We had to make a very difficult decision in 2013 to close our previous helpline due to lack of funding, so we are absolutely thrilled that we will now be able to establish a brand new service. We will be able to offer specialised support through the new helpline to families who cannot access this anywhere else, and we can’t thank Specsavers enough.’

Specsavers raised £80,000 for Kidscape

Specsavers is a long-term supporter of Kidscape and this year raised £80,000 for the charity through its Spectacle Wearer of the Year competition. For each entry to the competition, £1 was donated to Kidscape. In addition proceeds from charity auctions and raffles and other store-based fund-raising initiatives contributed to a total of £80,000, which is enough to fund the much-needed helpline for three years.



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