British triathlete brothers Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee have partnered with Cartoon Network UK to support the latest phase of its anti-bullying campaign, CN Buddy Network.
Launching today in line with National Anti-Bullying Week, the initiative encourages kids and young people to “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” and aims to raise awareness and empower young people to take positive action against bullying.
Cartoon Network is collaborating with Childline to provide immediate advice and support for those in need. Bullying remains a major concern for children, over the last decade bullying has been cited as the main reason for Childline counselling in children aged 11 and under.
Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee appear in an on-air campaign on Cartoon Network premiering today, which also features an original series of animated shorts voiced by children who articulate positive messages around friendship, school and appreciating differences.
“We’re really excited to be working with Cartoon Network and ChildLine on this year’s CN Buddy Network anti-bullying campaign," said Jonathan Brownlee.
"Everybody at some point in their life experiences the effects of bullying, so if it is happening to you right now, just know that you’re not alone. I was lucky growing up to have an older brother at school who always had my back and helped me get through tough times whenever I was being picked on.”
Alistair Brownlee added: “You don’t have to be a superhero to stop bullying, you just need to look out for each other and take action when you see someone in trouble. We believe that bullying at its core is an issue of self-confidence, so we would encourage kids to get out there and take up an activity they absolutely love to help build their self-esteem.
"Sports gave Jonny and I the confidence to stand up to bullying and not let them get us down. If you’re being bullied, please remember that it’s not your fault, tell a teacher, friend or family member and we promise, things will get better.”
Kids affected by bullying can immediately access professional advice, relevant tips and support tools online at Cartoonnetwork.co.uk/beabuddy.
Dame Esther Rantzen, president of Childline, said: “Bullying, whether it occurs online or in person, can have a devastating impact on young people. It can affect their confidence, their work, leave them feeling isolated and friendless, and even make them feel life is not worth living. That’s why Childline is delighted to be partnering with Cartoon Network and Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee, two fantastic role models for children to support their anti-bullying campaign, CN Buddy Network.
“Raising awareness of bullying is incredibly important as it is crucial that we help children and young people reach out for support so they do not suffer in silence. If they are finding it hard to open up to their parents or teachers they can always contact Childline our free and confidential helpline whenever they need us. They can call us on 0800 1111, or email or live chat with us on www.childline.org.uk.”
Ian McDonough, SVP and MD, Turner Northern Europe continued: “As the Childline reports show, bullying is a very real and, sadly, growing issue for children and young people today. Our Cartoon Network audience fall within the prime age group experiencing bullying and it is hugely important for us to address this in a way that is positive, supportive and relevant. This year’s series of bespoke “Be a Buddy” animations make use of real thoughts and commentary from kids, which we hope will be really powerful and engaging for their peers.”