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Campaign To Fight Homophobic Bullying In Wiltshire Schools Gets A Boost

The Wiltshire ZeeTee Campaign has been given a boost thanks to a grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon.

‘ZeeTee’ was amongst twelve community groups and organisations that were awarded grants totalling around £315,000 in the third and final round of the £1 million Innovation Fund set up by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon.

Angus Macpherson has used the fund to commission community and voluntary projects which seek to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and support victims and vulnerable people in innovative ways and as part of that the Wiltshire Council ZeeTee campaign was awarded £11,775 to counter homophobic bullying in the counties schools.

Extensive research shows that homophobic bullying has a very detrimental effect on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) young people. Fifty six per cent of these young people self-harm and almost 25 per cent attempt suicide. Thirty two per cent do not go on to attend college or university as a result of their negative experience at school. It is estimated that six per cent of the population are gay, so for an average-sized school of 1,000 pupils, some 60 will be gay. Others will have gay parents or gay brothers and sisters. The ZeeTee campaign will deliver a special 18-minute assembly into ten secondary and primary schools, benefiting an estimated 10 to 20,000 pupils. The session will include a film made by LGBT young people from Trowbridge who talk about the issues that affect them. The presentation also includes the story of a young man who took his own life after an incident on social media. Pre and post campaign surveys will be carried out and there will also be the opportunity for a follow-up survey after four to six months.

PC Sandra Higgins-Hughes has been leading the assemblies in Dorcan Academy in Swindon during early May and told the Swindon Advertiser “It has got such good feedback already, and we have only done Dorcan Academy so far, Even by doing it there the impact has been massive. We need to still be aware that there are people out there who need support, and we can reach out to them.”

“We have got the funding to do all the secondary schools, and we are doing as many of them as we can. Some primaries have also got back to us, and we will look to continue the presentations into the autumn term.” PC Higgins-Hughes added.

The ZeeTee Video is available to watch on the SPARK Website