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Ian Wright Backs Anti-Bullying Campaign

Cartoon Network launches national anti-bullying initiative in partnership with Childline and former professional footballer turned television and radio personality

British football legend, Ian Wright has teamed up with Cartoon Network to launch the channel’s annual international anti-bullying campaign, CN Buddy Network which kicks off today to tie in with National Anti-Bullying Week in the UK. 

The initiative encourages kids and young people to have each other’s back, speak out against bullying and most importantly, “Be a buddy, not a bully”.

Cartoon Network is collaborating with Childline, the leading UK helpline for children and young people to provide immediate advice and support for those in need. Over the last decade bullying remains a top concern amongst children 11 and under with the service carrying out 5,903 counselling sessions about the issue.  - a 7% increase in the last year.  Furthermore, bullying and cyberbullying was mentioned as an additional concern in 980 Childline counselling sessions with children in this age group. *
The most common types of bullying trends Childline reported included emotional, peer pressure and blackmail abuse followed closely by cyber-bullying and physical acts of violence. This year sports related bullying also made the top 10 list of main concerns faced by children 11 and under from 2016-2017. *

Ian Wright appears in an on-air campaign on Cartoon Network premiering today (13th November) which also includes an original series of animated shorts addressing the viewpoints of the bully, the bullied and the observer.  Kids affected by bullying – whether directly or indirectly – can immediately access professional advice, relevant tips and support tools online at

Ian Wright says: “’I teamed up with Cartoon Network and Childline to launch CN Buddy Network this year because I don’t believe that bullying at any stage of your life is acceptable. I think it’s important that children have somewhere to go so they don’t have to suffer in silence.

I remember getting bullied back when I was new on the football scene, I was only twenty-two and people were intimated by that. My advice to kids is to speak up against bullying; that’s the first step to showing others you’ve got their back.” 

Marnie Winter-Burke, a Childline counsellor says: “We know it can be very difficult for young people who are being bullied to tell someone what’s happening to them. Many are simply too scared to speak out or believe it’s their fault. However, over the years we have learned from Childline callers’ bullying doesn’t stop if it’s left alone - it gets worse. That’s why CN Buddy Network is an important reminder to those who witness bullying to help the person being targeted by encouraging them to tell a trusted adult or Childline.”

Kids can visit for more information, resources, professional advice and tips and visit Cartoon Network UK’s YouTube channel to watch the original animated shorts and video messages from Ian Wright and previous CN Buddy Network ambassadors, including: Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Tom Daley, Tinie Tempah and ChildLine ambassador and volunteer counsellor, Anna Williamson.

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