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'Just be nice' - Emotional video sees brave SEND youngsters speak out about bullies

PUBLISHED: 17:23 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:23 17 October 2019

The 'Stop the Hate' campaign launching across Suffolk. Picture: SCC AND SUFFOLK'S THREE NHS CCG's

The 'Stop the Hate' campaign launching across Suffolk. Picture: SCC AND SUFFOLK'S THREE NHS CCG's

SCC AND SUFFOLK'S THREE NHS CCG's

A hard-hitting video which sees SEND youngsters talk about how bullies have made them "sad and angry" is set to be rolled out in schools across Suffolk.

The 'Stop the Hate' video was made to coincide with National Hate Crime Awareness Week and sees the teens bravely speaking out asking people to "just be nice".

Shot in black and white, the video features clips of three girls and five boys from West Suffolk College talking about how being subjected to the abuse has affected them.

It ends with one young girl being comforted by a youth leader after breaking down in tears.

The video was produced in partnership with Suffolk County Council (SCC) and Suffolk's three NHS clinical commissioning groups, who are jointly responsible for SEND provision in the county.

The 'Stop the Hate' campaign launching across Suffolk. Picture: SCC AND SUFFOLK'S THREE NHS CCG'sThe 'Stop the Hate' campaign launching across Suffolk. Picture: SCC AND SUFFOLK'S THREE NHS CCG's

Susie Tulk, engagement and coproduction adviser with SCC's engagement hub, said: "The young people were the driving force behind this project because this is what they are passionate about.

"You can't just presume or get complacent about what a service should provide, and that's why hearing this straight from the children themselves works so well."

During a meeting hosted by the SEND programme board in Ipswich the youngsters expressed a desire to raise awareness around discrimination against young people with special education needs and disabilities.

"One of the youngsters said people seemed to know it was wrong to discriminate against people because of their race or sexuality," continued Susie.

"He also said he felt there was not enough awareness surrounding discrimination against people with disabilities."

Funding was then quickly agreed to create a film featuring the real life experiences of some of the young people.

A co-ordinated social media and poster campaign featuring some of the West Suffolk College students who took part will signpost people to the video on YouTube.

Going forward, it will be shown in schools across the county to raise awareness of hate crime among young people.

This week it will also air on screens in the college's reception area, as well as being included in the future inductions of all new students and used to educate staff around disability discrimination.

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