When does 'banter' become bullying? Young people tackle cyber bullying with animated film

Watch the video report by ITV Cymru Wales reporter Hamish Auskerry

A group of young people from Cardiff and the Aber Valley have premiered a short animated film tackling the issue of bullying.

'A Bully in Your Pocket' was made entirely from the artistic work of 24 members of the Senghenydd Youth Drop-in Centre and the Riverside Warehouse run by the South Riverside Community and Development Centre.

It looks at the potentially unrelenting nature of abuse and hurtful behaviour over social media and messaging platforms.

"I think it's an important message to get out there about the life of people who have been bullied", says Meghan from the Riverside group.

"It's about cyberbullying", Karia added. "It's important to stop it, not continue it... making it worse and worse".

The film was created from animations made by the young people Credit: Gritty Realism Productions

The film premiered at Chapter Arts Centre and was accompanied by musician Rhiannon Barber, AKA RightKeysOnly, who wrote and performed the soundtrack "Banter".

"Growing up saying the word 'banter' was a way of getting out of saying you're bullying someone and a way to calm people down when they're feeling upset", Rhiannon said.

"The words we say do hurt people. But when we were writing the song - I worked with Sound Progression - they didn't want to just write a song about all the sad parts of bullying, we wanted to empower young people and encourage them to speak up about what they don't believe in."

The film is an Arts Council of Wales-funded project with the aim of encouraging young people to think about what they send via their phones “Stop, think, is it kind?”

Emma Thomas from the charity Bullies Out says it's important young people can identify the issues in their own lives

"It's vitally important that young people are able to tell us in their own words how bullying feels", says Emma Thomas, Trustee of the charity Bullies Out.

She says bullying is still a big issue in modern Wales and her charity has seen an increase in people speaking up about workplace bullying in particular over recent years.

Emma said: "When I was a youngster bullying was very different to how it is now.

"It's very much about hearing the story from young people about how important to recognise when bullying is happening, to talk about it and obviously to use their creative skills".

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