Meet Mary, one of Scope’s disabled role models. Mary goes into schools to talk to kids about her experience of school, bullying and disability.
Thanks to supporters like you, we plan to reach more school children this year with Scope Role Models, tackling bullying and changing the attitudes of the next generation.
If you were unlucky enough to be bullied as a child, you’ll know how miserable it can make you feel. When everyone is laughing at you, you feel completely alone, and the pain stays with you – sometimes for the rest of your life.
That’s how it was for me. I went to a school with over a thousand students and I stood out – all 4 foot 1 inches of me. There was no place to hide and it was exhausting – emotionally and physically – dealing with so many people who regularly wanted to make fun of you.
Yes, I was the butt of every joke. The bullies thought it was okay to laugh at Mary because they thought, ‘Mary’s not like us. Mary doesn’t have feelings’. But I did.
I went through so much pain, heartache and loneliness. I don’t think I would have had depression as an adult if I hadn’t been bullied as a child. That’s why I can’t live with the fact that disabled children are twice as likely to be bullied as their non-disabled classmates.
I don’t want another child to experience the constant hurt that I went through
Thanks to supporters like you, we can change the attitudes of the next generation with Scope Role Models. We work with children in schools, because that’s where bullying happens, and that’s where kids form opinions that last for life.
I don’t mind telling you it was daunting the first time I stepped back into a school. The painful memories came flooding back, but the children made it worthwhile. It’s exciting to see their attitudes change in front of you. I’ve found that children are like sponges – they soak up the new ideas I share with them about disabled people, then go out and deliver that message to family and friends.
I just wish we could do more. And we need to do more, because bullying is still going on in schools around the country.
Scope is taking action thanks to your donations
As a Scope Role Model, I want children to understand the pain bullying causes. I want them to understand discrimination has its roots in ignorance. But I also want to share a positive message – and get them thinking about the friendships they miss out on with their disabled classmates.
I just wish there had been something like Scope Role Models when I was in school. It might have spared me a lot of pain, and even changed the course of my life. So I am determined to help get this life changing programme into every school.
Putting a stop to discrimination
Your support is helping disabled children who are dreading going to school because they can’t face another day of being picked on. And together we can change the future, because I’m sure, like me, you want disabled people to have equal opportunities in our society. But that won’t happen if disabled children are bullied in school, and if their non-disabled classmates follow the same path as previous generations. They’ll feel awkward around disabled people, they’ll avoid and exclude us – they’ll discriminate against us.
Thank you so much for your support, without you Scope wouldn’t be able to tackle bullying in such an effective way.
Our goal is to reach 2,500 young people through Scope Role Models this year – so if you can, please send an extra gift today to help change the attitudes of the next generation towards disabled people.