Matt Collins from Beatbullying – The Big March 2012
On the 1st March 2012, anti-bullying charity Beatbullying led the first ever global virtual march for children’s rights. Today Matt Collins from Beatbullying kindly explains more about this innovative digital campaign. Be Good Be Social will be running a Twitter Q&A with Matt on Friday 9th March between 1-2pm – more details on how to participate below.
To mark Anti-Bullying Week, Beatbullying led the first digital demonstration against bullying to the doors of No.10.
Thousands of children and adults created colourful avatars at www.beatbullying.org/bigmarch, spent time being educated and entertained in the virtual Big March Park, and set off across the websites of some the UK’s biggest corporates and charities to call on the UK government to protect children from bullying.
We then set ourselves the challenge of topping the Big March. The natural next step was to take the movement against bullying to the global stage. This time, we’re calling upon the United Nations to enshrine explicitly in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: “The right of every child to be safe from bullying, violence and the fear of violence by their peers as well as from abuse by adults.”
So thousands of cute little avatars, including ones for Stephen Fry, the cast of Hollyoaks, and Desmond Tutu, crossed the websites of MTV, Girlguiding UK, and other charities and corporates from all over the world. We’ve harnessed the incredible power of the internet to join bring children’s rights organisations from Canada, Australia and beyond together in the fight for children’s rights.
But the Big March 2012 isn’t a one off campaign for Beatbullying. The intention is not simply to harness the efforts of thousands of people worldwide in a short-term burst of activist activity, important as that focus is. Instead, the Big March 2012 is an expression of Beatbullying’s core values. Our services and our marketing focus is online. Our visual identity is colourful and engaging to young people. We build long lasting partnerships with other charities and corporates. And we take risks. The Big March 2012 encompasses of all of these things. It is an expression of who we are all year round.
Beatbullying doesn’t operate campaigns in isolation either. So if you sign up to the Big March 2012, you become a member of our collective of digital activists. You’ll have the opportunity to sign up to be a CyberMentor and be there for young people who are being bullied. You can be a Life Mentor, giving direction to young people at the crossroads of life. You can even run a marathon, and fund the support given by others.
All of these activities feed into our central mission – to keep children free from bullying, violence and the fear of violence. Every single person who signs up to the Big March 2012 gets the chance to join our movement against bullying at home, online, and in their communities, wherever they are.
Matt Collins, Head of Marketing @Beatbullying
If you’d like to know more about The Big March 2012 and how it worked, we’ll be running a Twitter Q&A session between 1-2pm on Friday 9th March. Tweet your questions for Matt now to @BeGoodBeSocial with the hashtag #BigMarch2012