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Mad Butcher serves up anti-bullying campaign

Bullying is no joke: Mad Butcher serves up anti-bullying campaign

#BeefWithBullies campaign launches today

No one likes to be pushed around, mocked, hurt or gossiped about.

In a bid to put a stop to the serious problem of bullying in New Zealand high schools, The Mad Butcher has announced the launch of a nation-wide social media campaign - #BeefWithBullies.

From now until May 23, high schools around the country nominated by their local Mad Butcher store will produce a two-minute anti-bullying video.

The brief is for the short films to focus on any aspect of bullying - from educating peers, parents and teachers about the issue and how to respond to it, to helping those who’ve been harmed by the actions of others.

These videos will be posted on the company’s Facebook page where a panel of judges - including renowned comedian Dai Henwood and TV starlet Kimberley Crossman - will review the clips and help pick an overall winner.

The winning school gets an exclusive private performance by top New Zealand pop group Titanium, a $2,000 cash donation and one of The Mad Butcher’s famous sausage sizzles. There are also loads of spot prizes – including one for “best local celeb cameo”.

Local celebrities lending their support to the campaign include the Mad Butcher himself, Sir Peter Leitch, TV personalities Dai Henwood and Kimberley Crossman, sports stars Shane “The Mountain Warrior” Cameron, The Warriors and John Callen of the Hobbit.

Mad Butcher CEO Michael Morton says the business is committing more than $100,000 to the campaign.

“We aim to send a strong message that change is needed and we believe the campaign represents a positive way to deal with this important issue.

“The Mad Butcher is no stranger to bullying – we’ve experienced it in business and now want to stamp it out in the early years where it can be the most damaging,” Michael says.

“This campaign is about supporting and educating all kids involved in bullying and to promote a safer, more secure environment. We believe it’s important for everyone in the community to take a stand against bullying and we hope these videos will help educate others about the effects and what they can do to help prevent it happening in their schools.”

Research has revealed alarmingly high rates of bullying in NZ schools with approximately 50 per cent of teachers witnessing verbal bullying at least once a week while a further 25 per cent witness physical bullying*.

People can get bullied for many different reasons. It can happen to anyone, as The Mad Butcher’s founder Sir Peter Leitch understands. He knows what it’s like to be considered different, having dyslexia, a condition that wasn’t recognised at schools in the 1950s so he is backing the campaign alongside a raft of other supporters.

Whether it was the way they looked, the clothes they wore, their race or religion, Justin Timberlake, Megan Fox, Victoria Beckham and Rihanna were all bullied and have spoken about the torment they faced in their early years.

Although these A-listers never forgot the experience, they made it through; but for many, the impact of bullying can be devastating.

Without intervention, students who are either the perpetrator or victim are at higher risk of truancy, mental health challenges, drug and alcohol abuse and in the worst case, suicide.

There is a frightening link between bullying and those who take their own life and sadly, the youth suicide rate is higher in New Zealand than in most other countries.

The campaign runs for around eight weeks.

For more information and to follow the campaign visit the Mad Butcher’s Facebook page Facebook.com/MadButcherMeats

*Bullying in New Zealand Schools: A Final Report © Victoria University of Wellington, 2013


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