junior parkrun, News - 15th February 2017

The parkrun Anti-Bullying Policy


Last year we saw loads of brilliant young people step forward and volunteer to be a part of the parkrun youth panel. Their very first assignment was to send in ideas for what they’d like to be included in an Anti-Bullying Policy.


After considering the many thoughtful and clever suggestions we received, parkrun’s Safeguarding Lead, Clare Fowler, has a sneak preview of the policy that’s been developed:


parkrun UK Anti-Bullying Policy


Bullying: The problem:

  • Every day, 16,000 children skip school because of bullying
  • 1.5 million young people have been bullied in the past year. Of these, 19% were bullied every day
  • 20% of all young people have physically attacked someone
  • 33% of those being bullied have suicidal thoughts
  • 2 children a week commit suicide in the UK. An estimated 75% of these suicides are due to bullying






What is bullying?


There is no legal definition of bullying, but it is usually defined as behaviour that is:

  • Repeated (as opposed to one-off)
  • Intentional
  • Involves an imbalance of power
  • Can be carried out individually or by a group, to individuals or a group
  • Can be direct (hit, called names) or indirect (excluding, threatened, taunted)
  • Can take many forms, including emotional/ mental, physical, verbal, sexual and cyber


Why is it important to respond to bullying?

  • When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying it sends the message that bullying is unacceptable
  • If left unchecked, bullying can continue and escalate. Some of the impacts of bullying can include:
  • Loss of self confidence
  • Poor mental health, depression and anxiety
  • Changes in sleep and eating patterns
  • Loss of interest in healthy activities, in school and in achieving
  • Skipping school
  • Self harm
  • Engaging in early/ unwanted sexual activity
  • At its most extreme, suicide


The parkrun youth panel have put together the following code of behaviour:

  • Always encourage others, no matter how fast or slow
  • Don’t be a silent bystander, if you see something nasty happen, always tell a trusted adult
  • Treat others as you would like to be treated
  • Be kind, friendly and respectful to everyone
  • Welcome anyone who is new
  • Everyone has the right to parkrun


parkrun commits to taking bullying and its impact seriously. Young people and parents/ carers should be assured that:

  • parkrun will not tolerate bullying
  • Anyone reporting bullying will be taken seriously and listened to
  • Known incidents of bullying will be responded to
  • Children being bullied will be supported and assistance given to uphold their right to parkrun
  • Those who bully will be supported and encouraged to stop bullying, and assistance given to uphold their right to parkrun
  • parkrun will seek ways to counter the effects of bullying and to prevent it from happening in the first place
  • parents/ carers and their children will be consulted on action to be taken for all involved and agreements made as to what action will be taken
  • Run Directors or Event Directors who learn of bullying will always consult with the Safeguarding Lead to ensure incidents are dealt with consistently


If you are an adult affected by bullying, parkrun recommends contacting one of these organisations to get specialised support:

We want parkrun to be a safe, friendly and positive experience for everyone. If you, or anyone you know, is affected by bullying at parkrun, please always speak up and tell a trusted adult, and don’t stop speaking up until the problem has been sorted.


A great big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to the policy. If you’d like to find out more about the youth panel, we always love hearing from you.




Clare Fowler (Safeguarding Lead)


Do you have some feedback about junior parkrun to share with the parkrun community? Please email us! 


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