A Berwick-based scheme is on the way to compiling the biggest selfie petition in the UK in a bid to beat bullying.
Tootoot’s make a noise campaign aims to raise awareness about bullying, both locally and nationally, while providing a platform for people to support a move to reduce bullying in schools and workplaces across the country.
Founded by former Berwick Academy head boy Michael Brennan, Tootoot is an online tool which allows students to communicate with teachers and mentors, enabling authority figures to respond and act swiftly.
Using the specially created website, one click is all it takes to report incidents of bullying.
“Past experiences made me want to do something to stop people from being bullied,” Michael explained. “If the website had been about when I was younger I definitely would have used it.
“The website addresses the fundamental issues of reporting bullying by allowing students to report incidents quickly, day or night.”
Berwick Academy was the first school to partner with Tootoot last November, with the scheme introduced there during anti-bullying week.
Micheal is now looking for funding to roll out Tootoot into as many schools as possible, and has launched the selfie petition to keep the issue in the public eye.
The idea is simple - supporters sign the online petition, snap a photo of themselves and upload it to Tootoot’s ‘make a noise’ campaign page, which displays a tapestry showing a wall of people against bullying.
“So far we have had a great responses from people taking selfies and uploading them to the site,” Michael said.
“I want to make www.tootoot.co.uk/makeanoise the largest anti-bullying selfie petition made.
“The more selfies we get, the more Tootoot will be in the public eye and therefore attract private or public funding to be able to put the Tootoot tool into schools across the UK.”
He added: “There are over 13 million cases of bullying each year, and we hope that by making Tootoot available to students in schools and employees in work places these figures will begin to drop.”