Angels Hope youth ambassador Bella Rose knows only too well the impact bullying can have on someone’s life. She suffered bullying for several years as a teenager.
She and fellow ambassadors of the anti-bullying organisation are sharing their stories on National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on March 17 to help others who may be suffering in silence.
“I was bullied for seven years in all formats and it finally crushed me to such a level I felt I lost my identity, who I was, resulting in loss of friendships, hospitalisation and also affecting my HSC and future education plans,” she said.
“At the time I just wanted it to stop, there seemed no relief.”
I though it was a great way to help kids in need, explain to them what I had been through and help them work out a way to get over it.
The 21-year-old travels around Australia, spreading the word about bullying and violence, offering victims an avenue of support.
“We have travelled about 280,000 kilometres,” Bella Rose said.
“It has been amazing, just a great experience. Back then when it all happened I left and travelled to places where I had no phone reception. It was a great way to get out, think of myself, help myself, stop worrying about everyone else and grow.”
At her lowest, Bella Rose was unable to talk or eat, she described the experience as losing her identity. Now, however, she has created a better version of her former self.
“I got picked up by Angels Hope after I was on the radio talking about what I had been through and they asked me to be their youth ambassador,” she said.
“I though it was a great way to help kids in need, explain to them what I had been through and help them work out a way to get over it.
“It’s pretty cool and amazing to be there for other people.”
Angels Hope was founded by father and daughter Reuben and Chloe Cunningham after Chloe's hospitalisation from severe bullying. Angels Hope focuses on the continual aim is to raise awareness of the serious affects in all capacities of bullying, Bully Related Youth Suicide, the strengthen of laws against bullying actions and the Cyber-Initiative to significantly reduce cyberbullying and online predators.
Angels Hope youth ambassador Mitch Klein connected with Bella Rose through social media.
“Reach out, there is always someone there who is going to listen,” he said.
“I’ve always been pretty positive, but I went through a rough break-up last year that I really couldn’t get past and I had to see a councillor to move on and since then I’ve been fantastic.
“I want to help kids who aren’t so positive and need a hand.”
Bella Rose’s advice for people who have been bullied was simple – talk about what’s going on.
“Reach out to your parents, your friends or your family, it may be someone out there like us who are willing to listen, listening does so much for a person,” she said.
“So many people are unheard.”