Free conference aims to combat ‘cyberbullying’

The event takes place at The Grand, Clitheroe
The event takes place at The Grand, Clitheroe

Internet safety is the subject of a conference at The Grand, Clitheroe, next Wednesday, October 16th.

Ribble Valley’s first internet safety conference, from 6-30 to 8-30 pm, is aimed at parents, grandparents, guardians and carers. It will outline how to combat “cyberbullying”, use computer privacy settings, use chat sites safely and which websites to avoid.

It will include a short drama on the risks of social networking by pupils from Ribblesdale High School, while Catherine Perrin-Griffiths, a former pupil of St Cecilia’s High School in Longridge, will perform her song, “Josh’s Song”, in memory of schoolfriend Joshua Unsworth, who was found dead behind his family home in Goosnargh in April after allegedly being bullied on a social networking site.

The event has been organised by Ribble Valley Borough Council, Lancashire Police and The Grand, after a survey among high school pupils in Ribble Valley revealed 88% of respondents had a social networking account, 75% had chatted to someone they did not know and 60% had experienced direct or indirect bullying.

The council’s partnership officer, David Ingham, said: “Children of the internet age face the threat of bullies reaching them wherever they are and at any time.

“They are learning social dynamics on the internet and staying abreast of that as a parent is difficult. The conference aims to offer advice and information to parents to help them stay a step ahead of the cyberbullies.”

Cyberbullying is the use of the internet and related technologies to harm or harass people in a deliberate, repeated and hostile manner.

According to the NSPCC, 38% of young people have been affected by cyberbullying.

Entrance to the conference is free, but places are limited, so early arrival is advised.