Wear your ‘Odd Socks' to support Anti Bullying Week

Odd Socks Day, an event that individuals of all ages can participate in to celebrate uniqueness, will kick off this year’s Anti-Bullying Week on Monday, November 14.
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Encouraging everyone to get involved, Aoife Nic Colaim, Anti-Bullying Co-ordinator at Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum (NIABF) said: “Taking part couldn’t be easier, simply wear mismatched socks for the day and in the process, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to stamping out bullying.

"In recent years over five million children, thousands of parents, hundreds of workplaces and lots of celebrities and influencers across the UK have got involved including Ant and Dec, Emma Willis, Brian May, Craig David, Sir Mo Farah and Annamarie.

“This year’s event, which is supported by CBeebies presenter, Andy Day and his band 'Andy and the Odd Socks’, has a focus on fun. This is reflected in the new song the band is creating to mark the occasion.”

Wear your odd socks to support Anti Bullying WeekWear your odd socks to support Anti Bullying Week
Wear your odd socks to support Anti Bullying Week

Emphasising the importance of celebrating uniqueness Andy Day, CBeebies presenter said: “Highlighting the important issue of bullying in a fun way, ‘Odd Socks Day’ aims to not only encourage children to be themselves, accepting one another, but also aims to celebrate what makes us all unique. This is why we’re calling for all schools to don a pair of odd socks and get involved. We’d love your support!

“This year's theme ‘Reach Out’ is a brilliant message to empower children to reach out to friends, or someone they trust if they need to talk about bullying.”

With a theme of ‘Reach Out’ Anti-Bullying Week 2022 has been developed with the help of over 300 children and young people from across the UK.

A comprehensive suite of information has been created to encourage participation, including an Odd Socks Day Pack, assembly plans, lesson plans and cross-curricular activity ideas. The overall aim is to encourage children and young people from across Northern Ireland to reach out to their peers, adults and support networks to break the cycle of bullying.

Mr Kieran Austin, Principal, Holy Child Primary School, Belfast, winners of last year’s ‘Odd Socks Day’, outlines the benefits of participating in the events and activities: “We are so thrilled to have been chosen as one of the winners from the 2021 ‘Odd Socks Day’ campaign. Our children were asked to wear their odd socks into school to celebrate that it is ok to be different.

“We look forward to once again taking part in celebrating ‘Odd Socks Day’ on Monday 14th November. As a school we have been taking part in ‘Odd Socks Day’ for a number of years. It is always a fun day where the children can celebrate the anti-bullying message and explore differences. Each class takes part in their own way by taking photos or making fun videos to showcase the odd socks they have chosen to wear. Staff are encouraged to take part and the children love to see the socks their teachers and assistants have selected.

“We further develop an understanding of the anti-bullying message throughout the week with a variety of lessons from art to circle time. We like to tune into the Anti-Bullying/‘Odd Socks Day’ assembly in our classrooms.”

Local schools and children and young people’s settings are encouraged to reach out to the NIABF’s website http://www.endbullying.org.uk/anti-bullying-week/ to participate in Anti-Bullying Week 2022.