Have you ever experienced bullying? Our research suggests that up to 69% of young people are excluded by their peers before the age of 18. Of this figure, 25% have suicidal thoughts and 24% self harm. Bullying has been found to have a catastrophic effect upon the self-esteem, optimism and health of young people and can go on to affect them later on in life.
We are the UK’s most ambitious and innovative anti-bullying charity with a unique approach towards the way in which we engage with and educate youths. Young people often find it embarrassing to admit to being bullied and so it can be difficult to capture them within a community that is so blatantly about that. We have spent time developing an organisation and brand identity that is empowering and inspiring to young people.
Once a victim of bullying myself, I remember feeling incredibly alone and like I had nobody else to talk to – sure I had a school counselor and my family but I wasn’t able to completely relate to them. I identified a huge gap in the market for a peer-to-peer support community and organisation that was about connecting young people with other young people in a way that provided community and complete freedom of expression.
Now aged 22, I have huge growth ambitions and plans for Ditch the Label. We are currently a team of 6 unpaid professionals, each contributing as much time as possible towards scaling and building up our charity so that we can continue to expand our outreach. Our current activities include:
- The largest bullying research sample in the world called The Annual Bullying Survey.
- An online peer-to-peer support community with over 34,000 members.
- Anti-bullying initiatives and campaigns that are produced for British schools and colleges. So far we have worked with 12 different establishments.
- Advice guides that are freely and discretely available on our website for young people – focusing on topical issues such as mental health, homophobia, racism and cyber-bullying.
Whilst our current projects are producing amazing impact, it is just a small drop in a huge ocean and we need your help to be able to grow and help even more young people.
This pitch is to help us fund the production of a Ditch the Label t-shirt range, with all profits going back into our charity, creating a sustainable and independent funding stream.
What We Need & What You Get
We are hoping to raise £3,500 so that we can have a reasonable batch produced of our first 10 t-shirt designs. The money will go on purchase of plain t-shirts, screenprinting and packaging. We will produce the creative initially in house at no fee. We will then create a reserve of revenue from the sales of t-shirts so that we can continue to grow and expand our merchandise range so that we can yield greater long-term independent funding.
If we don’t reach our entire goal, funds will go towards launching a smaller selection of our initial t-shirt designs.
We have spoken to over 150 Ditch the Label supporters and used their feedback as reference when designing our products and so we know that there is a strong demand already there.
To entice you, we have some really great perks and experiences up for grabs: from first dibs on our t-shirts, to Skype calls with the Ditch the Label team and we even have 5 outreach projects available for a school or college of your choice.
In the current economic climate, it is incredibly difficult to secure grant funding and so our aim is to become as financially independent as possible. In the near future we are hoping to expand our activities to include:
- Work experience and creative projects for young people.
- Greater outreach projects into more schools, colleges and communities.
- A smart phone application to provide instant help and advice to young people.
- An online counseling service.
- A robust peer advocacy program that will provide young people with the confidence and skills to be able to help others.
In order to expand, we need to generate serious funding. We currently sell anti-bullying wristbands on our website but are now looking to launch our own range of t-shirts, with all profits going straight back into our charity. The profits from the t-shirts will help us to grow and expand Ditch the Label, enabling us to spend more time working with more young people from across the UK – helping them to overcome adversity and the harmful effects that bullying has.
The issue of bullying cannot be ignored. Bullying currently shows no signs of slowing down, incidents are becoming increasingly serious and the trauma caused to not only victims, but also bystanders and perpetrators can be long lasting.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you are unable to help us with funding our idea, there’s still plenty of things that you can do to help us!
- Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter!
- Can you help fundraise for our charity?
- Can you help share our IndieGoGo campaign to your friends, coworkers and contacts?
- Can you help promote Ditch the Label on your website or blog?
To find out more on things that you can do to help us, please visit www.DitchtheLabel.org/help-us/
“I think it's great what Ditch the Label is doing. When I was younger, there were no real services available and so I think that Ditch the Label is highly appropriate and a much needed outreach for teens across the UK. There is an incredible sense of community and I like it a lot." - Gok Wan, Stylist and TV Presenter
“The more I read, the more impressed I have been by Ditch the Label. I love the concept and I just wish that there was something like this when I was younger. Ditch the Label really highlights how ridiculous prejudice is and shows that it is time to just move on.” - Hannah Stodel, Paralympian
“I think that Ditch the Label is a great thing. It is incredibly important for teens to have somewhere to go when they need advice and support and this is definitely something that I would have liked to have gotten involved with as a teen. Overall I think that Ditch the Label is a really positive project and I am happy to be a part of it.” - Doctor Christian Jessen, Doctor and TV Presenter
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