A national charity has launched a campaign following a rise in young people reporting incidents of bullying.

Figures released by anti-bullying charity RespectMe show that 47% of young people in Scotland reported seeing or experiencing online bullying throughout lockdown and 59% witnessing a rise in prejudiced comments or attitudes.

Titled #WhatMadeItBetter? the charity is hoping the campaign gives young people advice and approaches from those who have experienced bullying. The campaign begins this week to mark Anti-Bullying Week, but will run until July 2021.

Resources have been created for primary and secondary aged children that they can access for free.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills praised the campaign. He said: ": “Anti-Bullying Week is an ideal opportunity to send a clear message that bullying of any kind is completely unacceptable and when it occurs we all have a responsibility to address it.

“Children and young people need to be educated about all faiths and beliefs and learn about tolerance, respect, kindness and good citizenship. We want all children and young people to be able to speak to someone they trust when bullying happens and that is why campaigns like this are so important.

“I look forward to taking part in Anti-Bullying week to highlight to those being bullied, that things will get better, and how we can be that person that did make things better.”

Wendy Harrington, Director of respectme, said: “Young people are heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, with every aspect of their lives – from school to home to social activities – affected in some way.

“There’s a wealth of evidence highlighting a rise in bullying behaviour since lockdown, particularly in an online setting, which has no time boundary and is difficult to monitor and supervise. This makes Anti-Bullying Week and the campaign all the more poignant as we seek to start the conversation and share valuable advice.

“The #WhatMadeItBetter? resources are free for anyone to explore, and we’d urge adults who have experienced bulling to get involved and help us shape future resources by taking our online survey which looks at what more can be done to support young people.”

Take part in the #WhatMadeItBetter? survey here.