For almost a decade, we have been there to support young people from across the globe. We’ve been a confidante, a counsellor and an advocate for change. What started as a 15 year old’s dream to change the world has become a lifeline for young people across the globe. From 2019 to 2020, over 5 million young people accessed the Ditch the Label support website, a breathtaking example of our reach, but also a sorrowful reminder to the extent in which young people are currently struggling.

With this growth comes the acknowledgement of two things: that bullying is not an issue in isolation and that the depth of challenges facing young people is growing.

Firstly, we have consistently found that the perpetration of bullying generally is the outcome of a challenging or difficult root issue. These issues vary, but can include: poor mental health, difficult home life, stress and trauma, insufficient digital and media literacy, poor body image and self-esteem, stereotypes and unconscious bias. If our mission is to prevent bullying, then surely we must grow our remit and start to focus on some of the root causes.

In 2019, we launched our sister brand, ‘Ditch the Label Education’, as a response to the lack of provision in the prevention of bullying in schools. We also wanted to recognise a growing issue of teachers struggling to find appropriate, impactful and engaging resources to teach students on issues such as cyberbullying, mental health, unconscious bias and digital literacy. The response to this has been overwhelmingly positive, with clear evidence to show that it is driving positive change within schools and colleges across the UK.

Secondly, we want to acknowledge that young people are seeking our support on a wider range of issues. Whether it’s advice on coming out, improving their mental health or addressing poor body image, our trained mentors have been there to help them navigate the tough stuff.

It is with all of these valuable learnings and against a backdrop of almost 10 years of research and innovation that I am proud to announce that Ditch the Label is organically evolving from an anti-bullying charity, to a youth charity. From now, our support, education, research and advocacy will focus on a wider range of issues: bullying, mental wellbeing, identity, relationships and digital literacy. 

This decision follows a lengthy consultation process with stakeholders and young people, along with a huge multi-year journey of research and development. As an organisation, we are constantly learning and growing, with much of the process being led by the changing needs of young people.

I hope that you share my personal excitement and enthusiasm and I very much look forward to seeing Ditch the Label’s impact continue to grow and evolve. 

Liam Hackett

Founder and CEO 

Ditch the Label and Simple want to know

“What does choosing kindness look like?”

Enter the Choose Kindness Creative Competition and win the chance to meet Little Mix and £1000 for your school!

The Task

We’re asking people aged 11-18 to consider what choosing kindness looks like, and to send us their creative interpretation.

Your creative piece of work can be anything from videos, photographs or posters, to stories, sculptures or essays.

The competition is free to enter and is open to individuals aged 11-18 in UK secondary or further education, or equivalent.

How to Enter

Entries must be submitted in a digital format via our Competition Entry Form or by emailing [email protected], with the subject link “Choose Kindness Competition”.

Scroll down for further details on how to enter as an individual or teacher.

The Prizes

The top five competition entries will be chosen by Little Mix themselves, and each of these winners will win tickets to see Little Mix in concert, plus the opportunity to meet Little Mix.

On top of this, the overall winner will receive £1000 for their school.

The Deadline

Monday 13th April 2020

Individual Entries

To enter, you must create a piece of work based on the brief ‘what does kindness look like?’ using any creative medium you wish.

You should submit your entry in a digital format – so physical items such as paintings or sculptures should be photographed, and performances should be videoed.

The photo, video or URL link to their entry should be submitted via our Competition Entry Form or by emailing [email protected]

If the file size is larger than 10MB, a file sharing service such as WeTransfer should be used to share the entry via a URL link. If entering via email, a completed cover sheet from the Individual Competition Pack should also be attached.

If you are under the age of 16 you will require parental permission.

For Teachers

To enter, students must create a piece of work based on the brief ‘what does kindness look like?’ using any creative medium they wish.

Students should submit their entry in a digital format – so physical items such as paintings or sculptures should be photographed, and performances should be videoed.

The photo, video or URL link to their entry should be submitted via our Competition Entry Form or by emailing [email protected].

If the file size is larger than 10MB, a file sharing service such as WeTransfer should be used to share the entry via a URL link. If entering via email, a completed cover sheet from the Teacher Competition Pack should also be attached.

Any students under the age of 16 will require parental permission.

Sharing with your students

We’ve included an assembly in the Teacher Competition Pack to help you to introduce the Choose Kindness Creative Competition to your students. This assembly is fully scripted and supported by a student-facing PowerPoint.

It explores the benefits of choosing to be kind – both for us and for other
people – before introducing the competition and explaining the key

We recommend nominating a ‘teacher lead’ for the competition so students
know who to go to for more information, and who to name as the teacher
to be contacted in the event that they win the competition.

Whole Class Submissions

To submit entries on behalf of your whole class, you should upload all of the entries into a folder on a file-sharing service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

Each file should be named after the student who made it, and should be accompanied by a completed cover sheet found in the Teacher Competition Pack – also named after the student.

You may then submit a URL link to that folder using the Competition Entry Form or via email to [email protected].

Abridged Terms and Conditions

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent government guidance on social distancing measures, there has been some amendments to the terms and conditions.

The updated terms and conditions can be found below.

Open to GB residents aged between 11 to 18 in secondary or further education, or equivalent.

  • Opening date: 24/02/2020
  • Closing date: 13/04/2020

Prizes: The grand prize winner will receive £1000 for their school, 3 x tickets to a Little Mix concert and the chance to meet Little Mix.

Four runner up winners will receive 3 x tickets to a Little Mix concert and the chance to meet Little Mix. All winners must be accompanied by an adult. 1 entry per person.

See full terms here.

For World Friendship Day, we scoured the nation for the best BFFs. It was a super tough choice, and tears were flowing in the Ditch office to read about how much everyone’s friends mean to them. There could only be one winner however – meet Sophie and Aiva! Yay for friendship!


I am Sophie, I am a science geek and I love everything to do with science. 

Myself and Aiva have been friends since the minute I was born

Aiva is always there for me and has always been. She’s the first person I’d go to with anything because she is the most trustworthy. 

Our friendship is unique because it is like no other, no other friendship has something as special as we do. We share something that no one else we know does. 


I am Aiva, I play the violin professionally and I also play rugby 

We have known each other forever, we met when we were babies 

I am overwhelmed and so delighted that Sophie has nominated me 

Sophie is a great friend because she is so supportive and really smart, she really helped me prepare for exams etc when they were happening. 

Think you have the best best friend in the world? Comment below and let them know you love them!

Being kind. Whilst it’s something we should try and do more of, it can be pretty difficult at times. Sometimes it can be really scary to show kindness to strangers or people in our lives, and other times it’s something we just forget to do.

Nevertheless, we think the world could always do with a little bit more of it. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Simple who have also partnered with the amazing Little Mix – to launch a mission to bring more kindness to the world, and to challenge you guys to spread a little bit of joy in your lives. 

This awesome list of challenges below are all things you can do to help us kickstart mission #ChooseKindness, and make being kind to others less scary and more a part of your daily life. Whether you choose to do one or two or challenge yourself to tackle the whole list, spread a little joy in your life with this list, and let us know on Instagram what you’ve been up to. Soon, you’ll be spreading love and good vibes everywhere without even thinking about it. 

1) Send out some positive internet vibes 

Leave a good review on Trip Advisor, send them some love on Twitter, review a product to help another shopper, buy something where the funds go to a good cause, make a cute Insta story about your friends. Whatever it is and however you do it, send out some positive vibes. 

2) Head to this IG post and leave a compliment for the person above you

Head over to our IG @ditchthelabel and leave a compliment for someone above you in the comments section on our post about #ChooseKindness – we are one big circle of love on the Ditch the Label IG right now.

3) Give a stranger a compliment 

Whether it’s on social media or on the bus, giving someone else a compliment is bound to make their day. Try a place where you might be waiting around some strangers – compliment someone’s bag at the bus stop, or comment on their hair in the queue at the coffee shop. Giving little compliments like this will not only build confidence in talking to other people, but it will make you better at receiving compliments as well as giving them. 

4) Check in with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while 

Even if it’s been what feels like too long, the chances are they would love that you thought about them and are curious about their life now. Drop them a message – it could be the beginning of a new chapter in your friendship. 

5) Talk to someone who is on their own at school or work, and invite them to sit with you 

Being on your own can be really lonely, and asking someone to sit with you could really make someone’s day – especially if they are having a tough time fitting in somewhere. Ask them about themselves and get to know them – you might actually find yourself a brand new friend.

6) Pay it forward

In a café, buy the person behind you in the queue a hot drink. For the cost of only a couple of pounds, this can get you some serious karma points with the universe. This kind of pay it forward deed might even inspire the person you bought coffee for to go ahead and spread a little love in their own way. 

7) Leave an uplifting note on someone’s car, bag or desk

This one might be a little scary, especially the fear of getting caught mid-good deed. But never fear – in a world of passive aggressive post-it notes going viral on the internet, being kind is much better. 

8) Do a litter pick just because, planet. 

We all know about the huge problem of plastic in our oceans. That’s why getting out and doing a litter pick is one the best deeds you can do. Picking up rubbish anywhere can help save wildlife, conserve habitats, stop it from blowing into waterways and make your town look nicer. For the sake of an hour of time, you have done so much good for the planet.

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9) Set up a book exchange outside your house

Got a bunch of books laying around the house that you don’t want or need? Set up a book exchange outside your house by putting them all in a box and suggest everyone swaps a book they don’t want for one they do. That way, anyone in your town can swing by and pick up a new read. This could be great if you have textbooks that need getting rid of after exams – it could really help out a cash strapped student near you. 

10) Help out an older neighbour  

Older people can often spend a fair bit of time on their own, and can sometimes spend days without speaking to anyone. If you have an elderly neighbour (who you know), offer to give them a helping hand do some chores for free. Chances are you’ll get a few biscuits for your hard work and they get the bonus of your company and some jobs doing that they probably can’t do anymore. Think grass mowing, dog walking, food shopping, or even just a cuppa and a chat.

11) Fundraise for a charity 

Whatever your cause of choice is, it’s always a great way to spread some good karma throughout the universe. You can raise awareness and a small donation through all kinds of things, like a sponsored silence, a bake sale, entering an organised event like a run, or holding another event like a gig night or a fashion show.  

12) Cook dinner for someone as a surprise 

Whether it’s a member of your family, your boyfriend/girlfriend or your bestie, everyone loves a bit of surprise food. Even if your idea of gourmet cooking is a sandwich or a microwave pizza, it’s the thought that counts. 

13) Tell someone you love them

No matter who they are to you, everyone that you love deserves to know it from time to time. Is there a better way to choose kindness than to spread the love? 

14) Write a letter to a loved one  

Everyone loves getting post. Taking the time to sit down and write something kind in a letter to a loved one or friend will show them how much you care, especially as it is more effort than firing off a quick message. It’s a great way to show them how much you love them. 

15) Be an ally 

Whether it’s to support someone you see being bullied or standing up against homophobic racist or sexist online chat, being an ally to someone or a group in need of support is a great way to spread the love. You can find out a bit more info on being an LGBT+ ally in our article here.

16) Donate a bunch of stuff to charity

We’ve made the last one an easy one – gather together all your old junk and clothes you haven’t worn for years and take it to a local charity shop. You get a spring clean AND good karma – WINNING! 

Here at Ditch the Label, we believe kindness should be a part of everything. Once you’ve completed your own #ChooseKindness challenge, don’t forget to tell us about it on our Instagram @ditchthelabel

You can also find out more about the #ChooseKindness campaign here

Ditch the Label’s 101 Fundraising Ideas

It took them 2 days but our fundraising team did it. They rose to the challenge of collectively coming up with 101 different fundraising ideas for your creative inspiration. Whether you’re planning to take over the world with your fundraising or just looking for modest ways to help, we have the perfect campaign idea for you. Once you’ve got your idea, start your fundraising page or get in touch and we’ll help you with the next steps.

Read on for 101 Ditch the Label fundraising ideas.

fundraising, ideas, 101

101, fundraising, ideas


  1. Ditch or Dare – Get your friends to challenge you with a bunch of dares.
  2. Host a dinner party – This is pretty much a win-win situation. You get to see your friends, they get to sample your delicious cooking and at the end of the evening, everyone chips into a Ditch the Label donation (chips…get it?)
  3. Go silent – give up your voice for the day in return for sponsorship.
  4. Recycle – why not recycle your old phone, tablet and gadgets and donate the money to Ditch the Label.
  5. Go on a (digital) holiday – Calling all social media addicts! Give up technology for a day in return for sponsorships.
  6. Have a clear out at home – Clear out your closet of unwanted junk and donate the funds raised – you could do this offline with a car-boot sale or online using eBay
  7. Jump from a crane – face your fear of heights and do a charity bungee jump for Ditch the Label.
  8. Do something for a mile – Skip, swim, jog, cycle, crawl – whatever you want, just do it for a mile.
  9. Do a marathon – what better excuse do you need to exercise? Your legs will thank you for it and your medal selfie is going to look literally so cool. Paint is optional.
  10. Quit – Give up a bad habit and donate the money to us instead! It could be anything from smoking, chocolate or makeup.
  11. Run a pub quiz – Just take it from us, it may be best to ban smartphones for the evening. It’s a really great and fun way to raise some money for a great cause (alcohol is optional).
  12. Get married – Yeah, that’s right. Get married! Instead of asking for wedding gifts, why not ask your loved ones to donate the money to Ditch the Label instead?
  13. Talk in third person for the day – In return for sponsorships, set a day where you refer to yourself in third-person. Consider making a video of your day to share online – mainly for the entertainment of others (us).
  14. Get active – Organise a charity football, touch rugby or tennis match and use it to raise money for Ditch the Label.. and to get one up on your best mates because you’ll be destined to be on the winning team.
  15. Save your change – You’ll be surprised at how much loose change you’ll accumulate over the period of a month. Save it and donate it.
  16. Host a party – Just please, for the sake of our legal team – don’t advertise it publically to randomers on social media! Host a party or gig and incorporate some cool fundraising activities.
  17. Auction away – Why not reach out to businesses and celebrities for donated products and experiences to be auctioned off for Ditch the Label?
  18. Take a packed lunch – Perfect if you’re addicted to eating out. Use the money you’ve saved to donate to Ditch the Label.
  19. Shave it off – Dare we say it… no wait, we can’t. Okay, deep breaths. We can do this. Why don’t… youhaveyourhairshavedoffandyouuseittoraisemoney? There you said it, your call!
  20. Pop-up car wash – Rally the troops and spend the day cleaning cars in return for donations to Ditch the Label. You’d be surprised at how fun it can be – honest!
  21. Channel your 90s diva – Yo. Here’s the story from A to Z, you wanna get with me? You better listen carefully. You’ve been challenged to speak in nothing but Spice Girls lyrics for the entire day in return for sponsorship. Wannabe or is it a Viva Forever? Please, Say You’ll Be There.
  22. Couture it out – Collab with local businesses to run a Ditch the Label diversity-themed fashion show.
  23. Cocktail fundraiser – book a mixologist and partner with local brands to host a cocktail evening fundraiser!
  24. Trigger word – Do a ‘trigger word’ challenge – pick a word out of a hat and whenever anyone mentions it you have to do an action such as a dance, song or Vine quote.
  25. Hand it over – Let your parents or other half take over your social media presence for the day to raise funds (muahaha)
  26. Iron it out – What we mean by this is, your friends and family or even colleagues are going to pay you to iron their clothes the day.
  27. Switch it up – Use the opposite hand for the day. So, if you’re right-handed, you’re not left-handed and vice-versa. What could possibly go wrong…
  28. Quit smoking – …and use the money you’ve saved to donate to Ditch the Label. Your health wins and so do we!
  29. Flippy floppy – So a sponsored flip-flop wearing week! No matter what the weather is.
  30. Swear box – Install it at home or in the office. Whenever anyone swears, you’ve got to donate £1 to us!
  31. Tie yourself to a buddy day – It’s like a three-legged race only there isn’t a race and it lasts all day.
  32. Change the world – By attempting a world record to fundraise for Ditch the Label. Ambitious.. but still you wanted 101 ideas!
  33. Makeup – Let your partner or a small child do your make-up for the day. It ‘might‘ actually look amazing.
  34. Get spooked – Spend the night in a haunted house. On your own. Without a light. OK…maybe 1 light.
  35. Accent challenge – Change your accent for the day/week in return for sponsorships. No doubt people will sponsor you to change it back.
  36. Inside out – A classic! Wear your clothes inside out for the day. Imagine that… Major #ThugLife points coming your way
  37. Guess the number – It could be sweets in a jar, weight of an object or anything else you can think of. Charge for each number people want.
  38. Say yes – You’re banned from saying no to anything for the day (unless it’s illegal/immoral/corrupt). Sound fun? Yes? Yes.
  39. Donkey Kong it – Host a classic video game competition with friends and colleagues. How quickly will you get bored? Never!
  40. Eat Green – Literally. For a week, eat nothing but things that are green in colour. (please speak to a dietician/doctor first)
  41. Auction your skills – Can you offer some gardening, creative or spreadsheet skills for a day?
  42. Wax it off- Wax your legs, chest or everything if you’re feeling overly ambitious
  43. Turn it off – If you’re a TV or Netflix addict, cut it out of your system for the week
  44. Sports day – Approach your local school to get all the kids involved, or how about doing an adult one?
  45. Repeat – Use a certain word at the end of everything sentence okay. For the day okay. To raise money okay. Okay okay?
  46. Be kind – Not like you shouldn’t be anyway. Spend a sponsored day doing random acts of kindness.
  47. Sing it out – Spend the day in a musical – yes, it is what you think. No talking, just singing.
  48. Paint it out – Get sponsored to walk around with face paint on all day. Think of the possibilities… Lion, giraffe, clown. Endless!
  49. Yoga challenge – Host a pay-to-enter Yoga challenge with sudden death if you are fall out of the increasingly difficult poses.
  50. You Vs. Food – The ultimate challenge. Just try to avoid too many chillies… we don’t think we need to explain why
  51. Host a tea or coffee morning – Because it is the British thing to do
  52. Battle of the bands – Work with local venues and bands to build a local singing competition. All profits go to us.
  53. Ditch the holiday – Ditch your summer travels and donate the money to Ditch the Label? Who needs a week in the sun with the great British weather
  54. Dye your hair – Why not don a crazy colour in the name of Ditch of Label.
  55. Non-uniform days – Approach local schools to see if they would be willing to ditch the uniform for the day.
  56. Sing your heart out – How about organising a karaoke night? Can’t sing? Don’t worry, that’s what karaoke is for!
  57. There’s no harm in asking – Ask for a discount in every shop you visit and donate your savings.
  58. Organise a treasure hunt – Tune into your inner child and hunt for that pot of gold. Or chocolate! Whichever is more affordable..
  59. Switch it out – Swap clothes with your partner for the day to raise money.
  60. Turn off the games console – How long can you go without your faithful Sega Megadrive? PS4? Xbox?
  61. Sponsored juice cleanse – Basically drink nothing but vitamin-packed juices (please speak to a dietician/doctor first)
  62. Christmas is around the corner – Ditch your normal clothes and see how the colour red suits you.
  63. Organise a 24-hour event – You could run, swim, sit, stand, kiss or anything that you see fit.
  64. Round up the village -How about organising a village fayre? It’ll be hard work but will pay dividends.
  65. Clubs & Pubs – Approach clubs & pubs to see if they would fancy teaming up for themed nights and events.
  66. Don a weird wig – We know they’re itchy but it is for charity…
  67. Board game competition – Got any classic board games lying around? No? Well, we’re sure someone still owns some!
  68. Gough all out – Why not organise an exhibition with local artists and performers
  69. Egg and Spoon race – Just like when you were a kid but that egg and especially the spoon it ‘balances’ on is a lot smaller now that you’re all grown up.
  70. To grow or not to grow – Ever been curious how long you can grow your whiskers?
  71. Box-set marathon – Most of us do this every Sunday anyway, but we all know you want to watch every episode of Breaking Bad again
  72. No pants! – Can you get sponsored to not wear underwear for the week? No idea, but we do know you’ll save yourself some laundry
  73. Burns night – You don’t have to be Scottish to enjoy this great night, so get the haggis and scotch out
  74. Darts – Now we don’t know if anyone actually plays darts… but if you do, here’s your chance to do what you do and fundraise!
  75. Free hugs! – Who doesn’t like a hug! See if you can get away with charging for your cuddles to the entire office
  76. Make-up / Make-down – If you do, don’t If you don’t, do.
  77. Bakeathon – It’s all in the name. See how many cakes you can bake in a short amount of time and sell them raise funds.
  78. PJ Day – We’re sure your boss would love you to turn up on Monday morning in your jim-jams…
  79. It’s always sunny in… indoors – Ever worn your sunnies for 24 hours? It’s great, trust us!
  80. Get the maps out – Damping your friends in the middle of nowhere and letting them race back sounds fun right? Get them sponsored to do it.
  81. Bike ride – There are some brave souls out there that cycle the length of the country in the name of charity… just saying.
  82. Community helpers – Pick up litter or get the lawnmower out. Help local residents and ask for small donations.
  83. Summers here – Host a charity BBQ. Do we need to give you any more of an excuse?
  84. Everyone loves the movies – Get your hands on a projector and host a cinema evening. Or, approach local cinemas to see if they can help.
  85. Bingo! – Apologies if you are in the bingo hall right now but it’s a classic fundraiser so it had to be on the list.
  86. Tennis-athon – We’ve no idea if we just made up a new form of event, but either way it sounds good to us
  87. 24 selfies – That’s probably what you’ll take this month but how about doing it in one day? Every hour, on the hour.
  88. Going back to singing – …public places are always a great place to do it.
  89. YouTube yourself – The internet can be a great way of fundraising. Film yourself doing a charitable act to raise funds.
  90. We all have phobias – We know it’s a bit cruel but it’s the reactions that are funny (not you being scared). Face your fears for us!
  91. Do a raffle – Everyone loves a good ol’ raffle. Fun fact: Poundland sell raffle books… just saying.
  92. Silent auction – Great for the workplace or an event. Pool together and host a silent auction.. shhhh!
  93. Have a birthday – and just ask people to Ditch the Label in lieu of gifts. Perfect if you are difficult to buy for.
  94. Buy a t-shirt – Did you know that all of the profits from our merchandise goes straight to funding support?
  95. Fancy dress – Why not organise a fancy dress day at work, or use it as an excuse to host a party. Pay to enter.
  96. It’s Christmas – Instead of asking for presents, why not be totally selfless and ask them to donate the money to us instead?
  97. It’s Christmas part 2 – Why not reduce your Christmas gift budget and use the savings to donate to Ditch the Label?
  98. It’s Christmas part 3 – Or buy some of our merchandise as Christmas gifts – that way – everybody wins! Plus it’s all awesome
  99. Sell wristbands – Own a business or shop front? Contact us for information on how you can sell our merchandise at your POS
  100. Text to donate – Can’t be bothered with anything too heavy? Text DITC12 £10 to 70070 to donate £10
  101. Donate a % – Got a business? Why not donate a percentage of sales to Ditch the Label?

If you are looking to fundraise and need help, you can contact us here:

Talk to us

Identity Update

The Anthem

We live in a world where it is a rebellion to be yourself. Where people are ostracised and bullied because of attitudes towards how they look, who they love, the colour of their skin or pretty much anything that makes them unique. We say enough is enough. It’s time to rebel against the pressure to change yourself to ‘fit in’.  It’s time to embrace yourself for who you truly are. It’s time for a revolution.

This is our vision. This is our purpose.

This is our manifesto.

Ditch the Label’s Anthem.


Ditch the Label is proud to announce that we have teamed up with River Island on their #LabelsAreForClothes Campaign. £3 from every t-shirt sold in River Island goes towards funding crucial anti-bullying support! In fact, we loved it so much, here are our top t-shirt wearers (so far)…




A post shared by Ashley Marie • Plus Size (@glamghoul) on Feb 4, 2018 at 3:44pm PST

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2017 in review

As many who have followed the journey of Ditch the Label will know, our global movement started with an online Myspace blog, posted over 10-years ago. After being bullied for almost a decade, it was a final lifeline for me and an opportunity to talk about my experiences online. Over night, I was inundated with hundreds of messages from people who had, or were going through a similar experience of bullying and I quickly realised that this was something that affected an inconceivable amount of people. A community started to organically grow and Ditch the Label officially launched as an organisation in 2012.

Today, I am proud to say that throughout 2017, over 1.1 million young people have accessed our support materials and resources – a record breaking milestone for us at Ditch the Label. This number is significant because it is a clear indication of growth and testament to the fact that an increasing amount of young people are turning to us for support. Yes, the figures are harrowing, but the extent to which bullying is an issue is widespread and an issue that we are determined to combat.

This year, the entire Ditch the Label team have been working exceptionally hard on delivering new support services, producing leading research and creating global campaigns to strive closer to a world that is truly fair, equal and free from all types of bullying. 2017 marked a period of great change, with new challenges and opportunities but one thing emerged and that is the importance of community and not going through things alone.

Key highlights

Welcome to our Community

In February, we launched our global online support Community – offering young people a safe space to talk about the issues on their mind. The community has grown to be the largest dedicated anti-bullying support community online. Our community has been growing wonderfully throughout the year, as young people have come together united by their experiences. Visit our Community here.

Are you living an insta lie?

Now a term in itself, our video uncovering the truth behind the seemingly perfect images you see on social media has been viewed over 60-million times this year and went on to inspire a global movement of young people becoming increasingly critical of the media that they consume online. In partnership with boohoo, the video went on to inspire other similar videos as hundreds of thousands contributed to the global conversation.

Gamers Unite for a Better Internet

We worked with our friends at Habbo earlier in the year to better understand and highlight the extent of online abuse within gaming platforms and then used our findings to inform a global campaign we produced in partnership with EA Games to unite the gaming community towards a better internet, that rejects online toxicity and bullying. Check out the campaign.

Is it okay for guys to…?

We were exceptionally proud to work with our partners at male grooming brand, Lynx, on a new global campaign to address some of the questions guys were typing into Google. We created a bespoke support hub to address anything from the hilarious, to the incredibly serious. Is it okay for guys to wear pink? Is it okay for guys to be skinny? Is it okay for guys to cry? Throughout 2017, we have worked closely with Lynx, who share our vision for a world that is free of bullying and will be launching some incredibly moving and exciting projects together throughout 2018. View the hub.

What 12-million conversations can teach us about mental health

Working with our friends at Brandwatch, we were able to analyse over 12-million conversations across social media to gain new insights into how people talk about mental health online. Using big data, we were able to identify gaps in the provision of support and to quantify the extent and impact of stigma. Our findings were presented in the Houses of Parliament at our Parliamentary Reception in October, where we hosted a panel discussion with esteemed experts and thought leaders to talk about mental health in the digital age.
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The Mental Health Report


The Annual Bullying Survey 2017

Our fifth and largest ever edition of The Annual Bullying Survey this year explored the impact of technology and social media on the lives of young people. The research gave unparalleled access to some of the unique challenges people face when growing up in a digital age and created huge societal debate and discussion.
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The Annual Bullying Survey


Other notable highlights

Personal highlights for me this year was representing Ditch the Label at the United Nations in New York, to talk about Media Information Literacy, in addition to writing a piece for the esteemed UN Chronicle about cyberbullying as a human rights issue. You can read the article here. I learnt a lot about make-up and the impact of make-up shaming through our partnership with Sleek MakeUP earlier this year and found that many of the issues tie into the wider issue of appearance-based pressures. It was also an honour to start in the Huffington Post’s web series, ‘New Activists’, which followed us activists around as we work hard to create a better society of all. You can watch the series here.

In summary

I have no doubt missed out a ton of hugely important and exciting work, but this year truly has been a year of significant progress and success. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire Ditch the Label team for their hard work, our board for their guidance and our esteemed partners and funders for helping us turn our vision into reality. 2018 is already set to be an incredibly exciting year for us at Ditch the Label and a time where more young people than ever before will benefit from our support.

Thank you.

Our 2017 Research

We’ve been pretty busy this year gathering research about subjects that really matter. These projects provide all-important insights into various aspects of life for everyday people. If you want to find out about the latest stats on bullying, the true extent of in-game abuse or what people really think about makeup and mental health, read on amigos…

The Mental Health Report

Mental health is inevitably an issue that we at Ditch the Label are incredibly passionate about. Young people tell us every single day about some of the struggles they face and about the unique challenges posed by modern society and culture. One young person previously told us that living with the stigma of depression was often harder than living with the symptoms.
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The Mental Health Report

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Makeup Shaming

Ditch the Label teamed up with Sleek MakeUP to carry out some much-needed research into attitudes towards makeup and those who wear it. The Survey included 1084 people from aged 13+ from all over the UK. The report asked respondents about their makeup wearing habits, thoughts and feelings when wearing it and opinions towards others who wear it.

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The Makeup Shaming Report

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Gamers Unite

Thanks to this important piece of research, we now know that in-game abuse is more common than ever and sadly considered to be part of the everyday gaming experience. We’re looking forward to working with EA in 2018 to campaign for a better, more inclusive gaming experience for everyone. Gamers, watch this space!

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In-Game Abuse

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The Annual Bullying Survey 2017

Our ongoing research provides tangible evidence that we are making progress. The Ditch the Label Annual Bullying survey revealed that although things might be looking up, we still have a long way to go to eradicate bullying and reach true equality.
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The Annual Bullying Survey

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The Valentine Report

In the mainstream, sexuality is seen as a binary construct but our 2017 Valentine research proposes a new fluidity scale – as young people increasingly move away from labels. Our research of over 1,000 people also explores the impact of technology on modern relationships and the exploration of sexuality.
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The Valentine Study 2017

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Ditch the Label has teamed up with Brandwatch to analyse 12.9 million conversations surrounding mental health in the UK across a period of four years.

Mental health is a topical subject right now with lots of conversation and debate taking place online; some of it positive, some of it negative.

The report looks at how mental health is being discussed online, bullying and mental health, stigma around and attitudes towards specific mental health conditions and the symptoms people are experiencing across the country. The research also found an indisputable link between bullying and self-harm and also found that the likelihood of developing eating disorders after being bullied was higher than expected.

Over 225,000 conversations about anxiety and depression also referred to bullying. This proves the harmful impacts that bullying has on the mental health of those who experience it and highlights the need for early intervention. Stigma towards mental illness is proven to stop people from accessing the support that they need. The report delves into attitudes towards mental illness conversations by analysing the tone surrounding it unveiling some interesting results.

So, what does the report say?

Key Findings:

1. We now know that bullying is a measurable catalyst for mental health symptoms and is most strongly associated with eating disorders, anxiety and body image. For those with mental health conditions, bullying increases references of self-harm in online discussion by more than 600%.

2. Lack of emotional openness may be a barrier to accessing help. Negative attitudes towards mental health and emotional expression may prevent those experiencing bullying and mental health symptoms from accessing treatment. Interestingly, UK authors have more negative attitudes towards crying than their US counterparts,

3. 77% of authors with multiple or recurring risk symptoms do not describe accessing treatment. Barriers to accessing support were particularly high for body image (80%) and chronic fatigue (76%). Overall access to care was lower in the UK than in the US (23% compared with 33% in the US).

4. Men were more likely than women to use derogatory language when discussing mental health. Professional voices, including executives, politicians and health care professionals, were more likely to discuss mental health in more neutral or constructive ways.

5.  Students and sports enthusiasts had the most negative attitudes towards emotional openness. Almost two-thirds of crying conversations by these groups were critical or pejorative in tone. By contrast, authors with an interest in the environment and animals used a significantly more compassionate tone.

6. Celebrities are driving the conversation. Stephen Fry and Richard Branson were key figures in sparking positive debate around mental health on twitter

7. The media was the biggest perceived cause of eating disorders. Comments such as “the presence of airbrushed and ‘perfect women’ in magazines” being referenced as a cause by many.

8. Anxiety and depression are more often considered to be the result of environment than a biological/neurological issue. Co-symptoms and lifestyle factors were each at least twice as prominent as ‘biological’ causes in conversations showing that many people still believe depression and anxiety are predominantly circumstantial.

9. Lack of awareness causes heightened BDD negativity. Body dysmorphia saw the largest shares of ‘anger’, ‘stress’, ‘struggling’ and ‘sad’ tones. Sufferers felt the condition was misunderstood and misrepresented in the media. Educators, health practitioners and journalists were all underrepresented, suggesting the need for further education.

10. Political events cause widespread sleep disruption. The EU referendum and the general election correlated significantly with sleep disruption in the UK.  This disruption may cause ‘trigger events’, negatively impacting those with underlying symptoms.

Get the full report here:

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Mental Health Research: What 12 Million Conversations Can Teach Us

Working with Brandwatch has given us a unique opportunity to analyse 12.9 million conversations surrounding mental health in the United Kingdom across a period of four years. We are jointly passionate about understanding the current climate and narrative of mental health and collectively will be using this research to influence culture – not just internally within our own organisations, but globally.

Mental Health Report 2017