IT ALL STARTED
Ditch the Label launched based on the experiences of one individual. Since then, we have grown rapidly into becoming an international movement and a lifeline for hundreds of thousands worldwide.
The beginning (2005)
After 10 years of ignoring it and telling the teachers, Liam Hackett, alone in his bedroom, took to the Internet to post about his experiences of being bullied. He talked about the extreme verbal and physical bullying he had experienced and how he was recently hospitalised after being attacked by a group of people from school. Overnight, hundreds of people came together, united by their experiences.
The infancy (2006)
Over time, Liam started to find his voice and confidence and stood for what he believed in: a society that was fair, equal and free from all types of bullying. A community continued to grow as thousands of people came together, united by their experiences. The movement became so large, Liam launched a specific MySpace profile to host the conversations and named it ‘Ditch the Label’.
Above: Founder and CEO, Liam Hackett
The first website (2007)
Liam recognised the potential of Ditch the Label and approached the local Chamber of Commerce. Now aged 16, he became the first person below the age of 18 to receive a grant in his local area to develop a Ditch the Label website. The first website had a forum and basic functionality.
Ditch the Label is fully born (2012)
Behind the scenes, Ditch the Label continued to grow in momentum as Liam studied at University. In 2012, he graduated with a degree in business and management and immediately registered Ditch the Label as a legal entity and began to grow Ditch the Label into the organisation that it is now.
Above: the first Ditch the Label website
The first partnership (2013)
Ditch the Label officially partnered with Habbo, the world’s largest online teen community and started to provide pioneering digital support in-game, benefiting thousands of young people. This year also saw the launch of ‘The Cyberbullying Survey’, which was internationally recognised as a benchmark study into cyberbullying rates and behaviours.
The year of charity (2014)
Income requirements had always disqualified Ditch the Label from becoming a recognised charity. Gaining charity status was required in order to attract funding. After 2 years of trying, in March 2014, Ditch the Label was officially registered as a charity in the UK.
“You are never alone. Things like the Internet are powerful ways to connect. Regardless of whatever you’re going through, somebody out there has been there before.”
– Liam speaking at Wembley Arena 2016
The refinement era (2015)
In partnership with various online communities such as Habbo and The Student Rooms, and through the official Ditch the Label website, it is estimated that over 180,000 young people, primarily in the UK benefited from support.
And... we have takeoff (2016)
After a hugely successful year in 2015, Ditch the Label announced plans to expand across the USA and Mexico, aiming to support a record amount of 500,000 young people through bullying. This year also saw the launch of The Annual Bullying Survey 2016 in the Houses of Parliament, along with the fifth and most comprehensive Ditch the Label website.
Leading the way (2017)
Ditch the Label leads the way when it comes to digital innovation as a tool to resolve the issue of bullying. Throughout the first part of 2017, Ditch the Label launched globally in the USA and as ‘Deja Las Etiquetas’ in Mexico. Additionally launching new intelligent search tools and algorithms, along with an online support community and instant messenger to connect those in need of advice and support with fully trained mentors, all via the Ditch the Label website.
65 million and counting! (2017)
Lying on social media is a big problem. We’re all constantly comparing ourselves and benchmarking against the lives we see on social media and Ditch the Label wanted to help. Partnering with boohoo, Ditch the Label produced the infamous ‘Insta Lie’ video which became an overnight success, with over 40 million views within the first 4 months and a total of 65 million after 18 months.
2-million people (2018)
For the first time ever, Ditch the Label supported 2-million people globally throughout 2018! Yes, the cake was real and it was v. v. v. nice.
Ditch the Label in the classroom (2019)
Ditch the Label Education (DTL:ED) aims to combat bullying by tackling its root issues in a classroom setting. By providing teaching resources which deal with everything from gender stereotypes, digital literacy & mental health, we are revolutionising the way in which schools tackle bullying, empowering young people and teachers to address complex subject matters with ease.
3.4 million people (2019)
Another annual record smashed, with over 3.4 million young people benefiting from Ditch the Label resources in 2019!
Major expansion (2020)
It is announced that Ditch the Label has expanded to become a youth organisation – helping people overcome the issues affecting them the most, beyond just bullying. The wider focus now includes bullying, mental wellbeing, relationships and identity.
Coronavirus Support Content Launched (2020)
With the COVID-19 pandemic changing every single person’s life in 2020, we launched a number of pieces of advice to support young people struggling with the sudden switch into lockdown, loneliness and their mental health.
Online Hate Speech Research (2021)
We looked at 263 million online conversations around hate speech online to see how it has changed since the start of the pandemic. In our research, we saw a devastating surge in internet-based hate speech in this time period.
Re-launch of our Community (2021)
Young people are turning to the internet to try and find the answers – we created a safe and confidential environment called the Internet’s Safe Space where any young person can turn to for advice and support.