Liam takes a stand for Stop Cyberbullying Day
Published by Bobbie H for City West Housing Trust in Housing and also in Care and Support, Communities, Education
Liam Royle takes a stand against cyberbullying with City West’s Youth Empowerment Panel
Liam Royle is hoping to raise awareness of the devastating impact that cyberbullying is having on the lives of thousands of young people across Britain every year, ahead of International Stop Cyberbullying Day on June 20th.
The 19-year-old, from Swinton, in Salford, has experienced first-hand how online abuse can ruin lives when his Facebook account was hacked, and malicious messages sent to his friends and family.
Liam, who was 14 at the time, says he was bullied by classmates and even threatened by parents following the incident, while his relationship with his family has also suffered.
The cyber-attack sent Liam’s life into a downward spiral, he would often being found drifting around the local estate getting into trouble and was depressed.
Liam explains: “I went off the rails. I’d lost a lot of friends, and people treated me differently after what happened. It even had an impact with my relationship with my dad. I would go out drinking on the streets and get in a lot of trouble.
“I was depressed, and it was very difficult to deal with the fact that people didn’t believe me.”
In recent years Liam has turned his life around. He went to college to study for his football coaching badges, and is currently looking to set up a local junior side.
He also became a member of City West Housing Trust’s Youth Empowerment Panel, which was set up to give young people a voice in how their community is run. The panel runs sessions to support people living in the area who have been victims of cyberbullying.
Liam said: “I don’t think people understand the impact it has. It might only have been a few minutes on a keyboard, but it’s made a massive difference to my life, and I’m sure it’s the same for others like me. It took a long-time to get my life back on track, but I’m glad I did.”
He adds: “By working with City West’s Youth Empowerment Panel, I’m using my story to help others who are going through the same issues, and taking a stand against cyber bullies.”
Martyn Hague, Head of Communities and Neighbourhoods at City West Housing Trust, said: “We are really proud of all the work that Liam does to support young people in our communities, and commend his bravery for speaking out about the reality of cyberbullying, and the impact this has.
“Liam’s story gives hope to others who may be going through similar experiences, he has worked very hard to turn his life around and he is a fantastic ambassador for young people across the country.”
If you have experienced cyberbullying and are struggling to cope, please get in touch with City West Housing Trust’s Youth Empowerment Panel by visiting their Facebook page - www.facebook.com/SalfordYouthDiscussion or call City West’s anti-social behaviour line on 0300 123 5522.