Met Film School and Mencap produce Anti-Bullying Week video featuring young actors with a learning disability

For Anti-bullying Week 2015, students from the Met Film School in London have created a short video with the learning disability charity Mencap, with many of the roles acted out by people with a learning disability.

56% of disabled people say they have experienced hostility, aggression or violence from a stranger because of their condition or impairment*. Along with verbal and physical bullying the video explores issues around cyber bullying and the importance of online safety.

The students offered their services free of charge to the charity as part of a community project run by Met Film School. The students worked with Mencap’s Young Ambassadors to help illustrate their own experiences of bullying and the pain that comes with it.

Mencap’s Young Ambassadors are people with a learning disability aged 16-25 who use their own life experiences to challenge negative perceptions of learning disability.

Ellie Larkin, one of Mencap’s Young Ambassadors who has a learning disability and starred in the film said: 

“We worked with Eritia, Robert and Sebastian to make the film happen. They listened to the group’s personal experiences and turned it into a script and plan of what our film could be.

“It was great fun to make the film, I star in it and I play a completely different character, I was feisty and even had my hair and make-up done, I felt like a film star.”

“We hope that this film will raise awareness of different forms of bullying and how it can make a person feel. We want to encourage people to speak out when they are being bullied or see bullying happening, it would be great if our film could help achieve this.”

Robert Panners, Producer of the film and MA Producing student at the Met Film School said:

“As part of our MA course at the Met Film School we work with external clients such as charities and businesses to create original video content, so naturally we were delighted when Mencap’s Young Ambassador’s programme got in touch. We met with the Young Ambassadors themselves and had a lengthy meeting listening to some of their horrible experiences with a view of dramatising what they had been through.

“We soon learnt how people with a learning disability can be made targets for bullying throughout their life and the damage that this causes. We feel really proud to have been part of a project that aims to raise awareness of this, and we hope this film makes people stop and think about how cruel and damaging bullying can be to people and the effect it has on their everyday life.”

Mencap is asking people to share this video throughout Anti-Bullying Week to show the damage bullying can cause and the need to help those at risk of bullying in their lives.

Stats on bullying and social lives for people with a disability:

  • 33% of children with learning disabilities say they “find it harder than average to make friends” in comparison with 9% of children without learning disabilities (Emerson & Hatton, 2008a).
  • 41% of people with a learning disability do not have more than yearly contact with friends or family members they do not live with (Emerson & Hatton, 2008a).
  • 56% of disabled people say they have experienced hostility, aggression or violence from a stranger because of their condition or impairment*

General stats on bullying**:

  • 50% of young people have bullied another person, 30% of which do it at least once a week
  • 43% of young people have been bullied, 44% of which are bullied at least once a week.
  • As a result of bullying, 29% self-harmed, 27% skipped class, 14% developed an eating disorder and 12% ran away from home.

About Mencap 

There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.  www.mencap.org.uk

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