Shortland Street stars Kerry-Lee Dewing and Ria Vandervis know first-hand how devastating bullying can be. While they may be two of Ferndale’s favourite medics today, back in their school days both stars were the victims of cruel schoolyard bullies.
“Luckily, I have turned out to be a relatively confident person, but you can’t help wondering if all those years of sadness have impacted you in a negative way,” Ria tells Woman’s Day.
Unfortunately, Ria and Kerry-Lee aren’t alone in their experience, with 45,000 Kiwi kids still affected by bullying of some kind in schools across the nation.
Now, the Shorty stars hope to have a positive impact in their new roles as ambassadors for the Foundation for Youth Development, an organisation that aims to educate children about the harmful effects of bullying.
“I just want them to know it’s not something to be ashamed of,” Ria says.
For the full story, check out this week’s issue of Woman’s Day.
FYD is encouraging all New Zealanders to get behind the anti-bullying campaign to support Kiwi kids facing bullying, by texting ‘NO’ to 2448 and making a $3 donation. Alternatively, supporters can donate $20 a month at www.fyd.org.nz/bullying.