Supporting children through difficult times

32 per cent of children have been bullied, almost one in ten children are bullied at least once a fortnight and 10 is the peak age for being bullied. These figures from children's charity NCH, and other worrying facts about the difficulties children cope with have led a ground-breaking coalition of churches and charities working with children to run a series of events called Building Strong Towers. The events aim to help children through difficult times with issues such as bullying, family problems or life at school.

The Methodist Church, Scripture Union, the Church of England, the United Reformed Church and children's charity NCH have been instrumental in the development of these events. Author Robert Harrison will lead an interactive workshop on his book The Strong Tower, which uses Bible stories of people in hard situations to show how we can support others. Local and national experts will offer practical support around the tough issues children encounter in the world today.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Doug Swanney of MethodistChildren says 'Life has always been hard for many children but it seems even tougher these days. Family problems and divorce, pressure at school and the expectations of society can add up to an impossible burden for children. We have a duty to help them in ways that they want, and we are pleased to be working with our partners on this.'

Building Strong Towers will show people how to tell Bible stories creatively and interactively, how to support children struggling with life at school and how to use The Strong Tower effectively. 'The Bible has many stories of people who coped with incredible problems, but it takes skill to use that knowledge in ways that children understand and appreciate,' adds Doug. 'Building Strong Towers will help give those skills to teachers, children's and youth workers or parents.'

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