Fleetwood Town FC have become the first national sponsor of a ground-breaking training programme aimed at tackling bullying in schools.
The League One club have joined forces with Human Behaviour Trainer and Success Coach, Norry Ashcroft, by pledging £10,000 to enable the roll-out of an online teacher training program to 100 schools.
Norry started helping teachers, parents and children a decade ago after reading about a teenage girl who had committed suicide due to cyber bullying. This led him to start a campaign – MADD About Bullying, MADD standing for ‘Making A Direct Difference’.
He has now created an online teacher training programme which looks at the foundation of human behaviour together with strategies to tackle negative actions which can lead to bullying.
The MADD About Bullying programme has already been shared with 100 schools across Lancashire. Now, thanks to the £10,000 sponsorship from Fleetwood Town, another 100 schools in the North West will get access to the programme.
Norry said: “I can't thank Fleetwood Town and their chairman Andy Pilley enough for their generosity which will make a direct difference in so many schools.
“We have had individuals sponsor up to 10 schools, but for Fleetwood Town to directly sponsor 100 is absolutely amazing. It's even more special because Andy genuinely wants to help children reach their true potential."
Andy, who together with his role at Fleetwood Town is managing director of Lancashire-based energy supplier BES Utilities and merchant service company Card Saver, said he was so moved by Norry’s passion for young people he had to get involved.
Andy said: “When you meet Norry you cannot help but be inspired by him and what he says. He is so passionate about wanting to help tackle bullying, which is not only an issue in schools but in many walks of life.
“Therefore, I’m delighted Fleetwood Town is able to team up with Norry and help roll out his excellent training programme to more schools across the North West. I believe Norry can make a real difference and so we are delighted to be his first national sponsor.”
The MADD About Bullying training programme, which is presented through a series of engaging video modules, is funded entirely through sponsors and is delivered to schools free of charge.
Blackpool-based Norry, who says the course ‘psychologically gets to the root problem’, added: “Training teachers, parents and children, about the behaviour weaknesses that drive bullying is the only way we are going to make a real difference.
“Bullying is still the main reason behind our children's low self-esteem, low confidence, and poor mental health. When a problem keeps getting worse you have to change your response to what is already being used. This course is different to what has already been used, and it has to be.
“At the lowest level of bullying our children are being held back from reaching their true potential and, at worst, bullying is causing more mental health problems and an increase in teenage suicides. This is why I'm so passionate about the bullying problem."