Kidscape May 18 What we've been up to this month: Although the Kidscape offices are based in London, we operate around the country with regional hubs in the Midlands, North East, and, from summer onwards, Wales! This month, let’s hear it for the Midlands area, and what’s been happening there. Julie Smith, our Midlands Representative, has been running anti-bullying and confidence building ZAP workshops in the region for the last three years. At these workshops, Julie spends a day with children aged 9-16, teaching them confidence and assertiveness skills to help them rebuild after bullying. “I swear they’re an inch taller when they walk out,” she says. “There’s a lot of group discussions and role play, we develop positive body language and tone of voice. One of the main things is learning how to say no - and mean it. It sounds simple but you’ve got to maintain eye contact and speak with a strong tone, that can be hard especially when you don’t want to make the bullying worse. “A lot of adults have said they’re going to go home and practice how to do that. “We had very small numbers to start. It’s quite a leap of faith to sign up to a full days class when you don’t really know what it is or what you’ll get from it. People travel from all over. I’ve met people from Liverpool, Manchester, Ireland and Sheffield at a ZAP day. We do keep in touch. Some parents have said their young people have signed up for plays and to be prefects - something they’d never have had the confidence to do before!” Our regional representatives are currently working hard on further projects to suit the needs in their areas. ZAP workshops will always be a staple of Kidscape, and Julie is thinking hard about what else children and young people in the Midlands will need.