A COMMUNITY volunteer from Blackburn is urging people not to ‘suffer in silence’ and discuss problems during Anti-Bullying Week.

Faz Patel MBE, posted a message of support calling on children, students and adults to stand up to bullying and raise awareness this week.

Mr Patel said: “I used to have a bit of a double identity 25 years ago as I had a strong family but I could not discuss with them what was happening and then there was the identity at school which was being bullied.

“People make fun of me because of my glasses, then they used to throw my glasses in the pond and hit me.

“It had a detrimental impact on my upbringing.

“I never really spoke to anyone about it and when I went to Blackburn College one of my teachers Mark McAllister told me that I should try to stand up to them and the bullying stopped.

“I moved into the civil service and I joined the unions because I heard about bullying problems there too.

“There are so many people who are dealing with it and I would urge them not to suffer in silence because depression can set in and if you talk about it then it will help.”

Mr Patel says his personal experiences have helped to make him stronger.

“I work with schools in the evening and have been helping a lot of young people with bullying talking to them and telling them to communicate and be open.

“I am urging them not to bottle it up out as it can screw your life up. Blackburn College supported me and they have helped me to become the person I am today.

“People need to know that you should not be scared to take up the challenge and stand up to it as it can break you or make you stronger.

“After four years, my teacher had helped me to stop the bullying but it is not just in schools were it needs to stop.

“I am trying to support children and adults in the workplace to cut down on bullying.

“The reaction I have received on twitter has been amazing and lots of people have been getting back to me saying they understand how bullying can mess with your life.

“There have been messages from people in London and Yorkshire and that shows how far it affects people.

“I would also urge teachers and parents to help take action against it and listen to people.”