A remarkable young Arbroathian has brought into focus the impact of bullying.
Jodie Manley has encountered prolonged periods of hurtful bullying and isolation as a result of her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In spite of the difficulties she has faced, the 21-year-old has channelled her experience in the most positive way she can, combining her admirable personal insight with her creative talent to produce an animated anti-bullying film.
Jodie decided to make the film last year when her local learning disability youth group, the Arbroath Noisecrackers, embarked upon an anti-bullying project.
She said: “I was very excited to get involved in the project because I know what it feels like to be the victim of bullying. I wanted to do something that would have a strong impact so that people realise how someone who is being bullied feels, but most importantly, I hoped that the video would help someone who is in that horrible situation to get through it.”
Jodie’s problems with bullying quickly escalated and intensified throughout her five years at high school: “It was the most awful time of my life. I still can’t believe how cruel some people can be.”
“When the Noisecrackers decided to do the campaign I told them that I could make a video for them. I built a story of my experience by drawing each part of it in Paint. I put my words to it with Microsoft Powerpoint and finally, used Windows Movie Maker to match it all together. I chose the song ‘Simon’ by Lifehouse because it’s about a boy who has been bullied telling other sufferers that they’re not alone.”
The Arbroath Noisecracker and Jodie’s friends within the group were ‘blown away’ by her film, something which pleased her as she wanted them to know how they had helped her move on with her life.