Emma Thomas, trustee, and Halen Cusak, a volunteer, outside the Bullies Out pre-loved charity shop. Credit: Eoin McCaul

A charity which aims to tackle bullying has opened its first shop in Cardiff

Bullies Out hopes the new space in Wellfield Court Arcade will also give parents somewhere to go for help and advice

A CARDIFF-based charity tackling bullying behaviour has opened its first shop selling pre-loved clothes.

Last Saturday, January 27, the store opened its doors to a warm reception from the local community who came out to support them at the new unit in Wellfield Road Arcade and grab some bargains.

Linda James MBE, founder and CEO of Bullies Out, started the charity in 2006 after her son was the victim of bullying.

She said: “Bullying is a behaviour, we’re not born bullies – behaviour is what we need to change.

“We have more ways to bully now and it can go viral when it’s online. More people will jump in and take part and they don’t even know the person that’s being bullied.

“It’s affecting far too many people, it’s affecting their mental health, and we know that people go on and take their own lives.

“This is what we’ve got to stop.”

Linda James and Emma Thomas inside the store. Credit: Eoin McCaul

Linda said she hopes that the shop will make the charity more visible, and provide a place for people to collect brochures and fliers.

She said: “There’s parents whose children, or child, might be affected by bullying behaviour  and they think – what can I do? How do I help my child?

“They don’t know where to go. By having this presence, they can see that we’re here, they can see the website, they can go on there to find help and support or they can pop in here.”

The shop is inside the Wellfield Court Arcade on Wellfield Road. Credit: Eoin McCaul

Bullies Out offers anti-bullying workshops, training, and mentoring. Volunteers also provide free counselling over zoom or on the phone.

Linda said: “They don’t have to wait very long, either – they’re not waiting longer than two weeks maximum to speak to them. 

“That’s what people need, they need a quick turnaround when they need to speak to somebody.”

The charity also takes on youth ambassadors in schools, providing them with training to help their schoolmates who are being bullied.

She said: “It’s really empowering for us to hear that after they’ve left school, they’re taking those skills with them.

“There was one boy we trained since he was 10 as a playground pal, then he went to high school and we trained him as a peer mentor. Then he joined our youth ambassador scheme.

“Now at 21, he’s one of our core volunteers. He’s been with us for 11 years and gone through every stage of our programmes.”

The charity also tackles bullying in the workplace, which can come from both colleagues or managers.

Linda added: “There’s a fine line between performance management and bullying behaviour.

“We work with managers to create a positive and empowering workforce, where somebody isn’t afraid to speak out if they feel that they’re being bullied or if they feel that their workload is too much and it needs to be reduced. 

“Because, you know, we’re not machines, we’re human beings.”