What we do

We safeguard the youth from online dangers and educate about its adverse effects on them both emotionally and physically.

We do this by teaching them safety and security to both increase awareness and empower young people against negative and dangerous cyber activity. We also teach them acceptable parameters of behaviours to practice or to accept online.

How we deliver

We do this by providing workshops, training, talks and a wide range of strategies to educational bodies, professionals, children and parents. We also assist by providing support to those already affected and at the same time campaign for policy reform.

We teach them about responsible on and offline behaviour and the value of being cautious about sharing personal information online; at the same time showing them that they are not to blame if they are targeted, either by bullies or predators.

We show them solutions and what they can do if it happens to them. By helping them understand that they can and should talk about these things using the new communication skills they have learnt, they are able to effectively avoid the dangers and more importantly, seek help when it is needed.
We believe that creativity is one of the ways to engage with the young in positive ways, allowing them to learn, interact and develop new communication skills in our workshops and amongst their peers in a way that instills the knowledge, whilst having fun.

CLAY has developed a creative response to cyber bullying and online dangers by fusing many subtle concepts together to make a science out of the nature of virtual relationships.

The problem areas

Why is tackling cyber bullying so important?

It’s quite difficult for adults to imagine, the world that children are growing up in today – where so much information and communication is made public. Things can happen so quickly; anything can go global in a matter of minutes.

Bullying has taken place ever since humankind has walked this earth and yet until the internet came along, there was usually a place to hide or a way to shut it out.

The isolation and low self esteem that results from cyber bullying creates a devastatingly vulnerable individual who is susceptible to the possibility of self harm and even suicide.

Thus we need help identifying the problems, pinpointing the cause, understanding how it happens and gauging what effects it has on our society. We also need assistance in implementing change and having the combined clout and power to constructively bring it about.

We at CLAY clearly believe that prevention is better than cure and since ignorance, low self esteem and isolation are the key elements that expose young people to exploitation, CLAY promotes the three crucial components to both prevention and recovery. Namely education and information, increasing self esteem and promoting community support.

Our society is increasingly becoming physically disconnected, while at the same time be-coming technologically super connected.

With the growth in use of smart phones youngsters have this technology with them all the time, leaving them vulnerable to online abuse.

Smart phone ownership has increased by 21% among 12-15 year olds in just a year and six out of ten (62%) now have one. With built- in cameras, these devices and a new generation of apps are giving children the ability to easily communicate with strangers online and share images on the move.

CEOP is a command of the National Crime Agency © Crown Copyright

Nature of virtual relationships

Cyber intimidation is an escalated form of aggressive power tactics and we need to create awareness to reduce the harm being caused through social media platforms.

Relationships forge the foundation of life and cannot be replicated with an accelerated speed of intimacy, which is the illusion that social media can portray. The desire to appear to be popular with a wide audience leaves an emotional craving and the need for constant attention.

The solution

Young people need to be taught the correct protocols for online behaviour and they must also be held responsible for their actions and consequences.

The experienced professionals who lead CLAY’s sessions working with the young people themselves and the professionals working together with them can also advise on policy and protocols on how to address cyber bullying.

Knowledge alone is not power if the system itself does not change. For those in positions of influence who wish to seriously address this growing problem CLAY are committed to working with them to implement change from all angles possible.