An event aiming to raise awareness of bullying in all age groups, with an emphasis on issues in Dorset, has been deemed a success.

The evening took place in the middle of Anti Bullying Week and was organised by Alison Fox, founder of the Dorset Anti-Bullying Service. Cat Greenaway, Weymouth's proactive carnival queen from 2015, opened the event, having recently pledged her support for the charity after experiencing bullying first-hand.

The evening emphasised the devastating effect bullying can have on people's lives. Alison commented: "We heard many true stories from people in different circumstances who have been bullied within work and educational situations. A lot of attendees were shocked that these things actually happen, but it's a very real issue and lives have been destroyed."

Alison founded the non-for-profit project in Jersey after experiencing bullying herself for much of her childhood. Upon moving to Dorset, she continued to expand the service.

"We offer information, support and training to individuals and and organisations across the region," Alison, who runs the service supported by a team of volunteers, explained. "We can also make referrals to counsellors across Dorset who help people get their lives back on track."

Despite the serious subject matter, the awareness evening was a very positive event, featuring music from local band PICT and stalls from local crafters. Guests included Mayor of Weymouth Graham Winter, Councillor Louie O'Leary and President of the Weymouth & Portland Chamber of Commerce, Craig Oakes.

Alison added: "It was very much a community event, with lots of help from local people. We managed to raise £151.20, which will go towards providing information, support and training in the future."

Research shows 1 in 2 adults will be affected by bullying at some point in their lifetime. It can take place within the family, at the workplace, or online, and may take on many forms, including physical assault, teasing, making threats and name calling.

Since the evening took place, a rise in the number of people contacting the service from across the south west has been reported.

If you would like to volunteer with the service, or if you are suffering from bullying and would like to access support, contact 07754296658 or email