OBE for Rye woman who set up anti-bullying charity

Rye resident Michele Elliott has been awarded an OBE for her work to protect children from bullying.

Michele, from Watchbell Street, is the founder and director of Kidscape, which aims to protect children from bullying.

A mum of two and a teacher and child psychologist, she established the charity in 1984 as a way to help children stay safe.

Kidscape pioneered techniques and information that help badly bullied children and their families stop the bullying.

Its helpline receives 12,000 calls a year from parents of bullied children and it provides a wide range of leaflets, booklets, videos and posters.

Kidscape also runs free confidence building classes for bullying victims and developed the `good sense defence' code for children.

It continues to provide guidance for schools, individuals, and the government on bullying and other issues of children's safety.

Michele was nominated for the award for services to children. She attended Buckingham Palace last Wednesday to receive her OBE from the Queen.

She said she felt deeply honoured on a personal level, but was keen to stress that it is above all a recognition of the dedication and commitment of all Kidscape trustees, staff, volunteers and supporters of the ongoing work of keeping children safe.

See Friday's Rye Observer for the full story