An unusual display of strength has helped to launch an innovative and powerful anti-social behaviour campaign.
Anti-bullying campaigner and celebrated national strongman Dave ‘Big Dave’ Gauder pulled a 15-tonne double decker bus to officially launch his Respect Campaign at Alexandra High School in Great Bridge, Tipton, to help bring a new focus on behaviour to the Great Bridge ward of Sandwell.
The initiative is backed by a #9,900 grant awarded by the Birmingham & Black Country Foundation under the Sandwell Fair Trust lottery initiative.
The aim of the UK-wide campaign is to reduce levels of anti-social behaviour, which includes drugs and arson as well as bullying, and to encourage young people to take greater personal pride and responsibility in themselves and their community.
Derek Inman, chief executive of the Birmingham Foundation said: "We are delighted that Dave has decided to launch his national campaign here in Tipton.
"He is already a nationally recognised anti-bullying campaigner and his strength is amazing, being the only man to have ever pulled a Concorde! Dave has already successfully taken his anti-bullying message to more than 500,000 young people."
The strongman is currently working with over 30 police forces and local authorities to plan his itinerary for 2007.
He said: "I use my physical strength to get the attention and initial credibility of the young audiences I meet. I then teach them that they are strong as me, not physically of course, but mentally. Being strong mentally enables them to say no to things that can harm them such as drugs and also teaches them to be their own person. I was bullied at school for example and relate my stories and experiences to bring it more to life for them.
Respect has been funded by the Fair Share Trust local panel as part of its programme to improve the quality of life and improve the opportunities and achievements for young people living in Great Bridge.
The Fair Share Trust is administered in Great Bridge by the Birmingham Foundation in partnership with residents and support from the Tipton Town Team, business, police and education.
For further information contact: John Buckle on 0121 2142080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.