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The National Bullying Helpline has suspended services temporarily and announced that it is considering its future after it went public and said “three or four” Downing Street employees had called its helpline.

This was swiftly followed by the resignation of a number of the helpline’s patrons, including MP Ann Widdecombe. This, said the charity, was part of the reason for the temporary closure:

“Our Patrons have resigned at a time when we needed them most. It is a shame that not one of them ever visited our charity offices to see how we operate or meet with our Volunteers and Trustee’s, despite request.”

In a similar vein the charity’s website bulletin also claimed that “Competitor anti-bullying charities, individuals with an axe to grind and a few others” had forced its hand.

The HSE, in its study Bullying at work: a review of the literature, says that there are over the half a million cases of work-related stress reported each year in the UK and that, on average, each case results in 29 working days lost. Bullying is the cause of 10-20% of this, the report estimates.

It is figures like these, coupled with an increased demand for training on bullying awareness, that prompted me to write the Bullying Survival Guide.

There has been a good deal of new information on bullying at work in recent years and I drew on this, as well as my experiences of helping victims of bullying, to draw up practical instructions to help victims of bullying change the behaviour they are subjected to.

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