It all Started with One
Ditch the Label launched based on the experiences of one individual. Since then, we have grown rapidly into becoming an international movement and a lifeline for thousands worldwide.
After 10 years of ignoring it and telling the teachers, Liam Hackett, alone in his bedroom, took to the Internet to post about his experiences of being bullied. He talked about the extreme verbal and physical bullying he had experienced and how he was recently hospitalised after being attacked by a group of people from school. Overnight, hundreds of people came together united by their experiences.
Over time, Liam started to find his voice and confidence and stood for what he believed in: a society that is fair, equal and free from all types of bullying. A community continued to grow as thousands of people came together, united by their experiences. The movement became so large, Liam launched a specific MySpace profile to host the conversations and named it ‘Ditch the Label’.
The First Website
Now aged 16, he became the first person below the age of 18 to receive a grant in his local area to develop a Ditch the Label website. The first website had a forum and basic functionality.
Ditch the Label continued to grow in momentum behind the scenes as Liam studied at University. In 2012, he graduated with a degree in business and management and immediately registered Ditch the Label as a legal entity and began to grow Ditch the Label into the organisation that it is now.
Above: the first ever Ditch the Label website.
The First Partnership
Ditch the Label officially partnered with Habbo, the world’s largest online teen community and started to provide pioneering digital support in-game, benefiting thousands of young people. This year also saw the launch of 'The Cyberbullying Survey', which was internationally recognised as a benchmark study into cyberbullying rates and behaviours.
The Year of the Charity
Income requirements had always disqualified Ditch the Label from becoming a recognised charity. Gaining charity status was required in order to attract funding. After 2 years of trying, in March 2014, Ditch the Label was officially registered as a charity in the UK.
“You are never alone. Things like the Internet are powerful ways to connect. Regardless of whatever you’re going through, somebody out there has been there before.”
Liam speaking at Wembley Arena 2016
The Refinement Era
In partnership with various online communities such as Habbo and The Student Rooms, and through the official Ditch the Label website, it is estimated that over 180,000 young people benefited from support.
After a hugely successful year in 2015, Ditch the Label announced plans to expand across the USA and Mexico, aiming to support a record volume of 500,000 young people through bullying. This year also saw the launch of The Annual Bullying Survey 2016 in the Houses of Parliament, along with the fifth and most comprehensive Ditch the Label website.
5 Facts about us
We are a digital anti-bullying charity, which means that most of our support services are provided online, integrated within environments that are authentic, approachable and comfortable to young people.
We support people who are doing the bullying, too, because we recognise that bullying is a behaviour. Like all behaviours, there is a root cause and a remedy for change. Reactive support is important, but proactive support is the only way in which we can prevent bullying from happening in the first place.
All of our interventions are evidence-based, which means that we are continuously using data and innovation to improve the support that we provide to young people.
We don’t patronise young people; instead, we empower them with skills, techniques and knowledge that enable them to resolve their own situations.
We’ve won multiple awards in recognition of our work, campaigns and research.