Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone joined former rugby union star Ben Cohen yesterday evening to launch his anti-bullying charity.
The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying, and funding those working to stop it.
A major focus for the foundation is tackling the bullying often faced by the LGBT community and Ben Cohen has been a strong ambassador for the Home Office’s Sports Charter since its launch in March 2011.
Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said: ‘I’m delighted to be supporting the launch of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation.
‘Government is taking action against bullying by strengthening teachers’ powers and working closely with schools. We have also recognised the power of sport as an agent for change, and Ben has been an invaluable ambassador for our Charter for Action, tackling homophobia and transphobia in sport.
‘Government cannot make a difference alone. When sporting heroes like Ben speak out on these issues it inspires and motivates others to take action and replaces fear with confidence and hope.’
Ben Cohen MBE, founder of The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, added: ‘We are thrilled to launch the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation in the UK. Getting the message out about bullying and its long-term negative effects could not be done without the support and collaborative efforts of our partners. Post-launch, our work will not only focus on raising-awareness of the issue but also focus on fundraising to support organisations doing real-world work to eradicate bullying.’