Worthing’s Amy Hart was thrust into the spotlight after she appeared on the popular TV show Love Island this summer – but unfortunately for the 27-year-old, the fame also came hand in hand with a torrent of online abuse.
The former air stewardess said she left the villa in July to find 150 ‘anonymous’ people on Twitter telling her that she was ‘fat’ and ‘ugly’.
She said: “How can that be right?”
This is the reason why, at the end of this month, Amy is going to back to the same Worthing secondary school that she attended to give a talk.
She intends to share her experience with students at Worthing High School in South Farm Road and give them advice on how to cope with online bullies.
Amy said: “I’m 27 – I can’t begin to imagine how I would have felt if I was 13 and the same thing was happening.
“If by talking to young people about this issue, we stop one child being bullied, or empower another child to tell an adult about their stresses and anxieties, or even stop another youngster being an online bully, then it’s a step forward.
“We can’t change things overnight, but talking about it and raising awareness has to be a positive move.”
It comes after a recent BBC documentary featured Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson revealing that online abuse eventually led to a suicide attempt.
Amy said: “Anyone who watched Jesy’s documentary will have been upset by the content, but also concerned about the direction some aspects of social media are moving towards.
“This is a huge issue for society, and my generation has the opportunity to help improve things.”
Tony Cohen, Worthing High Chair of Governors, welcomed the visit.
He said: “I am really proud that the values of social responsibility and caring for others we aspire to instil in our students, is being so well demonstrated by our former student, Amy.”
Going forward, Amy hopes to speak to a number of other local schools and youth organisations on the topic.
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