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Val McFarlane

Val was recently the North East Regional Adviser for the Anti-Bullying Alliance. She was an Education Welfare Officer in County Durham for some years, and has a professional counselling qualification. It was through her Education Welfare work, that she discovered that bullying was an issue which greatly affected the educational achievement of some children and young people. 

Val joined the County Durham Educational Psychology Service in January 2000, working with a Senior Educational Psychologist in schools to try and reduce bullying.  In 2002, Val successfully applied to the European Social Fund for extra funding for the service, which resulted in a grant of £500,000, and further staff being appointed. 

When Val worked for Durham County Council, she was instrumental in introducing the first Anti-bullying Accreditation Scheme for schools in County Durham.  Val has now trained various staff in other Local Authorities in the country on running these schemes.  Unfortunately, due to spending cuts, many of these schemes have now ceased to exist, and schools have enquired whether a national scheme would be developed, hence the BIG Award. 

Through all of this work Val has dealt with hundreds of children and young people who have been either victims or
perpetrators of bullying. She has written many resources and training materials for professionals working with
children and young people in schools and in the community.  She has toured the country training other
professionals with her Girl Bullying training course. She also runs training courses on Cyber Bullying, Anti-bullying Strategies and Whole Organisation Approaches to Tackling Bullying. She trains teachers and community professionals i.e. children’s home staff, youth workers and further education professionals.

Val is now a freelance Education Consultant, specialising in bullying and friendship issues

Vicki Lydon

Vicki Lydon launched the Smile Anti-Bullying Service in 2008 which has now become ViVa Training and Resources (Run jointly with Val McFarlane. This service supports local authorities and schools with their anti-bullying strategy and practice.

Vicki delivers training to teams, teachers and lunchtime staff in awareness raising and strategies as well as working with pupils through peer support, mediation training, individual and group support. Vicki has written her own training programmes and has delivered anti-bullying workshops around the country.

She has previously worked for County Durham Anti-Bullying Service for eight years gaining a wealth of training and experience. She helped to set up the first anti-bullying accreditation scheme in County Durham. She has a Childcare Diploma, and has worked with children and young people in various settings throughout her career.  Vicki is a director of the [BIG] which runs the national BIG Award for excellence in anti-bullying work.


John Khan


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 John Khan is Lead Practitioner at Anti-Bullying Works and freelance consultant based in Brighton. He works as a consultant for BIG Award. John’s main areas of work are:
· To provide strategic support to schools to ensure all forms of bullying behaviour are dealt with in line with OFSTED expectations.
· To deliver a range of anti-bullying training to professionals to enable them to support children effected by bullying behaviour more effectively.
· To offer a range of bespoke and interactive anti-bullying workshops for pupils on issues such as friendships, building emotional resilience and assertiveness, bullying and bystander behaviour and e-safety.

John gained a national reputation for bringing together and managing East Sussex’s Anti-Bullying Team for over 10 years, where he:
· Brought together and managed one of the largest local authority led anti-bullying teams in the UK.
· Developed a range of innovative anti-bullying approaches to support children and young people affected by bullying behaviour.
· Spearheaded the development of a range of nationally recognised curriculum resources to address relational conflict amongst friends, as well as all forms of bullying behaviour and e-safety.
John was also the South East Regional Coordinator for the Anti-Bullying Alliance and as previously held senior research positions at Save the Children and the Council for Disabled Children. He holds a Masters degree in Human Rights from Sussex University and BA (Hons) in Social Studies from Nottingham University.

Dr Sairah Qureshi 

Dr. Sairah Qureshi earned her PhD in Sociology and Criminology from the UK in 2011, based on exploring and examining the perceptions of bullying and racist bullying and particularly how it is manifested around the school environment. Dr. Qureshi has had over 10 years of academic experience and over 7 years as a consultant and practitioner in the field of bullying and bias-based bullying. She has advised local authorities on school bullying, participated in and evaluated school training manuals on bullying as well as delivered extensive public outreach work to children and young people on the subject of school bullying and racism. More recently, the organisation she founded, Action Against Bullying affiliated and developed a partnership with Bullying Intervention Group. 

Dr. Qureshi has acted as Residential Consultant Expert for the Downtown Manhattan Community Board 1, ‘Youth and Education Committee’ since May 2010 where her proposals have been presented to the NYC Department of Education. She is also a prominent member of the NYC Teen Healthy Relationship Network Roundtable committee. At these meetings Dr. Qureshi has consulted with other key organizations into developing an Anti-Bullying prevention program in order to combat teen dating violence/abusive relationships among teens. Dr. Qureshi further has been an Associate member of another large UK anti-bullying organization, ‘Anti-Bullying Alliance’ since 2008 where she has presented her work and hosted a key workshop for this organization.

Recently, Dr. Qureshi was interviewed via internet radio on several occasions across the US and Canada, attracting listeners worldwide regarding bullying and promoting Action Against Bullying LLC as well as Bullying Intervention Group. In 2015, she also presented her work at several high profile anti-bullying conferences in the US including in New York, Washington DC and Denver Colorado. During 2015 US Anti-Bullying month Dr. Sairah Qureshi was also invited as guest speaker at a major magazine launch in MD to discuss the national as well as global problems of bullying and featured in New York’s Mountain Dahwg Entertainment Magazine.

Dr. Sairah Qureshi has lectured and published articles in her specialized field as well as published her first book, ‘Bullying and Racist Bullying in Schools; What ARE we missing?’. She also teaches Sociology to undergraduates at Strayer University, NJ, USA.




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