Harrogate takes on the bullies at schools

Author and illustrator Francesca Hepton and owner of Harrogate independent bookshop Imagined Things, Georgia Duffy.
Author and illustrator Francesca Hepton and owner of Harrogate independent bookshop Imagined Things, Georgia Duffy.

A Harrogate writer has been helping a martial arts expert show pupils how to beat bullying at schools.

Local author and illustrator Francesca Hepton has been supporting Harrogate-based martial arts Instructor Master Hudson in a series of talks at schools including one at Rosstt Acre Primary School last week as part of national Anti-Bullying Week.

Master Hudson, who runs the AEGIS Martial Arts Academy in Harrogate, presented the five points in Bully-Busting Defence programme, a non-violent strategy based on the laws and rules of
Martial Arts, which has as its aim: “To be the best version of yourself”
Author Francesca. a graduate of the University of St Andrews and the University of Toulouse, read from her two anti-bullying books, Jack’s Roar and Kiki the Kung Fu Kitten which feature an anti-bullying theme.
Author Francesca said the most important point was to reassure youngsters there were ways of dealing with bullying.

She said: “I was a member of Master Hudson’s classes and he told me learning martial arts was a great way to build children’s self-confidence and resilience.

“He had been bullied himself as a six-year-old at school and set up a Bully Busting campaign at his academy. Then he asked me to present his five anti-bullying tips in a story with illustrations in a way children would enjoy.”

Their combined efforts have led to successful anti-bullying presentations in the past at local schools including St Joseph’s, St Peter’s, Rossett Acre, Coppice Valley, Hookstone, Bilton Grange, Saltergate and Ashville Pre-Prep.
Francesca’s books are now stocked by Harrogate’s only independent book shop, Imagined Things.