Anti-bullying campaigners have been forced to scrap a national awareness campaign after some of the UK’s largest companies ignored pleas to provide funding.
The National Ban Bullying at Work Day campaign, which has been running for six years, is to be wound up from next month after existing funding arrangements became unsustainable.
Lyn Witheridge, chief executive of workplace bullying charity the Andrea Adams Trust, said she had written to companies that had previously signed up to the campaign asking for sponsorship cash, but to no avail.
Up until now, the trust has been the sole funder of the campaign – which costs about £65,000 a year to run.
“This is a hugely disappointing decision for the trust but we can’t carry on holding out the begging bowl,” Witheridge said. “We have said to supporters that if you believe in the campaign then help us – but nothing.”
Lead partners for last year’s National Ban Bullying at Work Day were Royal Mail and Amnesty International. Witheridge said Royal Mail had pleaded poverty when approached for funding, and accused other firms of “jumping on the bandwagon” and treating the tackling of workplace bullying as a box-ticking exercise.
Research last year estimated that workplace bullying costs employers almost £14bn a year and leads to 33.5 million working days lost.