A Portsmouth born actor has shared an inspirational message for children who have been bullied.
Kirsty Dillon, who starred as WPC Gail Stephens in Midsomer Murders and in the film Locke with Tom Hardy, has opened up about being bullied while at school.
In the video, she tells Portsmouth children who have experienced bullying to ‘carve their own path’.
She said: ‘I was at school in Portsmouth, my family is from Portsmouth and I was bullied on and off during school until I was about 18 which was around my dad’s mental health.
‘So when I was little my dad had severe mental health problems and he died and actually when bullies really wanted to get to me of course they would use that because they would know that it really hurt and at the time it did.
‘I suppose the things you are told around bullying, ignore it or it will go away or sticks and stones will break my bones but words can never hurt me. What does that mean that rubbish, it does hurt.
‘And when people ignore you for weeks or somebody’s out of order to you apparently its because they like you, that’s rubbish too.
‘So my message to you is carve your own path, people picked on me about my dad but it wasn’t actually about my dad it was because they saw something inside me that didn’t really want to be part of the gang.
‘I didn’t want to be part of the clique. I always felt like I was slightly outside it. I didn’t fit into it. Neither did either of my sisters.
‘And actually I now see that as my biggest strength. I don’t like being part of a clique or conforming, it makes me quite uncomfortable when certain things are expected of me when I get into that.
‘So usually you will be bullied about something that they see in you that is your unique strength, so embrace that strength inside you.
‘When you feel safe find someone you trust and call out that bad behaviour, don’t keep that to yourself, don’t think that you will be able to cope with the pressures of it and that it will get easier.’