PUPILS from County Durham will swamp County Hall next month as part of an anti-bullying initiative.

Happier in School week, which will run from July 11 to 18, is being organised by the County Durham Anti-Bullying Service, based in the council's Education Department.

It follows on from last year's successful inaugural event, which was attended by thousands of pupils from across the county.

Older pupils will staff telephone helplines to help youngsters suffering from bullying.

Activities will include video shoots, poster making and circle time sessions and games.

Display boards will be on show throughout the week, highlighting the anti-bullying schemes currently operating in schools.

Val McFarlane, Anti-Bullying Service coordinator, said: "The event is designed to provide children, teachers and parents with information to help tackle bullying and let them know the support services that are available.

"This year we are setting up a telephone helpline throughout the week, manned by ourselves and older pupils who have basic training from our peer support service."