X-Factor star speaks to students about cyber bullying in Lowestoft

X Factor finalist Sam Callahan visits Ormiston Denes Academy. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

X Factor finalist Sam Callahan visits Ormiston Denes Academy. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

It was a bit different to performing in front of millions on live TV as an X-Factor finalist.

X Factor finalist Sam Callahan performs. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

X Factor finalist Sam Callahan performs. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

But on Monday, February 1, singer-songwriter Sam Callahan visited Ormiston Denes Academy in Lowestoft to talk to students about a cause close to his heart.

On his first ever visit to the town, he spoke about his experiences of being bullied, and how to be safe online, before performing for pupils in years seven, eight and nine.

Mr Callahan gave advice to the 600 students, explaining to the children that: 'I want all of the negative experiences I had from school – all the people that were doubting me and bullying me – to be a positive lesson for you.'

He also gave advice on the current issues facing young people on the internet, and the possible motives behind internet bullying.

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'When I was at school, a lot of people were nasty to me in relation to the things I was good at,' Mr Callahan added.

'I didn't know why they were doing it – it didn't achieve anything.

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'The fact I am a musician, helps me to communicate with the children and along with being closer to their age and talking from my own experiences, it makes things quite personal.'

Mr Callahan appeared on the X-Factor in 2013, performing to millions of viewers until he was eliminated in the sixth week.

On his visit to Lowestoft, he performed the song You Need Me, I Don't Need You by Ed Sheeran, where many of the children joined in with the chorus. He then encouraged the pupils to stand up and jump around, with many of the students keen to record footage on their mobile phones.

'It was amazing and the closest school visit that has resembled an arena gig,' he added.

Year-seven pupil Sophie Rushmere said: 'He told us everything he had been through and hearing it from his point of view has inspired me.'

Baylie Gooch, 12, added: 'Sam was amazing. He is a great talent and I enjoyed listening to his advice.'

Do you have a story for our Schoolzone pages? Email joe.randlesome@archant.co.uk

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