This Charity Is Aiming to Put an End to Bullying After Its Founders’ Tragic Loss

Warning: This article deals with the topic of suicide and may be triggering for some readers.

Losing a child is a parent’s worst nightmare. Losing a child to suicide, as a result of bullying, is almost unimaginable. For Tick and Kate Everett, it’s their reality.

However, after losing their 14-year-old daughter Dolly to suicide after ongoing bullying, they committed themselves to doing everything they can so it doesn’t happen to anyone else. And Dolly’s Dream was born.

What is Dolly’s Dream?

Channelling their grief into change, Kate and Tick founded Dolly’s Dream — a charity aiming to address “the impact of bullying, anxiety, depression and youth suicide, through education and direct support to young people and families.” After Dolly’s passing in 2018, Kate and Tick — who, per their own words, would much rather just be working on the farm than be in the spotlight — wanted to fight to ensure no other parent has to endure what they endured.

Dolly’s Dream was built to amplify the nationwide conversation about how devastating bullying can be to victims and their loved ones. The charity also helps spotlight this issue for those living in regional and rural communities, who inherently have to deal with other issues, like droughts and flooding, as well as bullying.

How Does Dolly’s Dream Help?

Dolly’s Dream does the work. This charity is treating the issue of bullying, especially cyberbullying, holistically, attacking it from every angle to guarantee impact. It’s all about education, resourcing and support.

Through the Beacon Cyber Safety app, which is free to download, parents and carers can access trustworthy, practical information to learn everything from the psychology of bullying to understanding why their children might not speak up about it. Dolly’s Dream also organise school workshops, which can be tailored and customised for students of all ages. But it’s not just for the kids — parents, teachers and the wider community can all learn something too.

The team at Dolly’s Dream also recognise that counselling isn’t always accessible to everyone. That’s why they’ve started their own, 24/7 support line, in partnership with Kids Helpline, so that any child, their family or friends can get the counselling support they might need. They even offer Mental Health First Aid training courses in rural and regional communities, where mental health resources aren’t as accessible as they are in major cities. On top of all of that, they also accept donations and are always fundraising. Their biggest fundraiser? The annual Do It for Dolly Day.

What Is Do It For Dolly Day?

Do It For Dolly Day is more than just a commemorative event; it’s a catalyst for positive change. Taking place on Friday, May 10, the day transforms schools, workplaces, and communities across Australia into vibrant hubs of kindness. People wear blue — Dolly’s favourite colour — as a visual symbol of unity and support. Schools can organise special activities that promote empathy and respect. Fundraising initiatives of all shapes and sizes take place, from bake sales to charity runs and community events. The goal? Ensuring that everyone knows bullying has no place, anywhere in the country.

The funds raised directly support Dolly’s Dream’s vital work. This allows them to develop and deliver vital educational programs in schools. It provides resources and support services to those affected by bullying, and continue raising awareness about the issue. By actively engaging young people and communities, Do It For Dolly Day helps empower individuals to become agents of change, fostering a culture of kindness and inclusivity that extends far beyond the single day.

So, on Friday, May 10, be sure to go blue, donate to this cause that reaches everyone and, of course, be kind. You can head to Dolly’s Dream to register, donate and find out more info on how to get involved.

If this article brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or you are experiencing suicidal ideation or are at risk, please contact Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636), all of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

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