Where have we come from?
Where it began: Three parents who experienced unimaginable loss after losing their sons all found their way to their local SOBS, a support network for surviving the bereavement of suicide. Stuart met Chris and Jane at SOBS in June 2015. Throughout the summer and autumn of 2015, they found support at SOBS, but by the end of the year they began to feel like they wanted to do more. Chris, Stuart and Jane started to discuss the idea of charitable fundraising. Initially, the idea was to hold a Golf Day to raise money for PAPYRUS. The funds would be used to facilitate the delivery of safeTALK and ASIST training in the local secondary schools in St Albans.
A parent of one of Morgan’s friends pointed out that she did not play golf so requested an additional event be organised. It was this that kick started the planning of a number of other events alongside the Golf Day, one of the first being a pub quiz held in Sarratt.
The first Morgan Falconer Memorial Golf Day was held on 13th May 2016, three days before The OLLIE Foundation became a registered charity. In the summer of 2016 the first safeTALK and ASIST training was delivered by Terry Rigby of Forward For Life, and Caron Thompson of Common Unity, on behalf of OLLIE. By October 2016 OLLIE had its own trainers and the first OLLIE run sessions were delivered.
Where are we now?
The OLLIE Foundation is a charity still in its infancy but has already surpassed its original annual targets. We have an expert Board of Trustees, our first paid employee, two dedicated trainers and a huge number of supporters and volunteers.
We have established a large presence in St Albans and Harpenden as well as increasing the range of our training to include a courses dedicated to awareness and recovery meaning we now offer four different courses. We have branched out into applying for funding to enable us to deliver training for free and are working with other like-minded organisations to increase awareness of mental health and reach as many people as possible.
What next for The OLLIE Foundation?
We want to consolidate our current presence and continue to build on it. We are focusing on becoming more established in Luton, Hemel, Watford, Hatfield and Welwyn. We wish to improve awareness of our newest course suicide To Hope (s2H) and continue to improve access to our training through fully funded courses.
To achieve these objectives and support our ongoing programme of marketing, PR and community fundraising projects, we need:
- Donations (large and small) and Gifts in Kind
- Local business sponsorships
- New volunteers and engaged advocates to support our existing teams
If you think you can help us meet these goals and further our reach, please get in touch.
We couldn't do this without you.