OLLIE was originally founded in 2016 in St Albans, Hertfordshire, by three local parents who lost their sons to suicide. OLLIE developed its initial support base in St Albans itself through the personal and business networks OLLIE’s founders already had. Since then OLLIE has continued to establish itself as a sector leader and now spans the whole of Hertfordshire with a growing reputation and support base. As well as delivering training, which is open to anyone to attend, OLLIE has also cultivated relationships with Hertfordshire schools, businesses and organisations. An example of this is delivering safeTALK to all the Hertfordshire Police call handlers in Autumn 2019.
Since it was founded, OLLIE has grown significantly and has extended its reach to Bedfordshire, following a partnership with The Mall Luton in 2018 and Bedford Half Marathon in 2019. Up until 2019, almost all of OLLIE’s training had been delivered in Hertfordshire, but we are now increasing our presence throughout Bedfordshire and there will be more training taking place in the county.
In early 2018, OLLIE had the bittersweet pleasure of coming to know Jenny Woledge from Canterbury, Kent. Jenny lost her son Wills, aged 20, to suicide in 2015. Following her loss, she set off on a mission to help others and prevent suicide tragedies. After attending safeTALK and ASIST, she decided that she wanted to be able to deliver the training to her local communities in Kent. Her aim was “to set up a service because there is nothing like it in Kent where there are a high number of suicides among young people”. Launched in 2019, OLLIE Kent has been delivering a number of in-house training sessions and talks to schools and colleges, as well as charities such as CAYSH. For more information on OLLIE Kent, fundraising or training, please contact us.