At the beginning of 2018, hearts across the nation broke at the news of the untimely death of 14-year-old Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett, a victim of relentless cyber-bullying.

Dolly left behind her parents Tick and Kate and her sister Meg, who are now focused on their foundation, Dolly’s Dream, which was created in the hope of preventing other families from going through the same devastating experience.

Following two years of severely disrupted school and home life, Smiggle and Dolly’s Dream are asking Australian kids to choose kindness when they head back to school for 2022.

Dolly’s Dream was set up in memory of Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett, aged 14, who took her own life after an extended period of bullying and cyberbullying.

To help spread the message far and wide, Dolly’s Dream and Smiggle
have created the Choose Kindness keyring to be sold to raise funds for the organisation as part of their ongoing partnership supporting young
 people and parents.

The Choose Kindness keyrings are just $2 and available from Smiggle stores all over Australia and online from Wednesday 12 January 2022, with the proceeds from the keyrings sold donated to Dolly’s Dream for its work with children and parents around Australia.

“We’re asking Australian kids to use their pocket money to buy a keyring, and maybe one for a friend, and display them on their bag as a tangible reminder to be kind throughout the year,” Dolly’s Dream manager, Stephen Bendle, said.

“The hope is that sharing this message of choosing kindness reminds all kids to look after their friends and classmates, to be kind and to speak even if their voice shakes.”

Dr Charlotte Keating, Psychologist and Advisory Board Member of Dolly’s Dream, said the beginning of the school year is ideal for gently opening up the lines of conversation with your child to encourage trust and confidence.

“After the last couple of years, young people are online more than ever before, and awareness and prevention of bullying has never been as important. No one deserves to be bullied or hurt,” Dr Keating said.

Dr Keating also said talking to parents or another trusted adult is one of the best ‘first steps’ for stopping bullying.

“With one in five Australian young people
reporting being socially excluded, threatened or
abused online and 55 per cent of those seeking help from their parents, it’s vital that your children know you will listen calmly and without judgement – and support them,” she said.

“Research shows that young people who perceive their parents as loving and supportive are less likely to cyber bully, for example,” Dr Keating said.

“We can teach our children to treat others how they would like to be treated – with kindness and respect.”

Smiggle is calling on their thousands of fans around Australia to always choose kindness at school and at home, and to speak to a trusted adult if they see or experience anything that makes them think someone is being bullied.

Proceeds from this year’s Choose Kindness campaign will help support parents in having more conversations on the impacts of bullying and where they – and their kids can go to get help.

Are you, or someone you know, struggling?

If you are, you can get free, confidential help from a trained counsellor on the Dolly’s Dream Support Line on 0488 881 033. No referral is needed, and the line is open to anyone who needs support, five days a week from 6am-10pm daily.

For more information about Dolly’s Dream, visit dollysdream.org.au.