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.

Now, Smiggle and Dolly’s Dream are asking Australian kids to choose kindness as they head back to school for 2021.

To help spread the message far and wide, Smiggle has created 100,000 Dolly’s Dream Choose Kindness keyrings that are free for kids to collect from Smiggle stores all over Australia from 1st February.

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 support Dolly’s Dream, 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.

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. A Choose Kindness keyring hanging from their schoolbag or pencil case will be a tangible reminder throughout the year.

The Choose Kindness campaign is part of fulfilling the vision of Dolly’s Dream, to bring a cultural change around the issue of bullying.

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.

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

Dolly’s Dream and Smiggle are also encouraging Australian families to take the DigiPledge, an educational and fun online quiz created by Dolly’s Dream that helps families to educate themselves about online safety.

After eight modules, the DigiPledge ends with families signing a pledge to acknowledge they have the skills and knowledge to explore the online world safely and commit to being kind.

It allows for young people to talk about their experiences online with the adults in their lives and creates opportunities for them to open up if they are being hassled or bullied online, starting one of the most important conversations you can have about the importance of choosing kindness.