Worthing mum wins Points of Light award from Prime Minister for her suicide prevention charity work
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Ann Feloy said she felt humbled by the Points of Light award and dedicated it to her son Olly Hare, who took his own life in February 2017 – two days before his 23rd birthday.
The award is handed out daily by PM Rishi Sunak to recognise outstanding individual volunteers who are making a change in their community. Ann was chosen on October 26, 2023, for her work founding the charity Olly's Future.
She said: "My charity's motto is 'Love and Light' to celebrate the qualities that my beloved son Oliver gave to so many others when he was here, so it is really for him that I am receiving this award. I am so grateful to all those, especially his friends, who have helped me in our work to save young lives from suicide. Our work is his legacy and the future he no longer has."
Wanting to help others who may be feeling the way Olly did, Ann set up her charity in loving memory of her son, and worked with GPs as patients care lead for Practise Hope, a primary care initiative to help young people aged ten to 25 who are suicidal or self-harming to get better support from their doctors’ surgeries.
The Prime Minister's Office said: "The charity is increasing awareness of suicide prevention among students, including providing training and work experience opportunities, as well as working with GPs to build their confidence when responding to young people with thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
"As part of this, Ann co-created Talking about Suicide: Ten Tools, a suicide prevention training session taught online to thousands of people in the UK and around the world to help spot the signs in someone who may be thinking of suicide and have a sensitive and non-judgemental conversation to help them stay safe.
"Ann also created Dr SAMS (Suicide Awareness in Medical Students), which is delivered every year to medical schools around the country, as part of the first year core curriculum, helping future doctors look after their own wellbeing, their peers and their future patients.
"Before losing Olly to suicide, Ann worked in theatre and continues to use her scriptwriting skills to co-produce Life-Saving Conversations, to illustrate how to ask about suicide in different scenarios. These scripts are recorded by actors and used as a training tool for people from all walks of life. Ann has also launched the Hear Me Out podcast, where guest speakers join to discuss topics around mental health."
The charity's mission is to share Olly’s love and light to help stop young people from losing their lives to suicide.
Ann said: "I have so many people to thank for helping me in this work, particularly those wonderful friends of my son who have been with me every step of the way. Without them none of this work would be possible and I would not be receiving this marvellous award today.”